WITH a Total Theatre Award nomination under their belts and a very successful stint at Edinburgh Festival, it’s shaping up to be a great year for a Salisbury-based theatre company.
Bulgarian Katherina Radeva and Scottish Alister Lownie make up Two Destination Language, a theatre company resident at Salisbury Arts Centre.
The pair are performing their latest show Near Gone at Edinburgh Festival Fringe until Saturday and have been nominated for the Total Theatre Awards Innovation, Experimentation & Playing with Form award.
It is the first time they have appeared at the festival and Radeva said: “We have been getting some very good reviews and good audiences and we are very pleased with the nomination. It’s a huge mark of recognition and we’re up against some really big names so it’s fantastic to make the shortlist.”
Near Gone, which opened at Salisbury Arts Centre last November, is a true story about a near death experience where Radeva speaks entirely in Bulgarian and Lownie translates. It explores how one might deal with loss and grief and is an emotionally touching piece of work, which uses 300 fresh carnations.
Radeva and Lownie met in 2009 when they were both working on a performance workshop in London and Radeva said they thought there may be something interesting in their potential collaboration.
They live in Stockbridge and at the end of 2010 Salisbury Arts Centre’s artistic director at the time, Deryck Newland, invited them to become a resident company.
“Really from that point on we began to shape the kind of work that we make.
“A lot of our work is based on themes of identity – I’m Bulgarian and Alister is Scottish but we both just happen to live in England. So we look at what makes us the people we are, how we form our identities.
“Our work is contemporary theatre, it’s not necessarily plays but we do script it through a devising process. Rather than working with a writer we do everything ourselves, from writing to performing and designing everything else.
“We do sometimes disagree but that can create a very suitable conversation. I come from a very visual place, whereas Alister comes from a traditional drama director background and we meet in the middle.”
They will be returning to Salisbury to showcase a new piece of work on October 3. The piece is called Manpower and explores everyday maleness and masculinity.
Radeva said: “Alister is obviously leading this show and he’s questioning what it is to be a male in society and the ideas of a leading man and fragility.”
To find out more about Manpower and book tickets go to salisburyartscentre.co.uk or call the box office on 01722 321744.