Bristol Old Vic Young Company has released production photographs from the dress rehearsal of their stage version of Stephen Collins‘ best-selling graphic novel The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil which opens today, 7th January.
“Beneath the skin of everything is something nobody can know
The job of the skin is to keep it all in and never let anything show”
Every day, Dave goes to work in his calm, safe office. In the evening, he listens to the Bangles’ Eternal Flame on repeat and, to keep a lid on untidy dreams, he sits and sketches the neat people on his tidy street.
One day, Dave’s hairless face sprouts a beard so big that it causes a national crisis. Nobody can tell what has caused this beard-outbreak, but when chaotic untidiness sweeps the island of Here, everybody begins to realise that the beard, and Dave, must go…
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, published by Cape in 2013, was the first book by cartoonist and illustrator Stephen and was praised by the likes of Raymond Briggs and described as ‘a future classic’ by the Observer. It became the first graphic novel to be shortlisted for Waterstone’s Book of the Year and won the Edinburgh Festival’s inaugural 9th Art Award. Stephen previously won the Jonathan Cape/Observer Graphic Short Story Prize and his work has appeared in many publications worldwide, and he contributes regular comics to the Guardian Weekend and Prospect magazine.
Directed by former JMK Assistant Director Bursary recipient and Made in Bristol graduate, Stephanie Kempson, who previously worked at Bristol Old Vic as Assistant Director to Sally Cookson on Jane Eyre, this world premiere, designed by Hannah Wolfe, uses music and ensemble theatre to tell a fairy tale for our time.
Verity Standen, celebrated composer at the helm of smash hits Mmm Hmmm and Hug, provides her usual blend of ingenious and thrilling atmospheric music for the production – from the Bangles to original compositions, Verity has created a soundscape that captures the melancholic grey-scale of the graphic novel on which is this production is based.
• The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil 7th – 10th January 2015 Bristol Old Vic Studio 7.30pm, 2.30pm (Saturday matinee) £12/£8 (plus booking fee). Box Office: 0117 987 7877 | bristololdvic.org.uk/giganticbeard
Photos: Chris Cooper/ShotAway
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.