+3 Interview: Juan Vesuvius: I am Your Deejay

“The story is autobiographical and it does what it says on the tin. I have been telling these anecdotes in the pub for years.”

WHO: Barnie Duncan, Creator/Performer

WHAT: “Superstar disc jokey Juan Vesuvius brings his turntables back to Edinburgh to deliver the greatest and strangest DJ set you’ve ever experienced. But why does he need so much towelling? And what really happened between him and David Guetta?”

WHERE: Assembly George Square Theatre (Venue 8)

WHEN: 23:00 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

No this is my fourth Fringe in Edinburgh. The first time I cam was in 2012 I think.. or 2011… with my best friend Trygve Wakenshaw. We made a show called Constantinople, and performed it at a venue that has since closed called The Electric Circus. In their karaoke room. It really taught us a lot and we were fresh non-jaded by flyering, toga wearing fun guys. Then I started bringing the Juan Vesuvius character over, and I am proud to be here with the third chapter in the trilogy.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’16?

I wasn’t here for Fringe last year, I instead went to South Korea and Helsinki and China with Juan and calypso’d those places heads off. It was pretty full on. It was so full on I got a Calypso tattoo to commemorate the tour.

Tell us about your show.

This show is the third instalment of the Juan Vesuvius story – a DJ from the Caribbean who loves Calypso and maracas, but in this show delves into the history of House Music. It is an educational and surreal and physical and Turntabelist I wrote it in Melbourne and previewed it in Berlin before bringing it to Edinburgh, and I am produced by the suave and tall Nick James Clark.

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

OK great question. They should see my show with Trygve called Different Party, and they should see John Kearns, and Peter and Bambi Heaven, and Paul Currie and also Laid by Natalie Palamides.


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+3 Interview: Creature

“The performers fly, spring, fall physically forming relationships with each other.”

WHO: Vanessa Cook, Choreographer

WHAT: “Five extraordinary dancers weave aerial acrobatics and earth-bound choreography in a new work of compelling and visceral dance theatre. Visually stunning, suspended in a mesmerising soundscape, raw and beautiful, Creature explores the delicate balance between flying, falling, balancing, tumbling, succeeding and failing: this complex business of being human. A unique free fall experience for both performers and audience, it happens right in front of us, over us, and around us. UK Premiere from international company based in Switzerland. Creature is conceived and choreographed by Vanessa Cook (UK) and directed by Kate Higginbottom (UK).”

WHERE: C venues – C south (Venue 58) ​

WHEN: 17:35 (50 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This is our first time to Edinburgh. Company members have been many times as punters, but this is the first time performing. I am British, but now live in Switzerland, so it’s especially nice for me to be returning to the UK with a with a show. The other members of the company come from Switzerland, Italy and Poland so they’re thrilled to be here.

Tell us about your show.

Creature is choreographed by me Vanessa Cook. It is an aerial dance show that uses ropes/harnesses/bungee equipment. The performers fly, spring, fall physically forming relationships with each other. Originally made and performed in a massive warehouse in Bern, Switzerland, this piece in Edinburgh is an adapted version for a smaller theatre venue. It can be performed in large or smaller venues.

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

I really enjoyed a show called ‘Land’. It was playing at Summerhall (but has finished already). One performer is bouncing on a trampoline, obsessively doing a jigsaw. Their relationship unravels in ridiculous and funny ways. For me it was a metaphor for how we try to ‘help’ each other, but don’t listen to each other.

But still playing is ‘All the Fun’. This is a charming and clever show.


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+3 Interview: Cursed

“The festival is buzzing with energy and I can’t wait to meet some of you in the street while flyering, come say hello if you see me!”

WHO: Mila G. Lawlor, Stage Manager

WHAT: “Divine punishment. Guilt. Bloodshed. The story of the House of Atreus is the most haunting of Greek mythology. Meet a family descended from the Gods, where the borders between cruelty and desire, loyalty and betrayal are painfully blurred. In this newly written and bold adaptation, their story is revived. It is now your turn to take action. From Agamemnon to Orestes, the family’s fate is in your hands. Coming fresh from London and making their Fringe debut, The Samurai! Company promises you a disquieting journey through the depths of human nature.”

WHERE:  Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Venue 236)

WHEN: 20:45 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

Yes, it is my first time! And the first time of the company as well! Most of us have dreamt of coming to the Fringe for a while and we’re really excited about being here together and performing! The festival is buzzing with energy and I can’t wait to meet some of you in the street while flyering, come say hello if you see me!

Tell us about your show.

‘Cursed’ is a modern adaptation of Aeschylus’s Oresteia -a greek family tragedy- re-written by our director and other friends. It is immersive and the storyline changes depending on the audience’s decision. To me the play is especially relevant in terms of how subjective justice is and how people make different choices depending on a large number of factors: mood, ethic, education, etc.

