After their successful run of Greyhounds in 2018, Time & Again return to the Edinburgh Fringe with Edwardian epic, Clouds! The year is 1913 and women are rising up… Winifred Baxter is determined to become the first Englishwoman to enter an air race, learning to fly amidst the chaos of the suffragette movement, a glorious garden party and far too much nephology: the study of clouds. Writer, Laura Crow, spoke with The Fountain about the show in more depth.

TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?  

We’re so happy to be returning to Edinburgh for our second ever Fringe! Last year was amazing for us – it went better than we could ever have hoped – so we feel quite a bit of extra pressure but definitely a huge amount of excitement!

TF: Clouds certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise? 

Amidst the flock of pioneers fighting to rule the skies in 1913, Winifred Baxter is determined to become the first Englishwoman to enter an air race and fly right around the country!

In the open fields of Moorhanger Grange, Freddie learns to take to the skies during Britain’s last glorious summer, weathering the chaos of friends and family, the suffragette movement, a glorious garden party and far too much nephology – the study of clouds. 

Clouds is new writing combining the suffocating society of pre-war Britain with a touch of comedy, early feminism, and pure vintage flair!

TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie? 

As a theatre company, Time & Again explores stories inspired by all things vintage and historical, and aim to make them relevant and engaging to today’s world. At the moment, a play about equality and fighting for women’s rights feels like a very real and current issue. I’ve always been interested in aviation, particularly early aviation, and the thought of those pioneering pilots is truly fascinating. They were simply crazy! They risked their lives in little wooden planes, having no idea if they would fly or not! And there were so many female pioneers – history tends to forget that.  There’s still huge gender disparity in STEM fields, particularly a lack of female representation in the airline industry. We hope Clouds will help call attention to this and ask “we’re now 100 years down the line from the suffragette movement and the early days of flight, why is there still such gender imbalance in STEM industries and how can we address this?”

TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?

We had a wonderful time with our World War Two, Shakespearean show, Greyhounds, last year! It was all about a small village trying to raise money for their local Spiftire fund by putting on a disastrous performance of Henry V. It was our first Fringe so we didn’t know what to expect but we were blown away by the wonderful reception it received.  As for tips – the first one that comes to mind: Get out there and get flyering! We found this such an important aspect of the Fringe. Word of mouth – actually talking to people – really helped to drum up interest in our show and it was a lot of fun. We wore full vintage costume 24/7 for the whole of our run. This drew attention and helped create a bit of a buzz! 

TF: Is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh? 

We adored A Slightly Isolated Dog and their performance of Don Juan last year so we’re very excited to see their Jekyll and Hyde. We always keep an eye out for any historical shows too. We really enjoyed David William Bryan’s In Loyal Company last year and definitely recommend that if you can manage to get a ticket!

TF: And what are your future plans beyond Clouds

We’ve been rural touring our show Greyhounds since the Fringe last year and it’s been an amazing experience. We’ve had the chance to perform at museums, studio theatres, village halls and it’s been really interesting to see the show grow and adapt. We’d love to continue to do that and to do the same with Clouds too. Performing at sites relevant to the history of the shows is something we’re particularly keen to do.

You can see Clouds at theSpace on the Mile from 2nd – 17th August at 19:55. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com