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Interviews at the Edinburgh Fringe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Welcome to our Interviews page for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

We publish interviews with fringe theatre and show makers on all of our dedicated venue and genre pages on FringeReview. On this page we have picked a few in case you are overwhelmed by the sheer smount of choice that goes with a Fringe of over 3000 shows. Here the artists share their craft.

We also have a page for audio interviews but here you can read about how arts and theatre makers bring their work to life and to the biggest Fringe festival in the world.

Below is a selection of interviews with theatre and show makers at the Edinburgh Fringe – from comedy to theatre, from cabaret to poetry. We’ll be adding new interviews and changing this selection throughout the Fringe. Fringe makers share their craft. Read on…

 



INTERVIEW – Promoting sexual and gynaecological health through musical theatre, cabaret and comedy

Writer/Performer, Megan Juniper, from Leggy Blonde Productions, talks about My Fanny Valentine

What’s the theme of your show?

We are aiming to promote sexual and gynaecological health. We are sponsored by Skins Condoms and there for are using assets on the mile to promote the show. There is also a theme of women empowerment and embracing one’s body.

What’s new or unique about the show?

The genre lies between musical theatre, cabaret and comedy. We have adapted song lyrics to fit the theme relating to that section, such as Steve Wonder’s Signed Sealed Delivered and Jackson 5’s ABC to talk about sexually transmitted diseases. The comedy is fast paced but also had an element of fluidity with cabaret elements. The show has a very witty sense of humour and that coupled with the chemistry between the three performers who are all multinational (Malta, Canada and England) it is a unique show.

How did the show come into being?

The idea first came from Megan’s experience of working in the Gynaecology department at her local hospital. Hearing different stories from a variety of women and from her own experiences of visiting a gynaecologist, Megan decided to start writing a skeleton of the script.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

Our initial rehearsals involved Megan and Gianni writing things down, reading them aloud to see if they worked and tweaking where appropriate. Although the idea initially came from Megan, it has been very much a collaborative process with Gianni to get the script to how it is today.

How is the show developing?

From show to show, we are assessing whether the jokes and lines are working for the audience or whether the delivery of the line can be changed. The pace of the show changes as we grow more confident with the script and are able to enjoy the work more.

How has the writer been involved?

As both of the writers are also performing in the piece, we have been making decisions to do with the script throughout the performances. There have been some lines that haven’t worked for our audience so we are able to make the decision to change the lines or cut them out completely.

How have you experimented?

Our movement is quite fluid on stage so we try to experiment with the different acting choices in the show rather than sticking to a rigid routine. We have a couple of opportunities in the show to ad lib and are able to experiment to see what works and also personalise the show for the audience.

Where do your ideas come from?

Our ideas first come from something that is prominent at that time for example it was Megan working in the Gynae department.

We also use ideas based on facts for example, My Fanny Valentine follows the structure of what kind of questions one would encounter at a gynaecology appointment.

We love a good pun so usually they come from bouncing ideas off of each other.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

We try and push ourselves to think creatively whilst performing, how can we change the intention for example. Throughout the fringe, with so much to think about as well as performing, it can be easy to let the energy drop in the show and we challenge ourselves to push ourselves harder.

What are your future plans for the show ?

We are aiming to tour the show around Universities and Colleges around the UK as well as taking the show to Malta.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

The Girl Who Loved Stalin. We have become good friends since being at the fringe and it’s aways great to network. The show also demonstrates that you don’t need a large budget to have a hilarious show.

MoMentum – I first saw this show at the Brighton Fringe and have since seen it at the Edinburgh Fringe. As well as getting to know Phil a bit more, the combination between mind reading and motivational speaking is something really unique and is not only an enjoyable experience to watch, it makes you relaxed on the way out.

Show dates, times and booking info: 14-19th August, 9.25pm
@the space at Surgeons Hall Theatre 3
0131 510 2384 boxoffice.surgeons@thespaceuk.com
Or book here

Company web site: http://www.leggyblondeproductions.co.uk



INTERVIEW

Pippa Eden, Production Manager with BB Theatre Productions talks about Merrily We Roll Along

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What’s the theme of your show?

