Spiralling costs, ticketing arguments, corporate sponsors... it’s easy to be cynical about London 2012. But these theatre companies are setting out to remind us of the true spirit of the Olympics, finds Caroline Bishop.
’m not a massive fan of sport,” says Steve Gilroy with a laugh. It’s an amusing confession from a playwright who is currently creating a piece of verbatim theatre—The Prize—based on the stories of athletes heading to London this summer. But even a sport-averse writer can be inspired. After interviewing an ex-soldier who will be competing in the Paralympics three years after losing both legs in Afghanistan, Gilroy took up running. “After leaving him I felt incredibly humbled and since I’ve been home I’ve started to run – and when I say run, I managed to run outside my house to the end of the street! But I am gradually improving.”
Inspiration has hit Charlotte Josephine, too. Hearing that women would finally be allowed to box in this summer’s Olympics, the Snuff Box Theatre playwright wrote Bitch Boxer based on the subject – and began boxing herself. “I started going to boxing in January, for research, because I didn’t want to write about it not knowing anything about it, and I’ve fallen in love with it,” she says. She now trains three times a weekly at an Islington club. The Prize and Bitch Boxer are among several shows in Edinburgh this year which delve into the human stories behind the behemoth that is the Olympics. Whether it be smashing the last bastion of male-only
46 fest edinburgh festival preview guide 2012
Published on Jul 15, 2012