We are producing the show with The Samurai! Company. Once the director had her idea, she invited all those who wanted to come join her to create the show. Meaning: no audition process, a large group of enthusiastic people, coming from all walks of life, and from very international backgrounds! With the director’s hardwork and patience, we created an amazing show out of this challenging experiment, and she made all the actors improve incredibly in no time!

The production premiered in May at Goldsmiths University and received a warm welcome from our audience! With exciting and unexpected reactions as well!
As for whether we’re taking it further, we’re hoping to the moon and back! No, seriously, we won’t take this show further but we hope to take another one to the Fringe again next year!

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

Oh well, a comedy for a change! You might need it!

And, definitely come and see our fellow Greensiders! Otherwise, maybe go and see another more modern family drama to see how relevant our play is!…… Or, just come see the show again, perhaps to check out an alternative ending!


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+3 Interview: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

“Right now my brain is fizzing with ideas for next year.”

WHO: Stuart Walker, actor – Judas Iscariot & Butch Honeywell

WHAT: “Brought to you by Parallax Theatre, Stephen Adly Guirgis’s The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is a riotous look at life beyond. 2000 years after that deed, Judas is finally put on trial for ‘that business’ in Judea. With a dash of prejudice, a sprinkling of rude words and a lot of surprises, it is inventive, full on and very funny.”

WHERE: Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

WHEN: 13:30 (90 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

I have been to the Ed Fringe before as a theatre lover but this is my debut as a theatre performer! The atmosphere remains electric and highly addictive. Right now my brain is fizzing with ideas for next year. I feel truly inspired by the performances I’ve seen and the people I’ve met this year. My only complaint is the need to rest cuts into my theatre binge time.

Tell us about your show.

Parallax Theatre are reviving Stephen Adly Guirgis’s show with a cast of 10 for the 70th Anniversary of the Ed Fringe. Take a seat in the jury as we put Judas on trial for betraying the son of God. Was it a moment of greed, madness or even bravery? Under the direction of Alexander Knight we’re bursting onto the scene with this “outstanding” (Young Perspective) take on an already edgy script, refreshing topical references and breaking up the all American dialogue (originally meant for a New York audience) – e.g I perform my character Judas as a fella from East London. We want the words to hit our audience harder than ever!

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

I highly recommend ‘Flesh and Bone’ by Unpolished Theatre – it’s like a modern day Shakespeare play set in East London but forget Kings and Queens, this is about the gritty life of a family on a council estate. Powerful and punchy with verse, physical theatre, comedy and more. Eloquent yet raw. Let’s face it, more interesting than the Queen.


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+3 Interview: Rory O’Keeffe: Rorytelling

“…next year’s show will be called Rory O’Keeffe: Just The Bucket Speech.”

WHO: Rory O’Keeffe, Writer/Director/Performer/Narcissist

WHAT: “Affable young funnyman Rory O’Keeffe returns with a show about losing his faith and his bag (but mainly his bag). Join the ‘intelligent youngster’ (Time Out) for his second hour of jokes and stories. Or, as he narcissistically calls them, ‘rories’. ‘Thoughtful and self-aware, some of the better stand-up you’ll see at this year’s Fringe’ **** (BroadwayBaby.com). ‘You’ll be laughing – every time!’ **** (MumbleComedy.net). ‘Make no mistake: this is a downright clever show’ **** (Edinburgh49.org). ‘Utterly hilarious’ ***** (ThreeWeeks). ‘Comedy for a post-recession graduate generation’ **** (Fest). ‘A tightly composed and expertly delivered romp’ **** (EdFringeReview.com).”

WHERE:  Southsider (Venue 148)

WHEN: 15:15 (55 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

I am a deceptively young veteran and this will be my 9th year in Edinburgh. Here are my top 8 previous Edinburghs, in order of how much fun they were:

1. 2009
2. 2010
3. 2011
4. 2012
5. 2013
6. 2014
7. 2015
8. 2016

With age comes responsibility. This year’s been fun, though.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’16?

I moved back in with my parents and then back out again. It’s called ‘Boomerang Kid’ for a reason, guys. I have committed. You can’t just move back in once.

Tell us about your show.

I have finally given in to the Edinburgh Pun Title and called my show ‘Rorytelling’. I tell two Rories. One about losing my bag and one about losing my faith (#deep). It’s funny, and it’s in a delightfully charming back room of a pub. #humblebrag here: sometimes it’s so full that someone has to sit on the stage behind me like a bring-your-child-to-work day situation. It’s free and I give a good bucket speech. In fact, next year’s show will be called Rory O’Keeffe: Just The Bucket Speech. And I will just ask the audience for money for 50 minutes.

