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Decky does a Bronco

Decky Does a Bronco is a boisterous look at the triumphs and trials of growing up.

Maxwell's play charts the dreams, passions and, above all, games of a group of young boys who spend most of their time on and around a set of swings.

about production

Written by Douglas Maxwell
Directed by Ben Harrison

‘To Bronco a swing you stand on it, worky up to the bumps (level with the bar) kick the swing over your head and jump underneath it.  The swing then shoots over the bar and keeps going until it wraps itself right round.  It looks ace and makes a hell of a racket.  In 1983 we called it Broncoing and I was nine”. Douglas Maxwell

Decky Does a Bronco is a boisterous look at the triumphs and trials of growing up. Set in the summer of 1983 in a small town on the west coast of Scotland, Maxwell’s play charts the dreams, passions and, above all, games of a group of young boys who spend most of their time on and around a set of swings.  Decky, the smallest child, is unable to bronco and becomes the butt of all the boys’ jokes, until an unimaginable tragedy overcomes them all.

With a beautifully written script and an all male cast of eight this powerful work charts the perilous journey from childhood to adulthood and is played in outdoor spaces around an oversized set of specially constructed swings.

The production first toured from 2000 to 2002, appearing in playgrounds and parks all over Scotland and Ireland. In 2001 it toured England in co-production with The Almeida Theatre, London.  Widely regarded as Grid Iron’s breakthrough production, Decky Does a Bronco will be remounted in 2010, celebrating the tenth anniversary of the original production and fifteen years of Grid Iron.

Since their incorporation in 1995, Grid Iron have received 24 awards and a further 16 nominations covering all aspects of their work, from acting, new writing, musical composition and design though to technical production and stage management.  While they sometimes create work for the stage, they are best known for their site-specific work.  Some of their more unusual performance locations include a boat-builder’s island in Norway, the landside and airside passenger areas of Edinburgh International Airport, a working cancer hospital in Jordan, the former Syrian General Security building in Beirut, the old City Morgue in Cork, Debenhams department store in Edinburgh and ten metres underwater in Belfast’s Lagan Weir.

reviews

Metro
"Director Ben Harrison’s company continues to stun and delight with it’s sharp physical performances and brilliant visual style. This collaboration with Maxwell is a must-see mix of exhilaration and desolation"
The Guardian
"Grid Iron is unsurpassed in its ability to create site specific work in which there is a perfect marriage of site and subject"
Daily Telegraph
"Maxwell’s script and Ben Harrison’s spell-binding production heart-wrenchingly capture the precise moment when innocence gives way to appalled knowledge of man’s inhumanity to man"
The Irish Times
"Utterly convincing and utterly brilliant – I’d run away and join Grid Iron tomorrow"
The Times
"Ben Harrison’s open-air production marks the return of the brilliantly inventive Grid Iron company, who once again manipulate a living environment, to produce theatre that effortlessly breathes straight from the heart"