Merrily We Roll Along portrays the story of three friends who we join at the end of their friendship, tussling with disappointment, heartbreak and disillusionment with the fame of the Musical Theatre industry.

What’s new or unique about the show?

The show’s reverse chronology time structure heightens audience emotion, wistfully pointing out the artistic and personal compromises faced by the characters along the way. The on-stage band helps bring Sondheim’s masterpiece to life.

How did the show come into being?

BBTP’s mission is to bring local talent to the national stage, producing shows with professional production values, a stellar cast and professional band, and this show lent itself to this mission following our inaugural 5 star production of Assassins in 2016.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

Fun! We love the creative energy from the cast and production team that guides Sondheim’s lyrics and music seamlessly from page to stage.

How is the show developing?

We have just completed two Fringe preview performances and is has been really rewarding to be able to see the production on stage and make tweaks to make it even more effective and enjoyable for our audiences.

How has the writer been involved?

If only! We just hope Mr Sondheim and Mr Furth would approve.

How have you experimented?

We have experimented particularly with with Transition sections that guide the audience through the reverse chronology, using a variety of props to help roll back the years without taking anything away from the storyline.

Where do your ideas come from?

Our Director and Artistic Director are passionate about the show, and the ideas come directly out of the material as we rehearse. The aim is to keep it simple in order that the characters are able to create and maintain believable personae to elicit an emotional response from the audience.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

We challenge ourselves constantly to take on board ideas to make our shows even better. At the Fringe there are so many shows for people to choose from, we are sure we aren’t alone in wanting to make ours a unique experience.

What are your future plans for the show ?

Having completed our preview performances, our focus in the Fringe. That said, we are always open to further opportunities to showcase our work.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Sondheim’s “Pacific Overtures,” which is a complex work about America’s discovery of Japan, told from the Japanese point of view. The score gradually becomes more and more Westernized as it proceeds.

Also Assassins – a murderous carnival where the music changes to relect the era depicted.

We recently saw “Tick, Tick, Boom”, Jonathan Laron’s precursor to Rent – new to us but musically very satsifying. Definitely one for the list!

Show dates, times and booking info: 5 – 12 August, 12.10pm
C Venues +3, Adam House, Chambers Street, Edinburgh
Book here

Company web site: http://www.bbtheatrep.co.uk



Short Interview

 Writer and Director,from No Door Theatre,  Sarah Teale talks about An Evening with the Voices in Annie’s Head

What’s the theme of your show?

The play is centered around this ‘Annie’, her desperate attempts to make any kind of vaguely functioning slight connection with a single person she meets in the whole world, and the two totally normal television presenters in her mind who want to stop her. The play looks at the social anxiety that (we hope) plagues all of us a tad (right?!) and it tries to do it in a fun and funny and sparkly way.

What’s new or unique about the show?

When An Evening with the Voices in Annie’s Head debuted last year at the Manchester In-Fringe Theatre Awards (MIFTAS) it not only won Best Newcomer (Stella Ryley) and Best costume, it was also met with an overwhelming response from students who recognised themselves in Annie.

Many contacted us personally and we were moved profoundly by the stories they shared with us.

We knew that this was a show that needed to be seen by more people. Anything that makes anyone feel less lonely has to be good right? Don’t you think? Right? No-Annie-it’s-just-you-so-stop-wasting-these-people’s-time.

How did the show come into being?

The company (No Door Theatre) are fiscally poor, emotionally naive, and very uncomfortable writing about themselves in the third person. We’ve done a lot in Manchester over the last four years, but this show was different, because this is the show where we are (if anything) far too open about their fears about being poor, naive and uncomfortable. The show came into being because we are Annie –
[writer edit] NO, completely fictional. Not one iota of similarity. I don’t know who wrote that, but I am fine. FINE.

How has the writer been involved?

She has directed/been in constant emotional turmoil surrounding it.

Show dates, times and booking info:

Venue: Paradise in Augustines (studio)
Dates: 14th-27th August (no show on the 20th)
Time: 13.35
Tickets: PWYF (£5 reserve)

Company Facebook page

Book here



Free Fringe Focus

INTERVIEW – Rachel Creeger, Writer, Director, Speaker, Comedian, talks about It’s No Job For A Nice Jewish Girl

What’s the theme of your show?

