Naomi Adedokun and Brenda Callis are both second year English students. They met last year at LitLive, so it seems only fitting that this year they have produced the show together. LitLive is an annual Falstaff event, providing Bristol students with a platform to write scripts, direct productions and act within them.
This year’s theme, ‘A Twist in the Tale’, gave students licence to reinvent classic fairy-tale narratives.
An Inter:Mission favourite was ‘Handle with Care’. The production reconfigured the age-old Nursery Rhyme ‘Little Miss Muffet’. Along came a spider, and sat down beside her, challenging feminism with his precarious box of miscellaneous masculine items.
Inter:Mission caught up with Naomi and Brenda after the show.
How long did it take to put the production together?
‘We have been thinking of themes all summer, and we started putting things into practice around October. I would say with script submission and auditions, it has been about two or three weeks running up to this!'
What do you look for when you get a script submission?
‘We tried to get a range of different scripts. We wanted them to be well written. It was also important that the script achieved its purpose. If it was a comedy, was it funny? If it was a drama, how profound was it? Brenda and I sat in the Hawthorns for four hours trying to decide. We choose what we responded to as people. If It gave us a good feeling, we had the intention to put that good feeling across in the productions to the audience.’
Why fairy tales for this years theme?
‘I am a huge fan of Angela Carter. Original fairy tales are often a lot darker than what they are thought of now, what Disney makes them out to be! Last year’s theme was dystopian and utopian worlds, which Brenda and I thought was great, but it had already been done. We wanted something with a fantastical world, sometimes naturalistic, with plot twists, plot twists are always fun.'
What was important to you about putting an all student production?
‘We would like to stress, we had a lot of first year students, a lot of first time actors, directors and writers. Last year Brenda and I started our “drama career” – Naomi jokes with inverted commas – at LitLive. We each wrote a piece last year, and met at the performance. It has really come full circle, I am feeling nostalgic! We wanted to encourage people who had never done it before and give people a chance to write or direct something for the very first time.'
LitLive continues Tonight in The Room Above at The White Bear.
To find out more, visit their Facebook Event.
Brenda’s play ‘The Way Things Weren’t’ is currently holding auditions. The Black Mirror-esque plot captures a widowed romantic who clones her late husband. Brenda and Naomi will be collaborating in this student production.