Grid Iron Theatre Company Announces Documentary Film Release

Edinburgh-based Grid Iron Theatre Company, that has forged a respected reputation for innovative site specific work, announces the release of its documentary film, Doppler: The Story So Far, about their experiences  while producing an outdoor theatre show during the Covid pandemic.

In August 2020, the Company planned to present their outdoor show Doppler as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but a combination of Covid restrictions and Storm Francis put paid to that. Now, using interviews with the cast, creatives and some key figures from Scotland’s art world, they have produced a documentary film that charts the journey of the making of Doppler.

Chief Executive and Co-Artistic Director of Grid Iron Theatre Company Judith Doherty said “Doppler had been in our plans for a couple of years and when Covid-19 hit, we really thought that given our track-record of producing outdoor shows coupled with the ability this production would give us to physically distance the cast and crew, we had a good chance of making at least a clutch of live performances happen towards the end of August. 

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be and we had to go with our plan B which was a film. What we hadn’t bargained for, however, was the wonderfully timed arrival of Storm Francis! Fast forward a few months and here we are, presenting Doppler: The Story So Far, which we hope gives a great insight into all the ups and downs of producing a theatre show in a global pandemic. And we were delighted to be able to feature in it four leading arts figures in Scotland who share their views on the show but also on the wider state of the theatre industry.

“We hope our audiences enjoy the behind-the-scenes access the film offers. But hold on to your hats, it gets a bit rainy at times!” 

The film features interviews with Ben Harrison and Judith Doherty, respectively the show’sdirector and producer, and the cast, most of whom are Grid Iron regulars such as Sean Hay, Itxaso Moreno and Keith Fleming, along with Doppler’s creative team  that includes composer David Pollock and costume and set designer Becky Minto.

Doppler, an adaptation of a satirical novel by Norwegian writer Erlend Loe, and translated to English by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw, focuses on a man who decides to abandon his family and move to the forest outside Oslo. He is determined to live a life as far removed from his previous one as possible but struggles to maintain his isolation with much unwanted attention. In a tribute to Erlend Loe and Grid Iron’s growing Norwegian fanbase, the Company has also produced a version of the film with Norwegian subtitles.  

This documentary is a testament to the creativity, skills and unquenched love for theatre held by Grid Iron while showcasing the profound and devastating impact the pandemic has had on the theatre industry.

Access to the documentary, that will be available to audiences from 7pm on Friday 26th March until midnight on Friday 9th May, is free but donations are welcome and can be done via the Grid Iron website. The film will also host a captioned and a BSL-interpreted version. 

Grid Iron Theatre Company hopes to be able to bring a live version of Doppler to Edinburgh audiences later this year.

Irene Brown

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