Guest Blog: Steven Fraser talks about Delay, the Zine featuring at CPT for our Sprint Festival

Delay is a queer love story in a limited edition zine that you can act out in your imagination. The story takes place in the bar of CPT and is designed for adults with autism. Running throughout Sprint Festival.

I create innovative and unique performances that are presented in Zines. I call these performances Private Plays and they are created in an original and fascinating format.

The Zine contains a theatre script, illustrations, instructions and some text about the background of the project. The idea is that you read the theatre script to yourself and the illustrations and the location sparks your imagination. You therefore experience your own personal and private performance.

The Private Play I am presenting at Sprint Festival 2018 at Camden People’s Theatre is called Delay and it takes place in the bar of the venue. The Zine can be purchased in the bar where you can read the story and enjoy the Private Play.

Delay is a story about waiting. It is love story where a person is waiting in the Camden People’s Theatre bar for their partner to arrive. It attempts to capture the moment in a relationship when you can’t decide if putting the effort in is worth it. I think it is a universal theme and an interesting one to explore in the Private Plays format. The story is from the perspective of a same sex couple, but the subject matter could apply to anyone.

Zines are short, creative, D.I.Y books that can cover a wide variety of topics and subjects. They tend to be handmade, photocopied, personal and insightful and I think they are the perfect medium for presenting the special format of Private Plays.

The Zine for Delay does not actually contain a traditional theatre script. With this Zine I wanted to try something new and experimental with words, language and illustrations. It is more like a comic book that concisely imparts the inner thoughts and frustrations of the character within the story. As thoughts and feelings can be difficult to express through words, the language and presentation is abstract and obscure and asks the reader to draw their own conclusions. Delay is therefore an experimental piece. I am trying something untested and different and I think that makes Delay perfect for Sprint.

I would like audiences who turn up to the Sprint Festival to read the Zine whilst they are waiting for a show, or waiting for their friends to turn up. Alternatively if they do not have time, they can take the Zine home with them and read it there. If you use your imagination you could envision being in the bar at Camden People’s Theatre.

The unique and distinctive format was devised to appeal to adults who live with autism and neurodiverse conditions. I live with Aspeger’s and sometimes I feel uncomfortable with loud noises, mood lighting and social interaction. I devised the Private Plays format to allow someone to experience a story without this stimulus. When experiencing Delay you are reading a script for the performance, noise, sound and light are not required to enjoy the story, therefore the format can appeal to neurodiverse audiences and still be enjoyed by anyone.

When I have presented Private Plays in the past I have seen people read the text in the Zine out loud and also to themselves. I have seen people laugh, cry and be thoroughly engrossed in the story. I think it is an exciting and interesting way to present storytelling and one which will appeal to the open-minded and engaged audience that attends Camden People’s Theatre.

The Zine for Delay is 8 pages long and a lot of story is a packed in there. It will give the audience at the Sprint Festival something new, fun and different to experience whilst they are checking out the other excellent performances as the Festival.