Caligari, by ChewBoy Productions, a recipient of New Diorama & Underbelly’s Untapped Award supported by Methuen Drama, will premiere at the 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Caligari reimagines the 1920 seminal German film ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’, with a cast of five actor-musicians taking the stage to tell the victims’ stories of their brutal murders at the hands of Dr. Caligari and his faithful somnambulist Cesare.
Caligari embraces the long shadows and broad brushstrokes of German expressionism, exposing parallels between post-war Weimar Germany and the UK today; an ever-widening class divide, the subconscious invitation for a tyrant to seize power, and an unwillingness to rebel against deranged authority. The film’s allegorical and highly stylised nature has inspired this new interpretation of the classic and powerfully symbolic story.
The band of actor-musicians will channel the themes of the film’s score into original carnival-esque music performed live on stage, constituted of a variation of instruments including flute, guitar, violin, accordion and double bass, along with a pared back, minimalist set design which sees Dr. Caligari’s cabinet centre stage.
Written by multi award-winning playwright Georgie Bailey [DJ Bazzer’s Year 6 Disco, Tethered, The Museum of Bad Vibes (BBC Sounds), The Prang] and directed by OFFIE award-winner Lucy Betts [Lone Flyer, Tethered, The Wizard of Oz] with production management by Chloe Stally-Gibson [The Secretaries, The 4th Country, Telethon], ChewBoy Productions return after their acclaimed run of DJ Bazzer’s Year 6 Disco which won the OFFIE award for Best Company Ensemble 2022.
Lucy Betts, resident director at ChewBoy Productions, said: “We’re incredibly excited to be bringing our theatrical spin on such an important piece of cinema to the Edinburgh Fringe. We are taking the story away from the brutal antagonist and placing it back into the hands of the victims. Caligari is as crucial a story for the here and now as it was in 1920s Germany, and our brilliant cast of graduate actor-musicians breathe contemporary life into a timeless piece. We’re so grateful for the opportunity that the Untapped Award has given us, and for the support of the New Diorama, Underbelly and Methuen.”
ChewBoy Productions is one of four recipients of the hit-making Untapped Award for Caligari, providing each winner with a £5,000 cash grant, brilliant programming slots at Underbelly at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, paid-for PR & marketing support, plus the option for publication by Methuen Drama and rehearsal space at New Diorama’s acclaimed NDT Broadgate hub in London. Previous Untapped recipients include Breach Theatre’s Fringe First Award-winner It’s True It’s True It’s True which celebrated a sell-out London run and BBC TV broadcast along with Nouveau Riche’s Stage Award-winning Queens of Sheba which toured extensively and went on to enjoy four sold-out runs at Soho Theatre.