Taylor Dyson has returned to her hometown of Dundee for a summer of relaxation, drinking and self-discovery. But first, she has to get through a night out with her friends, hitting the streets of Dundee. From tacky pubs with seedy bouncers to revelations on the McManus steps with Rabbie Burns, Tay attempts to find herself in the city of Dundee. Ane City is at the Edinburgh Fringe for August, a theatrical, poetic one-woman show that combines elements of Scots language, storytelling, song and comedy. The Fountain caught up with Taylor to discuss the new show as well as her top-tips for first-timers.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how excited are you?
I’m so excited to be performing Ane City, and winning the Assembly Roxy Theatre Award has been really inspiring; allowing us to perform in an incredible venue and work with amazing people. Performing at Edinburgh Festival is such a big thing for Elfie Pickett and we cannot wait to share our work with audiences!
TF: Ane City certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
A disillusioned Tay, returns from her hip life at Glasgow University to her working-class hometown of Dundee for the summer holidays. The play tracks the events immediately following her arrival at Dundee train station as she meets up with her old friends to go on a night out. We follow them from pub to club, as they meet all sorts of different characters, we realise Tay is becoming more detached throughout the night. Her character performs poetry and sings songs as she talks about her experience as a young woman in a contemporary Scotland, identity and belonging.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
We felt there wasn’t enough work about contemporary, working-class women’s perspectives of youth culture, at least not set in Scotland. We also wanted to create a play that incorporates different traditional Scottish conventions such as Scots poetry, Scottish folk song and storytelling to create a contemporary story.
We are influenced hugely by political and social issues, political theatre such as 7:84 and Scots language. Many writers and theatre makers have influenced the work we aspire to create at Elfie Pickett.
TF: This if your first show at the Fringe for Elfie Picket, but having performed at the festival previously are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
Book your accommodation as early in advance as possible.
Don’t be scared to try and meet people and be supportive of other’s work.
Be kind and generous to venue staff – they’re working around the clock.
Be respectful to locals, the vast majority of people in Edinburgh are getting on with their day to day lives during the festival.
Look after yourself physically and mentally, it can be an intense experience and you need to make sure you have time to breathe.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond 2019?
We hope to keep performing Ane City for as long as it has life. We have a few other projects we’ve been working on that we hope to start soon – so keep watching!
You can see Ane City at Assembly Roxy, Downstairs from 31st July – 26th August at 14:20. For tickets, please visit www.assemblyfestival.com.