Written by Ben Harrison and the Company
Commission by Stavanger 2008 European Capital of Culture as part of The North Sea Project Stavanger 2008.
Perfomed on Engøyholmen
In 2008, following just under three years of planning meetings and recce visits, Grid Iron journeyed to Norway where we had the great, good fortune to perform Tryst on the beautiful island of Engøyholmen in Stavanger harbour.
Engøyholmen is home to a Coastal Culture Centre where the activites reflect the maritime heritage of the Rogland coast, wooden boat building and restoration and maintenance of their veteran vessels Hundvaag 1 and Nokk. All the centres’ activites are built on integrating kids, young people and grownups that are in need of a new start, challenges, or alternative and caring social surroundings.
Hundvaag 1 was used to bring our audience from Stavanger harbour to the island, whilst the cast and crew had to row the short distance from an adjacent island to get to work.
The fantastic and talented men and women on the island took very good care of us, becoming deeply involved in the creation and running of the show, and made us extremely welcome – despite the fact that they likened our arrival (especially the decanting of our masses of technical equipment from the bowels of Hundvaag 1) to being invaded!
They even named a boat that they had built after a character in our show and launched it during our time there.
We spent a month in Stavanger and it was an extraordinary and wonderful experience.
The centre is open for visitors on request so, should you find yourself in Stavanger, we heartily recommend a visit.
Aboard a boat into the fading light.
Across the dark water where shapes shift and hidden terrors lurk.
To Engøyholmen, teeming with ghosts and old stories of the sea.
What The Press Said:
Tryst is a thrilling visual and sensual experience, from the moment the boat pulls up to the magically lit island jetty. Becky Minto’s design and Paul Claydon’s lighting are often breathtaking, transforming the tiny island into a magical landscape of marine and domestic imagery – four great white sails soaring into the darkness here, a lit window there – and making brilliant use both of the gleaming shapes of the boats under construction, and of the beams, ladders and long attics of the workshop building. Conrad Ivitsky Molleson’s music and sound is eloquent and beautiful; the rich smell of the wood, varnish and sea-water unforgettable. And at the core of the show, there is a beautiful complex performance from Kjersti Botn Sandal….with strong hard-working support from Iain Parker, David Ireland and Nicola Harrison.The Scotsman
At their best, as here, Grid Iron’s use of real settings turns the theatrical mainstay of suspension of disbelief on its head. Surrounded by piles of chandlery and half-finished boats, the resiny tang of fresh-cut timber in your nostrils and the lapping of water around the rocky foreshore in your ears, you can hardly help believe.The Times
The boatyard is a pioneering social resource that takes on disaffected teenagers and trains them in the art of boat-building. To have Grid Iron looking at the three-storey structure with fresh eyes has been an inspiration. “Site-specific theatre is not a known thing here” says Miller [Director Stavanger 2008]. In Stavanger, it would never have occurred to people to have something in Engøyholmen. There’s an honesty and openness to Grid Iron’s work, an approach to collaboration, which is not the way art is presented here. It’s that triangle between sense of place, audience and performer and when that works you have something extraordinary.Scotland on Sunday
Cast & Crew:
Iona: Nicola Harrison
Otto: David Ireland
Yann: Iain Parker
Lyra: Kjersti Botn Sandal
Musician: Conrad Ivitsky Molleson
Producer: Judith Doherty
Set & Costume Designers: Becky Minto
Composer & Sound Designer: Conrad Ivitsky Molleson
Lighting Designer: Paul Claydon
Dramaturg: Zinnie Harris
Production Manager: Fiona Fraser
Project Co-ordinator (Stavanger2008): Anne-Kristin Saether
Technical Manager: David Graham
Stage Managers: Mickey Graham & Laura Edwards
Design Assistant: Lynsey Key
Costume Assistants: Rachel Caunt & Ruth Webster
Production Electrician: Mhairhi Burton
Boat Captain:s Curtiss Anderson & Torstein Randa
Assistant Stage Manager: Øyvind Havåg
Front of House: Stavanger2008 Volunteers
Finance & Development Manager: Deborah Crewe
Acting General Manager: Joan Birse
Print Design: Emma Quinn
The shows are listed in chronological order with the most recent first.