We are excited to announce that Julia Taudevin has been appointed as IASH/Traverse Creative Fellow 2020, under which she will work on the commission of a new play inspired by a current interest of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh.
Taudevin is an award-winning actor, playwright, screenwriter, director and co-artistic director of the Glasgow-based theatre company, Disaster Plan. She is the writer of eight plays, which have gained her critical and industry attention for their ambitious form, and political and feminist themes. In her own words, her work is: ‘driven by female characters and stories exploring themes of alienation and isolation, with an interaction between the text and the use of music often central to the form’.
During her time as IASH-Traverse Creative Fellow she will be working on a piece called A(u)nti(e) Empire – a gory political comedy about the British Empire, which looks at Western society through a different lens, the character of which (‘Auntie Empire’) was born during residency at Summerhall exploring prosthetics. She intends to use comedy to brutally dissect the British Empire, its legacy and the complicity of people in it. What that complicity is forms one of the main research questions she brings to the Institute. Does complicity come with apathy? Ignorance? Myth-making? Comfort and discomfort?
She is currently in rehearsals for Move~Gluasad – which premieres on the Isle of Lewis (31 January) and then at Celtic Connections (2 February) – a subtly political multi-lingual play with songs that asks if Western society is capable of empathising with migrant grief.
Julia Taudevin says:
‘I am stoked to be this year’s IASH-Traverse Creative Fellow. The combination of IASH and the Traverse provides a unique opportunity to research and develop the play in the level of depth that it requires. With the support of the Traverse, I’ll have invaluable access to dialogue and feedback that ensures these experiments are always in pursuit of a successful, radical, and accessible piece of contemporary theatre. Equally, I’m incredibly excited at the prospect of my thinking and my work being provoked and challenged in new directions. I approach this Fellowship with a clear sense of what my project is, but with an openness to surprising myself through encountering new and inspiring thinking. At a decade-anniversary of living under Tory rule, I am keen to take a long, hard look at us Brits, particularly us Scottish Brits, and dream up the most gory and enjoyable ways of severing the rot.’
Gareth Nicholls, Traverse Theatre Co-Artistic Director, says:
‘We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Julia and the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities over the coming year on her project A(u)nti(e) Empire. Julia’s passion to create a gore-filled political comedy that both figuratively and literally, disembowels the Empire on stage (complete with singalong songs!), was simply an idea too good to miss. Combine this with the brilliant minds at IASH and Julia’s fierce drive to ask tough questions of us all and we have the ingredients for blistering piece of new work. We’re looking forward to seeing what avenues this riotous, ambitious and blood-infused project goes down over the coming months.’