I Am Tiger in Perth Theatre from Thursday 5 until Saturday 7 May is inspired by two facts – that the number one killer of men in the UK under 40 is suicide, and that there are now more tigers kept as pets than live in the wild.

A month after losing her big brother to suicide, Laura’s parents buy her a pet tiger. They never explain the tiger and never discuss Laura’s big brother – it’s like he didn’t exist. And having a pet tiger is illegal for a reason. Soon things start to spiral out of control… as things tend to do with feelings of grief… and tigers…

Commissioned by Imaginate and Perth Theatre, I Am Tiger by Oliver Emanuel (The 306: Dawn) is a heart-breaking and comic drama for ages 12+ about trying to live with loss, how keeping wild animals at home will quickly increase your shopping bills and why staying silent is not always the best solution. Directed by Perth Theatre’s Artistic Director Lu Kemp, with Chloe-Ann Tylor in the role of Laura, I Am Tiger will also be performed at the Imaginate Children’s Festival in Edinburgh.

Oliver Emmanuel said:

“I can’t wait to share this story. Over the last two years, we’ve seen a rise in poor mental health in our young people across the country and we don’t know how to talk about it. This silence is costing lives. When I set out to write this play, I wanted to open up a safe space in which we can talk about those things we are scared to talk about. I’m utterly delighted that Perth Theatre and Imaginate are offering this story to an audience. The Edinburgh International Children’s Festival is my favourite festival in the world and I’m honoured to be part of the programme this year.”

Lu Kemp said:

“It’s surprising to work on a play about suicide and find it optimistic. But I Am Tiger is. It’s about how the world can change in a moment and how we travel through darkness. This is about a young teenager finding herself again after her world is turned upside down, and she’s lost all of the markers that made her life feel knowable. It’s about how the ridiculous mundane world keeps going even when everything changes and how normality can be cherished.”

Noel Jordan, Edinburgh International Children’s Festival Director said:

We are delighted to be commissioning I Am Tiger as part of the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival in partnership with Perth Theatre. These last two years have shown us how important live, communal experiences are to the lives of children and young people. I Am Tiger speaks of the complex experiences children are dealing with right now and is a great opportunity for young people and their families to explore the complex themes broached by the play.

As I Am Tiger takes shape in Perth Theatre, Horsecross Arts’ Learning and Engagement team have been working with secondary school pupils in Perth & Kinross and Edinburgh to create pieces of writing around describing emotions and making notes for a rainy day – generous and supportive messages to send themselves when they’re having a rough time. This work will be featured on a dedicated website and displayed in Perth Theatre during the run of the show.

For tickets and info for I Am Tiger click here or call the Perth Theatre Ticketing team on 01738 621031 or visit the Box Office (10am – 4pm Monday to Friday).

Tuesday 19 April 2022