By Donya Jeyabalasingham, Second Year English
Epigram Arts gets a cheeky preview of Sam Jones' new play, Butterfly.
‘“One, clap, Two, clap, Three, clap, Four, clap, Five, clap, Six, clap, Seven, clap, and Eight.” Sam Jones, director of ‘Butterfly’ counts as each of the six actors perform some sudden jagged movement at every clap. They stop. One was out of time. They start again. One, clap, Two, clap. There’s something mechanical about it, disconcerting even.
Photo credit: Benjamin Orr
Butterfly is a devised play featuring eight different stories that are temporally diachronic. This anthology of stories ranges from the Elizabethan era, to World War Two, to modern day. It will be performed at Loco Klub, a new underground arts venue located near Temple Meads. Sophie Graham, playing Jessie Fallstein, comments, “the whole thing is underground, It’s all about us trying to climb out.” The venue describes itself as ‘rising from the ashes’, and there’s something almost fateful about these untold Queer stories, being resurrected and brought unto the stage in these dark, raw underground tunnels.
"it’s a play that seems to be bursting at its seams"
Three, Clap, Four, Clap, something’s changing now. The movements are far less jagged, there’s a fluidity coming into their actions, they’re still apart but there seems to be some sort of shared movement between them. “I’m not interested in Politics, or History or Statistics. I want to know about who threw that stone,” Jones says. A short pause follows. Producer, Ben Orr adds in that this play is about “adding humanity to those big political acts.”
We tend to dehumanise people who are in marginalised communities that stand up for what they believe in. They metamorphose into their beliefs and nothing else. Butterfly, if anything, is a cry against this. It’s a play that seems to be bursting at its seams. Desperate to be seen, expanding out of its boundaries. It is no surprise then, that the play employs a variety of art forms, such as dancing, singing and poetry. Elsa and Thi-An, ruminating on the variety of artistic expression in the play, quote a line in inadvertent unison: "A feeling turned to movement." Elsa adds, “that’s exactly what it is.”
Photo credit: Guy Woods
Four, Clap, Five, Clap, Six, Clap, Seven, Clap. ‘A feeling turned to movement’ started making their rehearsal make a lot more sense. One arms bursts forward, another torso juts out to side, and each of these random movements slowly become smoother, and bit by bit they seem to just make sense, as if they’re expressing some emotion that you can just intuit. "And Eight, Clap". Jones, claps one last time, and they all relax and fall out of position.
Photo credit: Guy Woods
Jones explains, “what the play really is about is the butterfly effect, where one small action might cause another and another and another…”.
An homage to the humanity that sits quietly at the centre of any and every political movement, Butterfly demands to be seen.
See Butterfly at the Loco Klub from 5th-7th March, 7:30pm. Member tickets: £5; Student tickets: £7; General admission: £9.
Have you got a ticket to see 'Butterly'? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.