Theatremakers Damir Todorovic and Kirsty Housley discuss Mayfesto 2013
The political theatre fest will also feature plays from Jenna Watt, Daniel Bye and the Tron Studio
Mayfesto, the Tron’s annual festival of political theatre, takes truth and identity as its focus in 2013. Programme highlights include Flâneurs, Jenna Watt’s Fringe First-winning look at urban violence (see our Fringe review); The Price of Everything, Daniel Bye’s performance lecture on consumption (also reviewed at the Fringe); and Bandwagon, the Tron Studio’s new devised piece.
One of the most exciting works will be As It Is (Tue 14–Thu 16 May), from Serbian theatre maker and Vanishing Point associate artist Damir Todorovic. Hooked up to a lie detector, he plays a version of himself as he’s questioned about wartime experiences in Bosnia in 1993. ‘The dramatic structure of the show has been built like a real police investigation, so the strategy is very precise,’ he says. ‘I’m asking myself and the audience, is it possible to live without lies? And is it actually desirable?’
Kirsty Housley’s play Bandages (Fri 3 & Sat 4 May) takes a similar approach. It focuses on two sisters who live together and have a pathological fear of the world outside their home. They read about attacks on young women and build up their own narratives to understand these events. Housley explains: ‘It’s about what the truth really is and how our need for stories sometimes overwhelms our ability to see what’s happening around us. And how sometimes, in trying to make sense of things, we totally obscure what something actually is.’
And it’s this sense of distorted truth that Todorovic addresses too. ‘Our society is pretty cruel and it’s very difficult to live without lies,’ he says. ‘What I’ve learnt from this experience is that sometimes it’s better to be silent than to tell a lie. I really do not like lies and we should try to avoid them. We should be sure of a kind of certain truth which is inside us and not confuse our reality. Otherwise it becomes a fiction.’
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 1–Mon 20 May.