+3 Interview: Chopping Chillies

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“People make all kinds of promises to see each other’s productions, and I never thought Guy Masterson would actually turn up. But he did.”

WHO: Clair Whitefield – Writer and Performer

WHAT: “From Kerala to Camden, an epic, mystical tale of love, loss and soul-food. A cobbler and a cook concoct a delicious transcontinental enchantment as tragedy and chance entwine. As Katie dreams of curries and chapattis; Ajna, of holy souls and reincarnation… A delightful, poetic, magical story that conjoins the spirit of India with the heart of London. Directed by Olivier award winner (for Morecambe) Guy Masterson.”

WHERE: Assembly Roxy (Venue 139)

WHEN: 14:50 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

The first time I came to the fringe, I was 13. My dad’s Scottish and I went to uni in Edinburgh. So in many ways, it’s like a second home. The first time I performed here though, was last year, as part of the Free Fringe. I also worked as a reviewer for Three Weeks the summer I graduated. I saw 65 shows in a month. It was incredible.

Tell us about your show.

I live in London and came up with the idea for Chopping Chillies, when I was working in Camden. I used to take my shoes to a shop on the high street to be repaired. Opposite this cobbler’s was a traditional Chinese herbalist that specialised in reflexology. And that’s when an idea for a story hit me.

What would happen if these two joined forces?

What kind of magical healing shoes could it lead to? And so I began writing Chopping Chillies which is a mix of poetry and storytelling. I met Guy Masterson when I was performing Chillies on the Free Fringe last year. I went to see him in Under Milk Wood and afterwards gave him a flyer for my show. People make all kinds of promises to see each other’s productions, and I never thought Guy would actually turn up. But he did.

We got talking and late last year we began writing the screenplay of Chopping Chillies. So who knows what the future holds. We also thought it would be great to bring Chillies back to Edinburgh and so here we are. It’s been wonderful working with him and I can’t wait to unleash this new version.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

Definitely go see Guy in Shylock and his new autobiographical show, Love and Canine Integration. It’s a hilarious bit of stand-up about the trials and tribulations of going to war with a dog that despises you. Barbie and Ken also make some risque cameos.

I also want to big up some poets: go see Rob Auton, Dan Simpson and Harry Baker. You should also check out Stand Up & Slam where comedians and poets go head-to-head in a series of rounds. It’s like Eight Mile but in a Waitrose. The most fun I had last year was with Guru Dudu on his a wacky walking tour meets silent disco; dancing to the Bee Gees down the Royal Mile and singing Bohemian Rhapsody on a roundabout.


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