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Brief Encounter With ... Our Share of Tomorrow Writer-Director Dan Sherer

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Dan Sherer is artistic director of Real Circumstance; a company that dedicates itself to experimental rehearsal techniques and the support of new artists. Our Share of Tomorrow is the first play he has written.

Tell us about Our Share of Tomorrow.

Our Share of Tomorrow is the story of a young Northern Irish girl, Cleo, who seeks out her father to tell him that her mother has died. She is accompanied by a wayward former soldier who she has befriended, played by ex-Hollyoaks actor Toby Sawyer.

What particular themes does the play explore?

I wanted to make a play that explores love and grief in depth, but the final message is one of redemption. The title comes from Oedipus at Colonnus, where the exiled and blinded Oedipus accidently desecrates a temple, and the king Theseus tells his people not to judge him, because he is just a man, and as such their share of tomorrow is no greater than his. It is not the sort of thing you normally see on stage, but I think it is a characteristic of what we are trying to do at Real Circumstance.

Our Share of Tomorrow is the first play you’ve written. How have you found directing your own work?

I have had more creative input with Our Share of Tomorrow than any other piece of work I’ve done. I had the initial idea over two years ago, and to see how the story has grown and changed and now to make it work on stage is the most artistically fulfilling and encompassing experience I’ve ever had. However, the risk and pressure is also all the greater – I’m lucky to have a solid team of people to help guide the piece.

Can you tell us more about Real Circumstance’s working methods?

Our Share of Tomorrow comes from a unique method of creating work that aims to release actors to act freely and without limitation. The cast has generated entire imaginary worlds for their characters, networks of imaginary experiences, people, and memories which they can inhabit, enabling them to respond honestly to any situation on stage.

There are over 2,000 shows at the Fringe this year. What makes Our Share of Tomorrow different?

Our Share of Tomorrow takes moments of real experience and focuses on them, exploring the emotional minutiae of real life in depth. The play does not rely solely on text to tell the story: each movement and action conveys the life the character has lived and reveals another layer of the story.

The arts industry is increasingly having to justify its relevance. Why do you think Our Share of Tomorrow matters?

I think art is about giving people the space to understand their own experience of life. Through the story unfolding on the stage, I want audiences to experience fundamental human emotions – love, loss, hope – in a safe way, and in a way that brings some sort of catharsis. Our Share of Tomorrow, and art more widely, should be about providing a different way for people to reflect on themselves.

Why should audiences come and see Our Share of Tomorrow?

It’s a beautiful and touching story, simply told. At its heart, it has completely universal themes: the desire to know where you’ve come from, coping with the loss of people that you love, loving someone who cannot love you back. These are absolutely human, basic, concerns that will resonate with everyone.

What are you looking forward to most about the Fringe?

The Edinburgh Fringe is unlike any other experience. The coming together of artistic work in many different forms from all over the world is hugely inspirational to me. And to see creative work of such diversity thriving in today’s economic climate is very hopeful.

Real Circumstance’s Our Share of Tomorrow is running at Pleasance 2 (venue 33), 4 to 30 August (except 16) at 13.00.


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