LOVE ME

About the show

LOVE ME is a fast-paced coming of age story following musical theatre fanatic Fran as she embarks on a self-prescribed “sex training” course. Tracking her journey to understanding the lack of sexual attraction she experiences, LOVE ME blends monologue and poetry to celebrate female friendship and the love that defines us growing up.

Content Warnings

This performance mentions the following topics:

  • Eating disorders
  • Body hatred
  • Sexual Trauma
  • Strong language

Please email dramasoc@yusu.org if you have any questions, or talk to our team outside the venue!

About the Writer

LOVE ME is London-based writer Aisling Lally’s writing debut at the Edinburgh Fringe. Her previous work includes Messy Eaters at York Theatre Royal, Vibrations at National Student Drama Festival and Booster Seat at the China Plate Theatre RECLAIMED Festival. Her writing has also been shortlisted for BBC Writers Room, the Hope Mill Theatre Through The Mill Competition and the Silent Uproar Writer Support Program. Having completed the foundation course at the Oxford School of Drama, Aisling has recently finished a degree in English and History at the University of York.

“I wanted to write a play that I wanted to see growing up. LOVE ME isn’t autobiographical, but some of it comes from experience and it all stems from a place of truth. I wanted to challenge existing coming-of-age story models in which romantic/sexual love is usually the end goal/ the ‘ultimate’ love, the love that defines us and shapes us. In my experience, platonic love, familial love, and- as cringe as this may be- self love shapes us just as much, if not more so. I would like to see these types of loves celebrated with as much airtime as they deserve.”

Aisling Lally
Aisling Lally, Writer

About the Team

Cast

Frances Colin (she/her), Fran

Frances is a third year student studying Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance at University of York after completing a HNC in Acting at City of Glasgow College. LOVE ME will be her acting debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival having previously been involved in DramaSoc’s radio show of Comment is Free. Previously, Frances has interned at the National Theatre of Scotland. Her latest creative endeavour is hosting her own radio show for URY with Lori Stott, named Blondies.

Georgia Green (she/her), Ensemble

Georgia is a second year theatre student studying at the University of York. LOVE ME will be her first acting performance with York DramaSoc having previously directed Muscle Memory by Sophie Burton. Past credits include playing Roxy for the Gillian Banks Theatre School production of Chicago and gaining a Musical Theatre Diploma from the London College of Music. 

Lucy Eddington (she/her), Ensemble

Lucy is a first year theatre student at the University of York. LOVE ME will be her acting debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival having previously being involved with the DramaSoc online production of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. Previously Lucy has been involved with Looking Glass Theatre Company and a performance of Little Shop of Horrors at Milton Keynes Theatre. 

Simone Mumford (she/her), Ensemble

Having recently graduated from the University of York with a degree in English Literature, Simone Mumford will be moving to Paris for a postgraduate diploma at L’École Internationale de théâtre Jacques Lecoq. Alongside acting in several Drama Soc productions over the past three years, Simone’s previous work includes playing the role of Anna in Lost Ticket Productions’ Closer by Patrick Marber as well as Velma Kelly in a production of Chicago at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre.

Production Team

Ella McKeown (she/her), Director

LOVE ME will be Ella McKeown’s Edinburgh Fringe directorial debut. Most recently Ella has co-directed a devised adaptation of Emily Wilson’s translation of Homer’s The Odyssey but her previous work includes DramaSoc productions of Conor McPherson’s Port Authority and Wajdi Mouawad’s Alphonse. Having completed a degree in Theatre at the University of York Ella has gained a place on the MA directing course at East 15 next year. Ella is also a member of the National Youth Theatre and fledgling theatre company Autumn Theatre.

Millie Feary (she/her), Producer

LOVE ME is Millie Feary’s Edinburgh Fringe producing debut. Her previous work includes producing Emergence Festival, an interactive virtual theatre and arts festival, as well as a Deputy Stage Manager role in a recent adaptation of Emily Wilson’s translation of Homer’s The Odyssey. She has also co-produced a DramaSoc production of Conor McPherson’s Port Authority. Millie has recently graduated from a Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance degree at the University of York.

Emma Prestedge (she/her), Sound & Lighting Designer

LOVE ME will be Emma’s first time designing the tech for a DramaSoc show, having previously directed The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and Love and Information by Caryl Churchill. She is also a member of the National Youth Theatre. Her previous acting credits include performing in Never Forget at the Savoy Theatre in the West End. 

Ellie Huxley (she/her), Set Designer

Ellie is a second year art history student at the University of York, after having completed an art foundation course specialising in fine art and printmaking. She has previously designed the set for the Dramasoc production of Photograph 51. She has also been involved with the art department of two feature films, The Mercy (2017) and The Death of Stalin (2017).

Becca Brown (she/her), Costume Design

LOVE ME will be Becca Brown’s debut, both in costume design and at the Edinburgh Fringe. Most recently Becca has directed DramaSoc productions of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie and student-written Femzine, and is currently producing Jim Cartwright’s Two. She has also written two recent short films in Derby, Welcome to University and Wanderer. Becca has just completed her second year at the University of York in English Literature.

Lorn Suzanne, Executive Producer

Lorn is a Producer from the North West with an interest in devised and immersive community theatre projects. Lorn was also an Executive Producer for Dramasoc’s two online productions earlier this year at online @ theSpaceUK’s second season. As the External Vice Chair of York DramaSoc, Lorn is responsible for the management of our off-campus events and projects so is delighted to finally be taking three in person shows to the Edinburgh Fringe after the cancellation last year! 

The Rehearsal Process

LOVE ME originated from a monologue written by Lally for the Mountview Catalyst Festival. After joining forces with director Ella McKeown, the pair decided to create a sister play that would use an ensemble to help tell Bren’s story. Using physical theatre, gestural work and music, the story has become a vibrant telling of a universal story whilst still preserving the often delicate and lyrical nature of Lally’s original script.

R&D

The first half of the Research and Development (R&D) process was focused on developing the script to suit the new format, and fine-tuning the themes, characters and overall impact. The second half of R&D was based with the actors in the rehearsal room, creating the building blocks for a shared language within the rehearsal room that we could carry forward. The rehearsal process as a whole aimed to utilise the practice of Lecoq’s Le Jeu (‘Play’) to create a shared ownership of the piece and a more engaging and flexible final performance. Playfulness was established very early on, using lots of games and physical warm ups to build upon skills of responding to each other and getting comfortable with looking silly. This playful approach quickly created a strong bond between the actors and director which lead to a safe rehearsal room that encouraged actors to take risks, make mistakes without judgement and try things out.

Rehearsals

Rehearsals were a mixture of in-person and on zoom. In person rehearsals took advantage of the opportunity to play with the possibilities of the space and get the actors used to responding and listening to each other’s movements. We also took this time to figure out stage images and to generate gestural work which was then curated by the director to create choral choreography. The movement-based exploration of the play was based once again on the plasticity of the body and playfulness influenced by Lecoq, but also took inspiration from the devising techniques of physical theatre practitioners such as Frantic Assembly. Music played a large role during these rehearsals, helping to convey, prompt and translate abstract ideas or issues within the playtext.

This work in person meant that when rehearsals moved to zoom whilst the cast were split up across the country, rehearsals could focus on more detailed text work. It was at this point that actors were given the time to consider the motivations behind their speech and the complexities behind their characters. These text and character-based rehearsals focused on more traditional table work, drawing upon the influence of practitioners such as Declan Donnellan and Katie Mitchell. Through the process, the actors and director became practitioners in their own right, creating exercises and tasks that suited the obstacles that arose.