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A new dark comedy about foot-and-mouth disease by Fringe First award winner, Emily Jenkins.
Hi! We are Emily and Emma and we’re raising money to take Bobby & Amy to Edinburgh Fringe Festival for its world premiere. Emily is a writer and director. In 2012, she won the prestigious Fringe First for her play ‘Rainbow’ – and in 2017 she had her West End debut at the Royal Haymarket Theatre with ‘Cookies’. Emma has been working as a producer for Theatre Delicatessen for the past four years, delivering and managing numerous theatre, circus and comedy productions. Last year, she launched her own production company championing female creatives in the theatre.
Why do we need your money?
We’re raising funds to take the show Bobby & Amy to Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019. The festival is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share the production with wider audiences and showcase it to rural theatre programmers. However, it is also a very expensive undertaking, and it’s impossible for us to do it on our own. Since the successful preview run at VAULT Festival, we have been saving as much as we can for the show, but we still need at least £4,000 to take it to the next step.
Bobby & Amy is a dark comedy about friendship, heartache and the repercussions of foot-and-mouth disease. Starring Will Howard (The Archers, BBC Radio 4) and Kimberley Jarvis (Lear’s Daughters, Cambridge alumni Footfall Theatre), this powerful new play asks what happens when our way of life is threatened by those who don’t understand it.
The play is set in the late nineties: Take That, Tamogotchis, Dip Dabs and Pog Swaps. When 13 year old Bobby and Amy meet, hundreds of cows dot across the fields and the sun always shines. But when foot-and-mouth disease hits the farming communities in rural England and the cows begin to burn, Bobby and Amy’s sleepy Cotswold town faces a catastrophe that will change their home forever.
A play about foot-and-mouth disease? But why?
Emily: “The day the cows started burning, my community was changed forever. But, as a Gloucestershire-raised writer and director, it struck me that nothing in the theatre I’d seen – or anything, really – was talking about an event that deeply affected the childhood of so many of us, or about the continuing erosion of a way of life centuries in the making. So that’s why I wrote Bobby & Amy. To talk about what has happened to my town and others like it”.
Bobby & Amy is Emily’s third play. It has been developed over the past three years, from readings with Jermyn Street Theatre and Women @ RADA, culminating in a limited preview run at the VAULT Festival in March 2019. We were lucky to receive the VAULT Festival – Show of the Week award for this preview run.
Reviews for previous work include:
★★★★★ “The writing, by Emily Jenkins is fantastic… I’d see Rainbow again, and I don’t say that about many plays.” (Fringe Guru)
★★★★ “Jenkins’ lively writing manages to convey both light and dark in this rather bleak world” (The Scotsman)
Emily won a Fringe First award in 2012 for her play ‘Rainbow’. A year later, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, won a Fringe First for ‘Fleabag’. Presenting new writing at Edinburgh Fringe could really be a life changing experience.
Bobby & Amy is a celebration of British agriculture, small rural communities and the huge amount they contribute to the wider world. Currently 71% of the land in the UK is being used for farming (it was a great deal more in 2000) which provides over 500,000 jobs to this country. We intend to use the fringe to gain momentum – to invite rural theatre programmers and national press to review the production and help carry us forward into touring to communities most affected by the crisis then, and the threat of a whole new crisis now.
Bobby & Amy is the first collaboration for Emily Jenkins & Emma Blackman. The partnership is built on a shared passion for championing female creatives and giving a stage to female voices. Bobby & Amy was promoted by ERA50:50 during our VAULT Festival season, and we are an active member of #WomenOfFringe. Our Edinburgh run sees a fully female creative team, including a sound, light and costume designer and a stage manager and operator. The show’s PR is managed by Chloe Nelkin Consulting, who are also a 100% female team.
We’ve secured a venue at the wonderful Pleasance Courtyard. Rehearsals will begin on 8th July and the show will open on 31st July. We’ll be performing every day (apart from 12th August) at 12:45. Nic Connaughton, Head of Theatre at the Pleasance, saw the show at VAULT Festival and wrote on Twitter that: “[Bobby & Amy] is one of the best shows I’ve seen this year“.
Has the show received any more reviews?
Yes! From the six preview performances, we received many positive and touching reviews from audience members ranging from 18 to 91 year old. Head to our twitter account to have a read.
Over the past three months, we have managed to save sufficient funds to cover rehearsal expenses, graphic designer fees, and PR costs. The funds raised through this kickstarter campaign will cover these Edinburgh costs:
And finally – rewards!
Check out the fantastic 90’s themed rewards we have on offer. We can’t wait to start shouting about you (or even meeting some of you for post-show drinks and chats)!
Anything you can give will be a real big help – thank you so much.
Emily & Emma, and the entire Bobby & Amy team
Bobby & Amy team are:
See us at Pleasance Courtyard, 31 July – 26 August, 12:45 – buy tickets here
Edinburgh Festival Fringe is THE place for new plays to be seen and celebrated. But with approximately 4,000 shows at this year’s festival, there isn’t one production that doesn’t carry a risk. Ticket sales, reviews and industry approval simply can’t be spread equally among everyone.
However, building on Emily’s previous success at Edinburgh and on Emma’s hefty producing experience, we feel confident that Bobby & Amy will enjoy a successful fringe run.
Our cast and creative are talented, skilled and resourceful – and we are positive that the same buzz that accompanied the show during the VAULT Festival previews, will continue and expand at the fringe.
With this kickstarter, we hope to achieve the financial security which will mean that we don’t have to rely on ticket sales to pay any of the people on the team.