‘It’s No Job For A Nice Jewish Girl’ is about the drive to fit in when you have a foot in different worlds. I’m very British, but also very Jewish. I spent a lot of my childhood with my grandparents who loved being British but were also refugees and immigrants (it was before Brexit so it was ok) and so their homes didn’t feel very English at all. This seems to be an experience that many people can identify with regardless of ethnicity, we’ve all had times where we weren’t sure if we really belonged.

What’s new or unique about the show?

I am one of only two practicing orthodox Jewish comedians in the UK! I’ve mainly worked in fields that are slightly unusual for my community, especially as a religious person. This is my debut stand up show although I have been performing in different ways since I was 5 years old. I was a musical theatre and choir child – enough said.

How did the show come into being?

I’ve found that lots of British people can identify with this sense of searching for a place, and a desire to integrate very different parts of yourself. I wanted to explore this, and also show off about my brief and very niche pop career.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

I look through my notes, try to edit them as I go through the seven stages of grief over any tiny sentence I delete, then find opportunities to try the material on some unsuspecting strangers. In comedy clubs, I mean, not at bus stops or whatever. I like immersive performances but that would be pushing it, even for me.

How is the show developing?

It’s nearly there…

How has the writer been involved?

As it’s a stand up show, I am the writer and have been heavily involved from the creation to the delivery!

How have you experimented?

The main way I’ve experimented is by initially performing any parts that have Jewish content in front of as many non-Jewish audiences as possible, so that I could make sure that those sections are totally accessible, pared down to universal themes and contain proper jokes. Basically I’ve beaten the RE lesson out of them.

Where do your ideas come from?

This is a show I’ve wanted to do for years. The ideas are inspired by the madness of everyday life and the weird meanderings of my brain.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

I’m a modern orthodox feminist questioning Jewish mother working in mainstream comedy and theatre. Every day is a challenge…

What are your future plans for the show ?

I’m looking forward to touring the final version of the show. I love live performance, it’s terrifying and gorgeous, and I want to do more of it! It’ll also do a short tour of Israel, because, y’know, an audience.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

I like shows that force me to react. Great comedy, magnetic performances, surprising twists, that’s sort of thing. But nothing where anyone has to touch me with anything. I don’t like those shows.

Show dates, times and booking info

6th-25th August 1.40-2.40pm (not Saturdays) Black Market Venue 399, 32 Market Street, Edinburgh EH1 1QB

PBH Free Fringe, unticketed, under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult

Book here

Visit Rachel’s web site



INTERVIEW – Rap and Comedy

Comedian Joe Jacobs talks about Joe Jacobs: Ripe

What’s the theme of your show?

Ripe sees Joe Jacobs tackle emotional, physical, spiritual and financial growth, or his lack of it, in this all new searing stand up show. Do people peak in youth, middle age or can they turn it around in their twilight years? Covering the big issues of the day including extremism, feminism and Gaviscon… expect an unpredictable, controversial and hilarious hour of comedy.

This latest outing features straight stand up plus additional snippets of live rap, including anxiety ridden garage MCs, clinically depressed G Funk and Jewish Grime.

What’s new or unique about the show?

I’ve been a rapper longer than being a comedian. My first album was released in 2008 and started comedy in 2012.
Last year I began combining the two, this show is the result.

How did the show come into being?

A year of mental illness, relationship nightmares, career and creative decline and the desire to succeed somehow.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

Up and down.

How is the show developing?

Very happy with it at present. Could use a busier room though.

How has the writer been involved?

It’s me.

How have you experimented?

By failing. A lot.

Where do your ideas come from?

My mind. And the 90s.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

Performing as many gigs as possible. Learning from every one.

What are your future plans for the show ?

To tour.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

The Sopranos. Because I love Jimmy G.

Show dates, times and booking info: Sweet Venues, Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, EH8 8AU – 4-27th August, 5pm

Book here

Visit Joe’s Facebook page



Check back here regularly for more interviews