26 May 2017

Q&A with Actor Bryony Davies from All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

We chat gig theatre, asteroids and the bleak side of social media

Middle Child Theatre Company is set to shake things up when they bring their impressive blend of powerful new theatre and live gigs to Hull’s Welly Club.

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything is set to pack out at the Beverley Road nightclub from Tuesday 6 to Saturday 17 June, with music acts such as Chiedu Oraka, The Hubbards and Black Delta Movement performing as part of the night.

Set to be Middle Child’s biggest and most ambitious show yet, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything will be live and loud with new writing by Luke Barnes and original live music from James Frewer.

We chat to Bryony Davies who plays the character of Leah in the show, to find out more.

So gig theatre, what is it?

Gig theatre is how it sounds: a gig and theatre show combined. It’s not like a ‘musical’ though. I’ve seen Middle Child’s work before and for me, it’s driven by music. It loosens up the story, you can hear it at moments as a poem, then as a monologue and then as a shout out to the whole club.

Gig theatre encourages audiences to stand, to dance, to react and to genuinely, just have a good time. It produces theatre that reaches out which is alive and cathartic.

It’s noisy and enjoys the power of music and theatricality.

Can you briefly run us through the story of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything?

It’s a really ambitious story that follows two families from Hull over a period of 30 years.

It’s about how the lives they thought they would lead don’t turn out as they hoped against the backdrop of an asteroid heading for Earth. There are three acts to the story and each one takes place ten years apart – from 1997 to 2007 and 2017.

We also get to see how music, fashion and society have changed and have helped to shape those characters.

Can you relate to the characters in All We Ever Wanted Was Everything on a personal level?

Yes definitely, in lots of ways. Luke Barnes has written each of the characters very honestly and generously, it’s hard to not feel familiar with them.

One of the main aspects of my character (Leah’s story) is her feeling rooted at home, and that’s something I really felt growing up. I didn’t grow up in Hull, but another town up north (Wigan); I always felt like London was better and I was stuck somewhere that wasn’t offering me much.

I saw it on TV, in films, and heard it in music, and I know others that struggle with feeling weirdly inadequate up north. It should not be that way. I really love that these characters show how your relationship to home changes as you grow up, and despite jobs, opportunity and success, it’s definitely not true you’d be happier elsewhere.

Running with the theme of AWEWWE, why do you think people distract themselves with things that aren’t important?

I’m the same. I think the problem is that we’ve convinced ourselves that they are important. It would be okay, for example, if everyone went on Twitter and accepted all of its flaws and limits on communication, but we don’t. We use it a lot, far too much, and then it becomes central to everything. We start to do stuff in actual life just so we can post it online.

How we present ourselves becomes a massive preoccupation because it feels like everyone else is doing it much better than you. You feel like if you don’t contribute you might get forgotten about. (Bleak). It’s not all bad, if we accept it and don’t take it so seriously then maybe it’s good to share things.

But if you can’t see a film, go for a run or make a meal without being conscious of your online presence then that’s scary.

This is a show that isn’t lecturing you, it’s reminding you that it’s okay to be vulnerable, and to just look up and breathe and also, DANCE.

Bryony Davies

How do you feel about working alongside bands from the Humber Street Sesh?

I’m so excited! It all sounds really cool. All of the bands sound awesome, but I’m excited for Emily Moulton, I’ve given her a listen online and she has such a beautiful voice.

She’s playing our unplugged relaxed matinee performance on Saturday 10 June that will be at a reduced volume, and suitable for those with sensory or communication needs.

Also that evening, Chiedu Oraka, a grime/hip-hop artist from Hull is performing.

He makes work that seems central to his experiences of Hull and I’m really intrigued by that.

What are you most looking forward to from the show?

I’m so excited to do a show that I really believe has accessibility at its core. Doing this at The Welly, where people can just rock up to have a drink, to share the space with the bands and all of the people on a night out is really cool.

Luke Barnes, Paul Smith, James Frewer and Middle Child have been working on this show for so long now and I’m excited to see such a big, ambitious project come to life.

I’ve never done or seen anything like it.

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything takes place at The Welly from 6 – 17 June.

Bud Sugar (Tue 6 Jun 7:30PM doors / 8PM start) (Sold out)
Holy Orders (Wed 7 Jun 7:30PM doors / 8PM start)
La Béte Blooms (Thu 8 Jun 7:30PM doors / 8PM start)
Young Jack (Fri 9 Jun 7:30PM doors / 8PM start )
Emily Moulton (Sat 10 Jun 2:30PM doors / 3PM start)
Chiedu Oraka (Sat 10 Jun 7:30PM doors / 8PM start)
The Hubbards (Tue 13 Jun 7:30PM doors / 8PM start)
Chambers (Wed 14 Jun 7:30PM doors / 8PM start)
Black Delta Movement (Thu 15 Jun 7:30PM doors / 8PM start)
James Orvis (Fri 16 Jun 7:30PM doors / 8PM start)
Endoflevelbaddie (Sat 17 Jun 7:30PM doors / 8PM start)

Get your hands on tickets here.

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