Sweating The Small Stuff

About the show

I think it’s pretty weird that…
I wonder why we don’t talk about…
I wish we could discuss…

Maybe they’re not the easiest thoughts to slide into conversation, but that doesn’t mean that they’re unimportant. And chances are, everybody else is probably thinking about them too. So why don’t we dedicate a space to sweating the things that feel like nothing and everything at the same time?

Inspired by anonymous submissions, Sweating the Small Stuff explores seven recurring topics and presents them in a stand-up-but-in-the-shower sort of way. We want to unpick the attitudes we have towards periods, sex, our brains, masturbation, online dating, body hair and abstinence. Here, nothing is too small to sweat.

Style of Theatre

When directing cast and crew alike, Annabel often describes the play as a ‘stand-up comedy show except that it’s in the shower.’ The actors are both the comedians and their audience, as the shower is often the only space that these seemingly embarrassing, daunting topics are voiced. Overall, Sweating the Small Stuff is a light-hearted comedy which is collaborative it its development, production and performance.

Content Warnings

This performance mentions the following topics:

  • Sex
  • Pornography
  • Blood
  • Death
  • Mental illness
  • Existentialism

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

About the Writer

Originally from Aberdeen, Annabel is an up-and-coming playwright going into her third year of study on the Theatre: Directing, Writing and Performance course at the University of York. For the past year, she has worked with drama societies at the university as a scriptwriting mentor/new works representative, facilitating weekly workshops and championing student-written work.

As part of one of York Dramasoc’s New Works Festivals, Annabel wrote a monologue titled ‘Men are Trash’ about the way the term’s meaning has changed as its use became more popular, now often unintentionally being used to excuse bad behaviour or as a replacement for ‘boys will be boys’. The monologue was performed by Lori Stott and debuted on Dramasoc’s Youtube channel, amassing a total of 1400 views across Youtube and Instagram to date. For Annabel, it was a topic she felt strongly about but didn’t have the words to articulate on the spot. Thus, the monologue,
though not included in this final version of the play, and its reception was the initial inspiration for Sweating the Small Stuff, encouraging her to explore what other issues/topics interfere with young people’s lives but feel too daunting to voice.

Annabel’s Instagram: @annabel.lunneycreative
Men Are Trash monologue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4XphKnnVSQ

Annabel Lunney, Writer & Director

Cast + Crew

Ensemble Cast

Lori Stott

Lori is a theatre student at the University of York from Edinburgh with a huge passion for the arts. Most of her work has been in film/tv, such as CBBC’s ‘The Demon Headmaster’ and indie film ‘Lori & the Six Six Sixties’, so she’s excited to be making a return to theatre. Lori also plays guitar and sings in an Edinburgh based punk band, called Liquorice. @loribethstott & @liquoricetheband

Josh Liew

Our Bristolian, Josh is a first year student at the University of York studying Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance. Josh was a member of Made in Bristol (2019/2020): Leave the Light Ensemble; a resident theatre company at Bristol Old Vic. He is currently training in latin and ballroom dancing – and isn’t shy to bring his talents into the rehearsal room!

Tom Spencer

Tom, from the East midlands, is in his second year of Writing, Directing and Performance at the University of York. He is interested in pursuing a career in directing and design and uses his design talent in many different ways – he’s known to make model boxes, posters and puppets at the drop of a hat. @tpds_design

Laura Livingstone

Laura, our Welsh actress, has just graduated from the University of York. Despite her degree being in biochemistry she now has her sights set on a career in acting. This is Laura’s fringe redemption as she was due to perform last year. Don’t sweat it Laura, good things come to those who wait!

Rosie Day

Fringe newbie, Rosie, is a non-binary theatre maker from North Yorkshire who recently finished their third year BA at Uni of York in Theatre. They are passionate about promoting LGBT+ voices in the arts and theatre and are interested in performance design, specifically set design. They are hoping to pursue this and acting in the future.

Production Team

Neve Carey, Producer

Neve is a student from Leeds studying Theatre at the University of York. She is passionate about writing/creating accessible and diverse theatre that speaks to current issues (hence her enthusiasm for the Fringe!). Ordinarily, Neve is a producer of dead plants, bad jokes and funky jewellery and she is incredibly proud to add Sweating the Small stuff to her repertoire.

Lorn, 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! 

Lorna Capewell, Assistant Director

Lorna is a theatre student at the University of York, her most recent work was with children co-directing at a junior musical theatre academy, she is now very excited to be bringing the best out of fellow students too! Lorna was at EdFringe in 2018 as a performer, but directing is her passion so we are thrilled for her fringe directing debut!

Amy Thorpe, Movement Director

Another of our lovely southerners, Amy, is also a York theatre student and is an aspiring actor/theatre maker. She has performed at EdFringe before and is very excited to be working to be paying a return visit as our movement director. She has spent the summer acting in student films and she is also training as a yoga teacher in her spare time!

Tal Goldstein, Sound Designer

Tal is a second year music student in York, he mainly composes concert hall and dance music but has loved exploring the music style for Sweating the Small Stuff. Tal also produces his own podcast called An Album That Changed My Life with fabulous guests such as Eric Whitacre and our very own Lori Stott!

Senah Tuma, Costume Designer

Senah is a History of Art graduate from the University of York. From California, USA, Senah loves art, fashion and is fascinated by aesthetics, addicted to curating the world around her. She is new to the world of theatre but has loved working with the actors’ wardrobes to create fantastic costumes for our show.

Matilda Seddon, Lighting Designer

Matilda is an Australian graduate from Edinburgh University, she now studies law at the University of York but she is delighted to be back in her old student hometown! She has previous experience with concert lighting in Copenhagen and has a love for journalism and editorial work, she currently writes for the student newspaper.

The Rehearsal Process

In order to rehearse Sweating the Small Stuff, Annabel and her team have had to sweat the big issues of 2021: social distancing, isolation and the dreaded rule of six. Their rehearsal spaces have included fields, carparks and one very fine yurt. After months indoors, there’s no better place to be than onstage exploring the frustrations of the public with their fellow students.

Our main focus in both the research and rehearsal of this play was collaboration. We opened up an online space where the public could ‘sweat the small stuff’ with us by sending in anonymous submissions of the things that they wished were spoken about more often. Annabel then collated the recurring issues into the seven major topics featured in the play, but also included the remaining ‘sweats’ elsewhere throughout.

In the rehearsal process, we were also keen to collaborate with both the cast and crew and involve their thoughts/responses in the play where possible. Working with an ensemble cast (and with such wonderful actors) made this process both challenging in terms of aligning direction and finding time to explore each topic together, but also all the more rewarding. Our team have had many a chat about the play’s topics, and it’s been particularly interesting exploring how we can communicate these ideas through the production’s design elements. But of course, our wonderful designers have taken it all in their stride, so listen out for some exciting field recordings in the sound design and watch out for some colour play in our costume and lighting!

Rehearsal Photos