As part of Army@The Fringe one production deals with the life and work of a Second World War poet.
Unicorns, Almost is Owen Sheers’ play about the poet Keith Douglas (played by Dan Krikler) and his Faustian pact with war. Douglas died a mere three days after the Normandy landings.
Bayeux City Hall invited the company to France during the recent Normandy commemorations where the play was performed in the centre of the city. This was perfectly appropriate as one line in the play refers to ‘the night they slept under the stars outside Bayeux’. Owen Sheers the playwright will also be in Edinburgh from 16 August.
Unicorns, Almost is accompanied by an exhibition and set which includes some items brought from Normandy. The play has two different iterations, one with a sound recording of the play and the other a live version of it from 13 August onwards. Producer Emma Balch is founder of Story of Books, a museum project which aims to tell ‘powerful stories in creative ways to unusual audiences’. Emma told us she is really excited at the fact that this play has its own environment which stays in place throughout the Fringe. Elsewhere in this crowded Festival City, shows have to set up and take down between each performance. At Hepburn House the set recreates Keith Douglas’ world and for one hour you are there with him in the room with him speaking to you directly.
The immersive audio experience takes place from 2 to 11 August 2019. The audio version has been described as an immersive communal audio book – certainly it is a communal listening experience and is the whole play to listen to without the actor actually present in the room. The audio version is on at 1.15pm, 3.15pm and 5.15pm daily from 2-4 and 6-11 August 2019.
The live show with Dan Krikler takes place from 13-25 August 2019. Here we spoke to producer Emma Balch :