Lucy Roslyn’s new play, Goody, winner of Les Enfants Terribles’ ‘Greenwich Partnership Award’ 2017, is a striking and darkly funny exploration of the extraordinary, heart-breaking world of performing apes and the humans who live with them, love them and break them.
1934, Dustbowl America. Backstage at the travelling circus, the complex relationship between one man and his performing chimpanzee is revealed.
Marooned in a world she does not comprehend, Goody finds comfort with her only companion – her trainer Frances.
How do they communicate? How do they cohabit? Who is in control?
Our closest biological relative, the chimpanzee is capable of laughter and loyalty, frustration and rage.
Today, chimpanzees are recognised as endangered animals struggling to survive in a dwindling habitat. They are loved as human sons and daughters but denied the rights of a person. Creating Goody, Lucy Roslyn visited ape sanctuaries and zoos, interviewed animal handlers and researched case histories of apes who used to be entertainers to find out how the animals who survived the journey adapted to their new lives, and to the humans who shaped them.
Goody is a play about communication – how you can struggle to communicate, how your body language may betray you, and how you may choose to interpret a moment. Writer Lucy Roslyn comments:
”When a member of my family became hearing impaired, I was able to see the challenges of communication first hand. Losing the ability to express yourself and to be understood is not for the faint of heart. And this is what Goody explores – it is a play full of physical clues about what cannot be said.”
After the success of their award-winning first play The State vs John Hayes, BoonDog Theatre have been developing an interlinked series of plays, all set within the same 1930s US travelling circus – the plays look at the circus community and how the performers came to be there. The series began with The Stooge, a one-man show about the surviving half of a clowning double act whose partner choked to death on a ping-pong ball.
All profits from the Edinburgh run of Goody will be spent adopting chimpanzees that BoonDog studied for research at an ape sanctuary.
Pleasance Courtyard (Beside), 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh,
Wednesday 2 – Monday 28 Aug 2017 (not 15), 14:15