Everyone knows one. Everyone has that one friend who is irresistible but also in the wrong context spells doom.
Inspired by our group's response to the friendship between Prince Hal and Falstaff, Frientimacy explores the grey area of dangerous, intimate friendships, how they feed or starve us, how they make or break us and ultimately, if pressed, whether we would save them our last chip. Frientimacy is performed by Clean Break graduates as a creative response piece to Phyllida Lloyd's Henry IV at the Donmar Warehouse. Henry IV continues to develop the exciting collaboration between the Donmar Warehouse and Clean Break that started with Julius Caesar in 2012. Henry IV is the second in a planned trilogy of Shakespeare plays directed by Phyllida Lloyd for the Donmar and, as with Julius Caesar, Clean Break graduates are included in the cast. Clean Break participants were also closely involved with Phyllida Lloyd and the compnay through the development of Henry IV.
A note from writer Stacey Gregg
Working with our Clean Break cast and having the opportunity to celebrate the Donmar's inspiring production of Henry IV has been a total treat. It was a challenge to distil our response into something that felt like ours but stories emerged quickly in rehearsal and we were able to shape those into a shared experience. We wanted something of the strength and warmth that we often see at Clean Break, and the natural rapport between our cast members.
A note from director Imogen Ashby
Frientimacy began with a night at the theatre to see Henry IV. The following day Stacey, our three wonderful Clean Break performers and I spent the day thinking about the impact of the play, the ideas, the characters and the pictures in our heads. We told stories, played games and watched funny women on Youtube – we ended the day talking about women we knew like Falstaff who were funny, charismatic and ‘on’ all the time but who had an edge to them which meant you were never quite sure where you would end up at the end of an evening. I remembered a story I was once told during a prison residency by a woman who said the person she feared most when she got out was her best friend. This was precisely because she was fun, irresistible and ultimately dangerous, and that moment, on release, when she would come round to her house gagging for a night out would be the hardest of all. This story has stayed with me through our five days together.