multi story return to the Prague Fringe Fest Staff

Written by Staff Published on 05.05.2010 18:03:04 (updated on 05.05.2010) Reading time: 4 minutes

multi story

are making their third visit to the

Prague Fringe Festival

and this time they´re travelling from the UK by land.  As Gill Nathanson, co-director of the company explains:  “we´ve enjoyed the excitement of flying into Ruzyne but always have wondered what lies below the clouds.  This year we´re going to find out.”  multi story are used to travelling – not only all around the UK with shows for both children and adult audiences but also to Canada, the USA, South America and other European destinations.

This year multi story bring Sealskin to Prague – their own take on a traditional tale.  The first draft of Sealskin was tapped into a laptop at Prague Airport as Gill and her co-director Bill Buffery waited for the flight home after last year´s Fringe Festival. The production premiered at their own Fringe Theatre Festival in Barnstaple, UK and is part of this year´s Brighton Festival Fringe.

A brother and sister have conflicting memories of their childhood.  Their mother told them a particular story – Sealskin – and told it often, this much they agree.  But why she told it, what it meant, and why the story still reverberates so much later in their lives – these are questions to be negotiated with care.  Their father´s death prompts them to re-tell their mother´s version of the traditional Sealskin tale in a quest to understand.  The play unfolds through a series of conversations, e-mails, bursts of dynamic story-telling, songs, images and sounds as brother and sister strain towards a resolution.  

“Sealskin draws us into a dream-like tale of blue moon nights and underwater adventure and contrasts this with the problems of communication in the 21st century. The juxtaposition of these two worlds is intricately balanced and, combined with superb acting, is a highly captivating experience.”  Behind The Fringe, 2009

multi story are hugely excited to be part of Prague Fringe Festival again.  Previous productions – Cassandra and Backward Glance  – won plaudits from the critics but it´s the Festival buzz that so excites them.  “We love this Festival”, explains Gill, “the energy, the extraordinary mix of shows on offer.  We always see as much as we can – it feeds us – and the organisers have kindly staggered our performance times so that we can catch every show.  We were inspired to set-up multi story by the Canadian Fringes and it´s great to find the same buzz in Prague.”

Sealskin plays A Studio Rubín throughout the length of the Festival.  Times vary.

multi story was established in 2000 by Bill Buffery and Gill Nathanson.

Bill and Gill had worked together as members of Orchard Theatre Company from 1989 to 2000 – Bill as Artistic Director, Gill as Education Officer and as an actor.  Previous to that Bill both acted and directed for The Royal Shakespeare Company and Gill worked with a number of leading UK Theatre-in-Education companies.

In 1998 and 99 Bill and Gill toured to Fringe Festivals in Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Edmonton.  The experience of the Canadian Fringe circuit reminded them why they had become actors in the first place – the profound satisfaction of presenting a piece that you care passionately about to people who want to be engaged.  Somehow this straightforward ambition had got buried beneath the welter of funding applications and policy directives associated with running a subsidised theatre company.  

So Bill and Gill created multi story in order to re-find their joy in theatre-making.  

As the name implies, the company is centrally concerned with the enduring power of story – and with finding simple and direct ways of telling stories with a minimum of paraphernalia that, hopefully, fires the imaginations of audiences both young and old.

multi story play to a wide variety of people in a wide variety of circumstances.  They currently perform ten different plays for younger audiences and their families and eight plays for student and adult audiences.  Their work is often based on traditional tales or myths which are reworked into something quite original.

multi story have also built strong relationships with theatres and arts centres, rural touring associations and schools and colleges  across the UK.  multi story particularly enjoy presenting their work in festivals where they have the chance to revel in other peoples´ creativity.

multi story have been regular visitors to Canada and have twice toured countries in South America.  They have recently performed in Norway and Portugal and will be returning to the Prague Fringe Festival for the third time.  They find themselves in the happy position of being able to strengthen existing relationships whilst at the same time being free to respond to new possibilities as they emerge.

multi story also administer Fringe TheatreFest – a Fringe Theatre Festival in Barnstaple at the end of June.

There is more about us on our website:

Pragues eagerly awaited annual marathon of theatre, dance, comedy
and music from around the globe bursts to life on May 28th for 9 days.

The Prague Fringe Festival, now in its 9th year attracts a growing
band of visitors from overseas as well as being increasingly popular
with Czech audiences. The event creates a great international atmosphere
where those on holiday can mix with locals and enjoy an eclectic mix of
high quality and reasonably priced non-elitist theatrical

This exciting event offers 40 different shows with over 200
performances and is a mini and more manageable version of the mighty
world famous Edinburgh Fringe. Its cheaper too with tickets priced at
around a third cheaper than the Edinburgh shows.

All productions are in English, Czech or are non-verbal and are
programmed so that you can see up to 5 shows a day or dip in and out as
you please. Shows take place from the afternoon to late evening, most
last for an hour or so with time between to zip from venue to venue and
grab a bite to eat, or even pop back to your hotel for a freshen-up.

Full programme
on line and tickets on sale NOW. Come and join the Prague Fringe group

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