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

Matt Winning: Filibuster – funny show about climate change.Clever yet stupid. Silly yet serious. Cheap yet valuable.

Princes of Main – great sketch show in a great venue (Bedlam Theatre)

Macblair – restaging of Macbeth with Tony Blair as the ambitious lead. It totally works. I laughed really hard to show I understood all the clever references. I am that guy.


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+3 Interview: Blurred Justice

“The aim is to raise public awareness of Yemen’s current situation; civilwar, humanitarian crisis and cholera outbreak. “

WHO: Dhvel Patel, Actor, ‘Sharif Fathi’

WHAT: “Amnesty International Award winning Blurred Justice is a thrilling and humorous play where the fate of one man lies in the hands of the audience. Sharif is a member of the Yemeni Houthi militia and is being tried in an eccentric court for taking part in an attack on Saudi Arabia. As he is being questioned, the play explores the meaning of the word terrorist and the complications of the Yemeni civil war with flashbacks of Sharif’s life, unravelling his personal motivations and important information on the involvement of the UK within the arms trade.”

WHERE: New Town Theatre (Venue 7) ​

WHEN: 23:15 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

Yes. I’m a science graduate performing at the New Town Theatre for the first time.

Tell us about your show.

Kingston graduates and Directors of Performing Change; Yasemin Gava and Clarissa Kim produced the show, with Clarissa writing the script. This won the Amnesty International Marsh Award 2016. The production premiered at the Rose Theatre (Feb 17), International Youth Arts Festival (Jul 17) and will show at the Edinburgh Fringe and Camden Fringe (Aug 17).

In this piece, I play Sharif Fathi, a Houthi rebel on trial in a UK courtroom. I take the audience (members of the jury) through my Yemeni story (a series of flashbacks across a split-stage). The audience then vote whether I am innocent or guilty. Blurred Justice is powerful, though-provoking while being light-hearted at the same time.

The aim is to raise public awareness of Yemen’s current situation; civilwar, humanitarian crisis and cholera outbreak. The show adapts the script to reflect the most current facts e.g. UK ruling Saudi arms deal legit, cholera outbreak (recently covered by BBC news). It will be taken further as much as it can.

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

I’d recommend: The Missing Girl of Grigglewood, Edison as I have seen these.


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+3 Interview: Plan B for Utopia

“Our goal is to reach new audiences, those who usually don’t see dance but enjoy theatre or comedy.”

WHO: Joan Clevillé, Artistic Director

WHAT: “‘You have a plan, and then you don’t. You have a dream, and then you wake up. You fall in love, and your heart gets broken. The question is: do you pick up the pieces and try again?’ Mixing dance, theatre and storytelling with a good dose of humour, Plan B for Utopia is a show about how we choose to live our lives: about having a dream, giving it up and trying again, but, above all, it’s a story about friendship.”

WHERE: Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) ​

WHEN: 10:30 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

I’ve been coming to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the last eight years. It was the first place I performed in Scotland when I joined Scottish Dance Theatre in 2009. I couldn’t believe what was going on around me! In 2015 we premiered the first-full length work with my own company at the Festival, Plan B for Utopia. After more than 50 performances around the UK and abroad, it is very special to bring it back to Edinburgh, this time in a theatre venue like Pleasance Courtyard!

Tell us about your show.

The creation of Plan B for Utopia emerged from the need to reconcile my artistic practice as a choreographer (which can sometimes feel a bit removed from everyday reality) with personal questions around how to live my life in the most sustainable way. I wanted to find a choreographic language that could render the gravity and complexity of the global challenges that we face to something manageable, less overwhelming, closer to human-scale. Plan B for Utopia talks about the role that creativity and imagination can play as a catalyst for change. About the impact of our decisions on others and the environment around us, about what happens when things don’t go according to plan…

Since 2015, we have presented the show in venues across the length and breadth of the UK, from village halls in the Highlands to contemporary arts centres in London. We were invited to British Dance Edition and internationale tanzmesse in Düsseldorf which are two of the most prestigious international showcases for dance. This year, we are incredibly proud to present the work as part of the Made in Scotland and British Council Showcases at the Edinburgh Fringe. Our goal is to reach new audiences, those who usually don’t see dance but enjoy theatre or comedy. For that reason, we are delighted to be working with independent theatre producers China Plate.

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

Stay at Pleasance Courtyard to discover the very talented Urielle Klein-Mekongo with her debut show, Yvette. Then head to Dance Base to watch Oona Dohererty’s amazing solo Hope & The Ascension to Lazarus. Round it all off at Summerhall with On Ice and Power Ballad.


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