LONG LIVE THE LITTLE KNIFE
Fire Exit presents
LONG LIVE THE LITTLE KNIFE
Written and directed by David Leddy
Tue 24 – Sat 28 Feb, Citizens Theatre
Long Live The Little Knife is a dynamic, absurd and uplifting theatre piece about forgery, castration and blind drunkenness. The show began life as a mini-commission for the Royal Shakespeare Company in the British Museum.
It got such an overwhelming response that David Leddy has brought the characters back for a full-length escapade that returns for a fourth time following sell-out success across the country and an US premiere. The production opens at the Citizens Theatre from 24 – 28 February before touring to venues across Scotland and to venues in England and Wales.
“…a fantastic exhibition of verbal pyrotechnics” ★★★★The Scotsman
“… fantastical flight of fancy” ★★★★The Herald
Liz and Jim are a husband and wife team of forgers who have risen to great heights and fallen to great depths in their careers as con artists and counterfeiters. They are caught in a turf war over fake vintage handbags. They need to find £250 grand in protection money. Their Big Boss, The Wee Man, convinces them to undertake a harebrained mission to up their game and become the world’s greatest art forgers. There’s only one problem. They can’t paint.
In this fast-paced, provocative and boisterous caper Leddy finds the incongruous connections between verbatim theatre, free-market economics, the psychology of ‘truth’ and a castrated labradoodle in a classic Chanel clutch bag.
Underneath the fast-paced and farcical exterior, the piece explores the psychology of authenticity and truth. It asks what we really mean when we talk about a ‘real’ man, a ‘real’ woman and ‘true’ love. Leddy drew inspiration from the work of Paul Bloom, professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University. Particularly, the piece delves into our contradictory attitudes towards forged artworks and fake designer goods. If we really love a painting for its artistry, skill and beauty then why are we so bothered about fakes?
At the same time, the piece is a searing parody of free-market economics. The art market is the only major financial market in the world that is entirely unregulated, so Liz and Jim take every opportunity to rig prices, create bubbles and crash the market. They buy a book in Prestwick airport about spiritual-economic development which they follow slavishly. The book’s title is: Work Will Set You Free: how to use positive thinking to crush the competition, dominate the globalised marketplace and ride the wild tiger of your unconscious mind.
Being a piece that explores the notion of truth and authenticity, the play is also a piece of verbatim theatre. Based on a series of interviews with a real life husband and wife forgery team, the text toys with the line between fact and fiction and with the honesty of anything that claims to be ‘based on a true story’.
The show does not use any regular theatrical technical equipment at all. The audience sit within an elaborate installation of paint-splattered dust sheets. It’s as if Jackson Pollock has drunkenly exploded himself in the middle of the room. All the lighting is second-hand equipment bought from a real building site. The stage manager sits onstage, playing all the music cues on a battered, paint-splattered old stereo – also from a builder’s yard.
Funded by Creative Scotland. Developed with support from the Royal Shakespeare Company and the British Museum.
Citizens Theatre Press Night Tuesday 24 February 2015, 7.30pm
For more information, interviews and images, or to request tickets, please contact
Mhari Hetherington 07967 621 681 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keren Nicol, Marketing & Communications Manager email@example.com 0141 418 6233.
Fire Exit presents
Long Live the Little Knife
Written and Directed by David Leddy
Designed by Ali Maclaurin
Lighting Design by Nich Smith
Cast: Neil McCormack, Wendy Seager
Dates: Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 February 2015, 7.30pm
Matinee: Sat 28 Feb, 2.30pm
Tickets: £12 full price / £8.50 concession
0141 429 0022 │citz.co.uk
Or in person at the Citizens Theatre Box Office, 119 Gorbals Street, Glasgow, G5 9DS, open 10 – 6pm Mon - Sat
NOTES TO EDITORS
David Leddy and Fire Exit.
Fire Exit is a theatre company based in Glasgow, Scotland. Their multi-award-winning work has been shown all over the world from Boston to Buenos Aires, São Paulo to Santiago, Milan to the Isle of Mull. Recent prizes include the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Award, a San Diego Critics’ Circle award, two different Herald Angel Awards and a Fringe First Award.
