Edinburgh-based Grid Iron Theatre Company is taking advantage of their experience in site specific and promenade theatre to premiere a new outdoor show this month. The planned show is a world premiere of Doppler, an adaptation of the satirical novel by Norwegian writer Erlend Loe. With very limited audience numbers of up to 20 people, this outdoor, socially distant show would have a limited run starting on or after 24 August with venue and exact dates still to be confirmed.
Doppler focuses on a man who, following the death of his father, decides to abandon his family and move to the forest on the outskirts of Oslo. He is determined to live a life as far removed from his previous as possible but struggles to maintain his isolation as his existence garners a lot of unwanted attention. The work has been adapted and directed by Ben Harrison and produced by Grid Iron’s Judith Doherty. Eszter Marsalko provides dramaturgy and the piece has been translated by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw. Keith Fleming, known for his role as Lesley in Outlander, plays Doppler with Grid Iron regulars Itxaso Moreno and Sean Hay portraying all the remaining characters. Fergus Dunnet is producing the puppets for the show, David Pollock provides music and foley while Becky Minto will be designing.
Chief Executive and Co-Artistic Director of Grid Iron Theatre Company, Judith Doherty, said, “We are very cautiously excited about the possibility of bringing Doppler to Edinburgh audiences this August. We have been developing the show for over a year now and had hoped to bring it to Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Dopplerwas always meant to be an outdoor show and with our experience of producing shows in unusual spaces, we remain hopeful that we will be able to proceed with our plans. We are currently awaiting confirmation of our venue and then we can proceed with securing the required licensing…
“Safety and comfort of our audiences and team are always our top priority and we are simultaneously working on plans for a non-live sharing of Doppler.”
Following weeks of Zoom meetings, Grid Iron has now begun outdoor rehearsals when they are strictly adhering to required safety measures. They are also making it possible for people not to have to travel to work by public transport unless they are absolutely comfortable to do so and if that is the case, then only outwith peak times.
The very strict health and safety regulations clearly impact on the design of the show with rigging and lighting designed to be handled by only one person at all times and actors wearing their own clothes and bringing some of the props from home.
As they follow the Scottish Government’s guidelines and remain in touch with local authorities, Grid Iron stays hopeful that the staging of Doppler late in August will be possible. However as that the current landscape is everchanging, Grid Iron is preparing for the eventuality that the live outdoor show will not be able to proceed. If that happens, Doppler will be shared with audiences digitally as a filmed performance.