At the Scotsman Award Ceremony in the Spiegeltent in St Andrews Square, Edinburgh, award-winning children’s author Katherine Rundell’s debut play, Life According to Saki, won the coveted Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award. This is the first production by new company Atticist Productions, and as part of the award they will take the play to New York Theater Workshop’s Fourth Street Theatre in February/March 2017.
Life According to Saki is inspired by the short stories of ‘Saki’, the pen name of the early Twentieth Century Scottish writer Hector Hugh Munro, described by The Guardian as “a master of the short story”. Like a cross between Oscar Wilde and Roald Dahl, Saki’s creations are witty, absurd, and peculiarly optimistic, and Rundell and Atticist Productions bring them to the stage through acting, music, dance, clown, and puppetry.
The production is a family show, suitable for 9+.
According to Stephen a Fry, “Saki remains, from a distance of a hundred years, just about the sharpest, cruellest, funniest and most elegant short story writer in our language.”
1916. In the trenches of the Battle of Ancre, a soldier tells stories. That soldier is Saki. Beginning with early misrule and school-age rebellion, his stories move on to the complexities of youth and adulthood, obsessions and games, charm and chaos, friendship and jealousy, and, finally, death.
Carol Tambor, head judge for the award, said: “The play stood out because of its incredible polish. The persistent contrast of tone, as well as time, was fascinating. I was never sure whether the characters would say something cruel or funny – often both.”