Fire Exit was established in 2002 by artistic director David Leddy, who writes and directs the company’s shows. David has been described as a ‘theatrical maverick’ with ‘propensity for fearless experiment’ by the Financial Times a ‘site-specific genius’ by The Scotsman and an Edinburgh Fringe Festival ‘institution’ by The Independent. He was also the first person in Scotland to complete a practice-based PhD in theatre and is much sought-after as a mentor and leader of masterclasses at prestigious institutions from the Nucleo de Dramaturgia in Brazil to Yale University in the USA.
The artistic work combines the intellectual stimulation of performance art and the dynamism of new digital technologies with the emotional drive of dramatic new writing. Recent shows include City of the Blind, an online political thriller about a U.N. investigator caught in a web of surveillance, violence, and counter-intelligence; Horizontal Collaboration, an intense live drama where sex, power and politics collide with emotion, seduction and destruction; Long Live The Little Knife, a dynamic, absurd and uplifting theatre piece about forgery, castration and drunkenness; Sub Rosa, a gothic promenade piece in the backstage labyrinth of a Victorian theatre; Susurrus, where the audience follow a map round a botanic garden and listen to the piece on headphones; White Tea, which takes place inside a huge paper box where the audience don white paper kimonos and sip Japanese tea as the actors perform around them; and Untitled Love Story where the audience take part in a group meditation on love and art while following four interweaving stories set on the silky nocturnal waterways of Venice.
More at www.DavidLeddy.com
Neil is an actor and occasional writer who studied at the R.S.A.M.D. His theatre credits include The Taming of the Shrew (New Rep Co), Boom Bang A Bang (LoveYaFace), The Life and Death of Thomas Cromwell, The Emperor of the Moon, The Merry Devil of Edmonton (Clios Company), The Blue Room (Theatre Replico/Citizens), The Crucible (S.T.G.), A Hard Heart, Anna Karenina (Raised Curtain), Thin Air (Fire Exit/RSC) and Long Live the Little Knife (Fire Exit). Film and T.V. include Ae Fond Kiss, Festival, Mandancin’, Solid Air, Taggart, and Wish.
Wendy trained at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Her theatre work includes: Bondagers (Royal Lyceum), City of the Blind (Fire Exit), Confessions of a Justifed Sinner (Royal Lyceum), Six Black Candles (Royal Lyceum), The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Visible Fictions), Brace Position (Oran Mor), Sweet Fanny Adams in Eden (Stellar Quines) Uncle Vanya (RSC/Moscow Theatre), and The Real Wurld (Tron). She has performed in numerous radio productions for BBC Radio including Anna Karenin, I Love you Goodbye, Mary Stuart, Secure, The Hydro (series), Lynton Bay (series), Rebus, The Strange case of Mr Hyde and won the Sony Radio Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Life Class.
Ali trained in theatre design in Edinburgh and Croydon and has since designed, devised, facilitated and taught all over the country. In her long and chequered career she has worked with the Belgrade Theatre in Education Company, the award winning Shadow Syndicate, Battersea Arts Centre, Hull Truck and TAG among others as well as designing community plays in venues from East End churches to Scottish mansions. After lecturing for ten years she returned to a freelance career in 2008. Since then she has designed shows for The Traverse and Grid Iron Theatre companies, including Spring Awakening and The Tree of Knowledge, for Scottish Opera, including BabyO and the recent Elephant Angel, for Dogstar the Fringe First winning show, The Tailor of Inverness and for Licketyspit. She lives by the sea in Kinghorn with her husband, her son, her dog and 120 teapots. www.alimaclaurin.com
Nich Smith is an independent Lighting Designer based in Glasgow, Scotland. Nich works on a diverse range of projects over many disciplines from theatre, opera, and visual arts to architecture and exhibition lighting design. His architectural lighting designs advocate radical new night time interpretations of our urban landscape and frequently introduce creative techniques and new technologies in unusual applications. Nich Smith was awarded the UK Lighting Design Awards 2008 Best Public Building prize for his interactive lighting design for the John Murray Archive at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh.
Recent projects include new outdoor interpretive lighting for the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum at Alloway Auld Kirk, lighting for the King Richard III visitor centre in Leicester, England, and new lighting for Eltham Palace in London, England.
Projects with David Leddy and Fire Exit include Sub Rosa at the Citizens Theatre and Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and White Tea at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. White Tea was a short listed for the Low Carbon category of the Lighting Design Awards 2010.