Rural Britain. During a foot and mouth epidemic, Jeremy, a young farmer, is near to a breakdown. His broken memory discloses to us a dazzling diary-like account of his intimate life from which old threads and deep feelings emerge, unravelling a world of ritual, obsessions and stunted desires.
Darkly humorous and surreal, Sheepskin addresses the universal issues of one man's powerlessness and despair in the face of disaster, and the difficulty to express his conflicting emotions - loneliness, physical and mental isolation, repressed passions and an urgent need for attention - while he is reacting to a time of crisis in his life.
In July 2005 Organic Theatre presented Sheepskin to rural communities across the South West, touring arts centres, towns and village halls, pubs and barns, holding post-show discussions and collecting feedback from farmers and the general audience which form part of a 30 minute documentary by filmmaker Massimo Alì Mohammad, which is shown alongside performances in 2006.
Writer and Director: Bianca Mastrominico Sheepskin was shortlisted for the Total Theatre Award for Best Small Scale Work on the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Performed by: John Dean
Editors' note: Sheepskin's run at the Edinburgh Festival in 2007 coincided with a new outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in the south of England. Here is Organic Theatre's response:
'This new outbreak demonstrates how serious the implications of global market economic policies are in our contemporary society, and as strange and dreadful as it is, this news reinforces the need to talk about these 'rural issues' as part of a more comprehensive reflection on the way our planet is changing, and not just in its climate.
Sheepskin played at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Govan Festival, Glasgow and the Brighton International Festival.
We are far from advocating a restrictive, retrograde and nostalgic way of looking at the countryside and the people who live and work in it, but through Sheepskin we have made the journey through the fears and anxieties of many farmers, whom we hope this time around will be listened to'.