Independent theatre companies in Edinburgh are hardly spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a venue to perform in.
Andrew Corelli Jones, co-director of Leith-based Siege Perilous, has found a novel way around this problem however: the company’s latest production – Turning To The Camera – will be staged in an empty retail unit in the Ocean Terminal shopping centre.
“So many venues lie unused in Edinburgh outside August,” says Corelli Jones. “I’ve always wanted to put a performance on in an empty space; and it’s interesting to find spaces away from the conventional – and nearer to audiences.”
The space at Ocean Terminal has never been used since the centre opened, and the 6,000 square feet venue will seat about 200 people, as well as playing host to writer, film-maker and musician Simon Jackson’s innovative and technically-complex production.
“Turning To The Camera merges stage and screen,” he explains. “It was originally a radio play, but we’ve adapted it for the screen. Simon’s produced film clips which feature throughout the piece; as well as composing the soundtrack.”
The play concerns a tabloid photographer witnesses someone being thrown from a window. Under interrogation from the police, the audience hear his version of events – never sure if what they’re witnessing is the truth or fantasy.
“The story gets bigger and bigger as the play progresses,” says Corelli Jones. “It’s a noirish thriller with a circular narrative. The four actors in the piece play multiple parts: with the actors playing the police officers becoming the other characters in the photographer’s story.”
So can we expect to see Ocean Terminal added to the list of theatrical performance spaces in the city?
“We’ll be back there in January with a site-specific piece” says Corelli Jones. “Beyond that, who knows?”
Turning To The Camera runs from 28 Nov to 3 Dec at 8pm Ocean Terminal. Tickets are priced at £9 (£7 concession) and can be booked on We Got Tickets; or by phoning 0131 554 3005. Two matinee performances will be staged on 1 and 3 Dec at 4pm (£5)