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CAITLIN by Light Ladd & Emberton     

CAITLIN by Light Ladd & Emberton
Edinburgh previews: Monday 3, Wednesday 5 & Thursday 6 August 2015, Chapter Arts, Cardiff, 6pm and 8pm

Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Fri 21-Sun 30 August (except Mon), DanceBase, 8pm

Just 20 seats are available for each performance

The year is 1973. Within a circle of chairs, 60-year-old Caitlin Thomas is confronting head on her drink-addled and destructive marriage to the poet Dylan.

Twenty audience members sit open-mouthed in this uncomfortable but compulsive AA meeting as tumultuous scenes from a 16 year relationship fuelled by love, addiction, jealousy and infidelity begin to flood out of her.

“Hello my name is Caitlin and I’m an alcoholic,” she introduces herself.

A woman of few words – her husband had all the words – she nevertheless continues: “My husband was a very famous poet. I was going to be a very famous dancer. We were supposed to be equal but it wasn’t like that.”

As Caitlin and Dylan drink, fight, love and leave each other, the unoccupied chairs come into their own as the significant objects of their lives: a baby’s crib, a highchair, a straightjacket and Dylan’s deathbed. The duelling duo find themselves on all fours, flat on their backs, buried under a tottering pile of folding chairs and manuscripts and perhaps most disturbingly, him staggering around with her wrapped about his head.

The dischordant soundtrack (empty, eerie, tolling bells, lots of screeching feedback) is written by experimental Welsh musician Thighpaulsandra and live manipulated by Siôn Orgon.

Caitlin and Dylan are a prototype Sid and Nancy – or Kurt and Courtney. Two creative people bound together by love and addiction, living out their chaotic private lives for all to see. Both switch seamlessly between self-obsessive introversion and manic exhibitionism.

Writing in her 1982 autobiography, Caitlin recounts: “Ours was not a love story proper. It was more of a drink story.

"In those long-ago…absolutely unpardonable days, our primary aim was to get ourselves noticed at any cost… So we used shock tactics. We knew only too well that is much easier and quicker to get oneself noticed in a bad light."

CAITLIN was commissioned by the National Library of Wales as part of 2014’s centenary celebration of Dylan Thomas’ birth. With thanks to and supported by Arts Council of Wales, Wales In Edinburgh, Coreo Cymru, Chapter, and Welsh Dance Strand.



Director: Deborah Light

Devised with and performed by Eddie Ladd and Gwyn Emberton

Sound: Siôn Orgon

Soundscore: Thighpaulsandra

Costumes: Neil Davies

Producer: Laura H Drane Associates
 
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