Following an award-winning run at VAULT Festival 2017 with A Year From Now, RedBellyBlack Theatre returns with the world premiere of OK, Bye – a fierce and fresh take on saying goodbye.
We spoke to director, and co-creator, Vicki Baron to find out more.
You’re bringing OK, Bye to VAULT Festival, what can you tell us about it?
OK, Bye is about what happens when we say goodbye to things. We’ve gone out and interviewed people about their farewells and heard some incredible stories about pets, parents, weight loss, religion and more. We use our signature combination of physical theatre and verbatim techniques to bring these stories to life on stage, bringing them together with a devised story about three siblings who are trying to grow up.
Where did the idea for OK, Bye come from?
I wish I could say that this idea came from a good place, but the fact is that in our lives Kate and I have had to say a lot of painful goodbyes and we wanted to talk about that in our work. What we’ve learned as we’ve developed this idea over 2 years is that the break-ups and bereavements we wanted to process are actually tiny phrases in a huge conversation that everyone is having in their lives all of the time. We’ve found so much unexpected joy, love and silliness in what we’ve made with this show, so much so that our own heartbreaks now feel very far away.
You were at VAULT Festival last year with A Year From Now, how does it feel to be back?
Amazing. That festival is a unique and spectacular jewel in the London theatre crown and we are so delighted to be included in it with so many incredible companies and performers.
How does music play a part in OK, Bye?
We see music as a bridge between the audience and the performance. Everyone responds differently to music and it allows people to form a really personal and specific emotional link with the show. We’ve teamed up with Andrew Armfield, improvisation and music extraordinaire, to bring live music to the stage throughout the performance. This is the first time we’ve used live music on stage and we’re really excited to see how it interacts with the story.
RedBellyBlack Theatre describe their style as theatrical tapas, what does that mean?
Theatrical tapas is a term we use to describe our approach to creating work. We don’t believe that there is one ‘right’ format to tell stories with because each and every story is different, so we use whichever technique we think will best support the given narrative. Some stories are best told through physical theatre, some are best as verbatim performances and many require a unique combination of styles. We never say ‘no’ to a style if we think it will help us to tell a story well. OK, Bye includes verbatim, movement, devised scenes, written monologues, live music and more.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see OK, Bye?
Expect to be moved and amused, and make sure you come and talk to us after the show. We are always on the lookout for more stories to tell and we’re sure that you’ve got one we would love to hear.
OK, Bye – VAULT Festival, The Vaults, Leake Street, London SE1 7NN Wednesday 7th – Sunday 11th March 2018.