With only a few hours to go before the opening night, our Young Communicators bring you their final update on the lead up to BRINK; the Young Company’s 2015 Studio show.


Members of our Young Company, in collaboration with internationally renowned writer Jackie Kay MBE and Associate Artistic Director, Matthew Xia, are edging closer to the BRINK…

The Young Communicators interviewed writer Jackie Kay and the show’s Director, Matthew Xia...

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What does BRINK mean to you?

Matthew (MX) - To me Brink is about transitions, decisions and pivotal life changing moments. Standing at a brink, physical or psychological, we are almost paralysed with fear and suspense, beyond the brink is a terrifying prospect but it’s only by ‘going over the edge’ that we discover how beneficial or destructive these choices are.

Jackie (JK) - Here BRINK is a place - a place that people come to in their lives, when they reach a crossroads, a place that will help them explore difficult things and make crucial decisions, a place that will welcome them with all their contradictions, a place on the edge of everything, a geographical as well as an emotional edge!

What are your experiences of brinking?

MX - I think I’ve probably spent most of my life brinking, and I love it. Life is full of ups and downs and we only recognise an up if we understand what down is, and just before you go in either of those directions there is a moment of Brinking, of indecision, of choice.

JK - I've had many brinking experiences in my life: the time when I had a motorbike accident and broke my leg and didn't walk properly for a year and a half. But that time also changed me from a runner (Scottish schoolgirl Country champion) to a writer.

I couldn't run anymore so I took up writing. Which goes to show that if brinking times don't break you, they will make you. What you can survive will always make you stronger.

And recently I was brinking again when writing BRINK with both my parents in hospital at the same time and seriously ill. They are now on the mend, hopefully, and again, going with them to the Brink and back has changed me. I don't know yet in what way!

What drew you to the idea of BRINK? What made you excited about being involved?

MX - I’m a strong advocate for storytelling and empowering people to tell their own stories. When discussing what shape the show could take we knew that it had to be driven by the concerns of the Young Company members and so we tried to provide a framework for that. I think young people are the most dynamic group of thinkers and I was excited about finding a way to harness that collective power. The other thing that attracted me to this production was of course working with the inimitable Jackie Kay.

JK - Never underestimates the brain storm! We all sat around and talked about ideas that interest us - and from those early conversations came the idea of being on the edge of things, and from the edge came Brink. Then we started to think of all the ways that Brink might find itself into not just the fabric of the play but into the language of the play. So brinking came to us! And it all started popping off.

The idea of the Brink being possibly a place then started to emerge and the idea of a brink master. It all seemed so organic, so holistic; the creating of BRINK that it's now quite tricky to remember what came when. The brink cart or the brink horse! You get my drift. I felt excited attending the rehearsals recently to see how quickly ideas can translate into action and to see the dramatic and invigorating interpretations of the script. I liked the way it was beginning to take shape. It's exciting to have been part of the whole journey of BRINK. And possibly the thing that excited me most was hearing the songs and the movement that goes with them.

What has your experience of working with the Young Company been like?

MX - It has certainly taken me to the Brink, in more ways than one! I think the Young Company bring some truly magical qualities to this production, their passion, their commitment and their talents are apparent for all to see, but what has been really beautiful to watch throughout rehearsals is the way they have taken ownership of this show and this process – from the creation of the stories and the characters to the suggestion that the Brink could be a (meta) physical place.

JK - Brilliant! I have loved listening to the young company tell me what Brinking means for them, and the challenge of incorporating as many of their ideas and inspirations into the final script as I could. For me as a writer that was a perfect experience - having the clay there already, and just trying to find the mould, the shape, that could make it work. The young company are a multi-talented and exciting group of people, perceptive and intuitive and fun to be with. It makes me feel confident for the future when I meet people like the people in the Young Company.

Opening night for the Company’s 2014-15 show, BRINK, is Thursday 26 March in The Studio. More Information.

BrinkCast