We spoke to the Writer of Bunnies Kieran Lynn and to Director David Lockwood, to get beneath the surface of Bunnies at Tobacco Factory Theatre next week.
So we know there’s an angry farmer and lots of pesky animals but can you tell us a bit more about the Bunnies story?
Kieran: Bunnies tells the story of a farmer in desperate times. In an to attempt to bring prosperity to his ailing land he begins eradicating all none native species from it, he encourages his son to help him. Unfortunately, his son takes the plan too far and his father can no longer control what he has created.
Can you tell us a bit more about your backgrounds?
David: I trained in Exeter, at a little drama school called Cygnet Training Theatre. And then ran away from the South West to London, assisted a bit and then came back to form a new writing theatre company. Our second production was performed in an abandoned Chinese restaurant, which became, and still is, the Bike Shed Theatre.
Kieran: I trained as an actor and began writing while at drama school. I found it more interesting and that I was able to be more creative when writing, so I stuck with it.
How did Bunnies come to be?
David: Kieran submitted it after we sent a call for scripts responding to David Cameron’s assertion that ‘multiculturalism had failed’. Bunnies was selected as one of seven pieces that made a short new writing festival - New Blood. Cameron’s comments struck me at the time as being unnecessarily provocative, the sort of thing that you may hear from the BNP, and I was interested in seeing how writers would interpret this fairly open-ended statement. A short version of the show was performed at Oran Mor, before the premiere of the full version later, at Bike Shed Theatre.
We’ve heard its quite dark comedy, what can audiences expect from the experience of seeing Bunnies? How will they feel when they come out at the end of the evening?
Kieran: I hope that everyone will have a few laughs, and also have something to think or discuss on the way home.
David: My grandmother said she’d have nightmares. But she didn’t! It goes quite quickly towards the end as the play hurtles from a gentle comedy into something a little more dangerous. If you like stuffed animals, you’ll feel fine. If they make you physically sick, bring a bag.
Can you tell us more about the creative process?
Kieran: It starts with an idea. If I like it, I develop it a little, and then if I still like it then I write it. It really is as simple as that. I try not to bring any superstitions or routines or anything else in, those things can really get in the way. I try not to do the same thing twice, both in my preparation for writing and hopefully in the work that I produce.
How have you collaborated with your actors? Tell us a bit more about the rehearsal process.
David: I’ve tried to give them as much space as possible, and to let them contribute suggestions and ideas. They’ve been a delight to work with, clever, astute, supportive of one another. We spent the first week throwing ideas around a fair amount, before knuckling under in weeks two and three to create something that is (hopefully!) fun and has a little bit of depth.
Bunnies is at Tobacco Factory Theatre Tue 13 – Sat 24 November. For more info see www.tobaccofactorytheatre.com More & Book