Edinburgh Preview: Paperback Theatre's We Need To Talk About Bobby (Off Eastenders) / by Declan Maloney Drummond

What's your show about? 

On the one hand, 'We Need to Talk About Bobby (off EastEnders)' is essentially a psychological thriller about a child actress. It follows a young girl, Annie, who is an actress for television. She gets cast in a TV show that contains quite explicit adult themes and that requires her to say and do some very adult things on camera. The play charts the effect that this has on her mental health and her emotional development.

At the same time, the play is trying to raise the issue of what we think is society’s uneasy fascination with child violence. When writing the play, George (the writer) felt that there is an uncomfortable conversation (or lack of) taking place about how child violence is depicted, be it in the news or, indeed, prime time soap operas. Over the course of writing the play, however, George also found that it reflects upon our inability to speak to, relate to and understand children - particularly teenagers - and to explain the world to them in a sensible and frank way. 

The title refers to a character in EastEnders, Bobby Beale, who killed his sister Lucy Beale at 12 years old with a hockey stick. When watching an advert for the episode, George was disturbed by how the advert was edited to make the audience, feel excited even by the prospect that Bobby, as such a young child, might kill again. 

Have you been to Edinburgh before?

A few members of the Paperback team have been before, but this is the first time we've brought a show up together as a company, which is very exciting.

What's the process of bringing a show to Edinburgh like?

So far, mad! The festival hasn't even begun yet and there's already so much to do. Liasing with the venue, sorting out the publicity materials, marketing the show on social media...not to mention wrapping up rehearsals! Still, it's an incredibly fun month.

What do you plan to do with any free time you have during the Fringe?

Drink, eat every day at Mosque Kitchen, see some amazing shows and meet incredible companies, climb Arthur's Seat at 3am in the morning.