Currently running at the Pleasance, Bobby & Amy has won a prestigious Scotsman Fringe First Award. Having won a Fringe First with her previous work Rainbow, Emily Jenkins’ powerful new play is a dark comedy about friendship, heartache and the repercussions of foot-and-mouth disease, which asks what happens when our way of life is threatened by those who don’t understand it.
It’s the late nineties: Take That, Tamogotchis, Dip Dabs and Pog swaps. When 13 year old Bobby and Amy meet, hundreds of cows dot the fields and the sun always shines. But when foot-and-mouth disease hits the farming communities in rural England and the cows begin to burn, Bobby and Amy’s sleepy Cotswold town faces a catastrophe that will change their home forever.
The devastation left behind lasted much longer as rural life was permanently eroded. With incredible multi rolling from the immensely talented Will Howard (The Archers, BBC Radio 4) and Kimberley Jarvis (Lear’s Daughters, Cambridge alumni Footfall Theatre), a range of countryside characters are brought to life in an emotive and skilful way.
The Scotsman’s world-famous Fringe First awards have been recognising outstanding new writing premiered at the festival since 1973. In her review of Bobby & Amy, Joyce McMillan writes, It’s a subject to which most of us rarely give a thought which is why Emily Jenkin’s new play….is both exceptional and exciting in the contribution it makes to this year’s Fringe.
Writer and director, Emily Jenkins commented: “I am over-the-moon that Bobby & Amy has won such a prestigious award. It means so much that Edinburgh audiences have reacted so positively to the story we are telling. Rural communities and agriculture are a vital part of our society and I just hope that in winning this award we can start a discussion about how much they contribute. This has been an absolutely joyful process from start to finish and I feel so fortunate to have been surrounded by such a talented and passionate all-female creative team led by the show’s producer Emma Blackman. Not to mention how in awe I am of actors Will Howard and Kimberly Jarvis who play Bobby and Amy; without their extraordinary talent and dedication this show wouldn’t be what is. This has been such a team effort and I am so grateful to everyone involved.”
Anthony Alderson, director of Pleasance, added: “I’m so glad that The Scotsman have recognised Emily Jenkins’ excellent writing with this important Fringe First. There’s not been a dry eye in the house after performances of Bobby & Amy which is a testament to the emotional landscape conjured by this beautiful writing.”
Photo credit: Cam Harle Photography