Vox Motus join forces with NTS and Tianjin People’s Art Theatre with Dragon
The story of a young man's friendship with a mythical beast contains 'dark themes', says co-director Candice Edmunds
A collaboration between the National Theatre of Scotland, Tianjin People’s Art Theatre from China and Glasgow company Vox Motus, *3Dragon*2 is a wordless play that moves between a young boy’s fantasy friendship with the fire-breathing monster and a more sinister social problem.
Vox Motus’ previous work, including the award-winning Slick, incorporated puppetry and magic into a mature mixture. ‘We have found that our visual style has always appealed to teenagers and adults alike,’ says co-director Candice Edmunds. ‘Dragon is a story told without words so it has been a great excuse to really go to town on our visual techniques.’ The inclusion of two physical performers from the Tianjin People’s Art Theatre undoubtedly will bring a new element to Vox Motus’ fusion of forms, while the script, from rising playwright Oliver Emanuel, offers a nuanced story despite containing no speech. ‘He brought a great deal of his own personal experiences,’ Edmunds says. ‘He found a language that really fired our imaginations.’
Although the protagonist of the story is a young man, the play is certainly aimed at all ages. Between the fantastic friendship of man and beast, a town is being troubled by a series of fires, apparently set by an arsonist. Vox Motus’ style is often breezy and spectacular, but Dragon is no lightweight romp.
‘There are dark themes,’ Edmunds admits, explaining that the production is targeted at ages nine and above. But with Vox Motus having established themselves as a company capable of cheeky humour and unsettling atmospheres, Dragon aims at thoughtful, dynamic entertainment that showcases their versatility. ‘Puppetry is central to the story; likewise our trademark choreographic sequences,’ Edmunds says. ‘I hope that it is a show that will keep surprising the audience with new ideas.’
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 19 Oct; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 30 Oct–Sat 2 Nov.