Our plays have very modest set requirements – there used to be a note in our catalogue that no falling chandeliers or helicopters were necessary. The running joke around here is that most of our plays can be performed with a couple of cubes and if you really use your imagination one of them can be cut.
When considering a new play for publication I always picture my own high school performing the script. We had pretty much zero to work with in terms of stock pieces. Peter Pan just wasn’t going to be happening.
That’s not to say that you can’t have crazy-elaborate sets with our scripts, it’s just to say that they’re not necessary. We have a play coming out soon that is giving us palpitations because it requires at least two functioning doors, one of which must be movable. Forgive us, please.
With that in mind, I can say with all certainty that Theatrefolk won’t be publishing Heuschrecken. Heuschrecken is a play from the mind of Swiss artist Stefan Kaegi which not only requires a team of scientists, but a 16 meter (52.5 foot) transparent enclave for 10,000 locusts. You heard me. Imagine loading that onto a festival stage with 10 minutes of set-up time.
What was the performance like? Ant Hampton was there and describes it like this:
It was mad, huge, completely unfeasible perhaps in any other country than Switzerland. Like Cargo Sofia (the truck) and Mnemopark (the mini people, train sets etc), watching it you feel like you’re balancing between a) a kind of wide-eyed, smiley kids’ geeky-dream-world (‘imagine if we put 10 thousand locusts on stage!!”) that could go anywhere and b) something very serious, focused, detached, journalistic.
So when our two-door play comes out next month, I hope you’ll excuse the complexity. Could be worse!