+3 Interview: When the Birds Come

“I’ve passed the one year mark of scriptwriting FULL TIME – which is both a dream, and terrifying.”

WHO: Tallulah Brown: Writer

WHAT: “Margaret has always told her little brother Stanley it’s his fault the ice is melting. She doesn’t want to live in the Alaskan tundra. She wants to run away and be a normal teenager in Anchorage. Years later, the rift between the siblings has seismically grown. In a fast-melting world, will love be left behind? Hit writer Tallulah Brown returns to the Fringe following the blazing success of Songlines (2018): ‘Magic’ **** (Times). ‘Charming… unflinchingly accurate’ **** (Scotsman). ‘Sensitive and soulful’ **** (Stage).”

WHERE: Underbelly, Cowgate – White Belly (Venue 61) 

WHEN: 14:40 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

Last year my play Songlines was at Pleasance Beneath for the month. I also live scored it with my band, so I actually sat on stage (with my trembling guitar), staring out at the audience, hoping they liked it, for every single performance – 45 in total…

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

I’ve passed the one year mark of scriptwriting FULL TIME – which is both a dream, and terrifying.

Tell us about your show.

I wrote ‘When the Birds Come’ originally as a radio play about five years ago. I’d heard about Newtok in Alaska which will be the first entire town to be relocated due to climate change. I grew up right by the sea in Suffolk, erosion and the Shoreline Management plans that the UK has put in place have always been an obsession for me. Newtok has been asking for governmental help to move away from the oncoming river since the 90s, this Summer 2019 marks the start of that move. The strangest of timings meant that this Summer was also when producer Debbie Hicks was looking for a two-hander to take to the Fringe. It felt like it was now or never. I re-edited the script I contacted the Yup’ik playwright Richard Perry, who was hugely helpful with my research. I worked closely with director Alexander Lassy and composer and sound designer Roly Witherow to create what I hope will be the most magical, almost fairytale, quite childlike but DARK telling of this climate-shifting story.

My play follows siblings Margaret and Stanley growing up on the Alaskan tundra. Older sister Margaret tells her little brother that it’s his fault the ice is melting, he is to blame for climate change. The second half of the play jumps forward 10 years. From 2015 to 2025 irreversible damage will have been done to the planet and I suppose the play asks what damage between siblings is irreversible? Casting we needed actors who could jump from acting aged 8 and 13, to 18 and 23, as well as having watertight American accents – so that was quite a search, but the two we found are brilliant.

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

Orlando by Lucy Roslyn, DugOut’s Ed Macarthur ‘Humoresque’ and ‘Goodbear: Dougal’, Lily Ashley’s ‘The Slinks’, the HighTide programme at Assembly looks like a banger (esp ‘Pops’!) AND all hail Fight in the Dog for yet another Edinburgh to do list – they do all the work for you! ‘Ticker’ at Underbelly I’m particularly excited for and Nicola Wren’s show ‘Superstar’ will be fab, as will be ‘Wake in Progress’.

DENIM’s Crystal and Glamrou both have shows this year (the only show I saw 4 times last year was DENIMS!) James Rowland has four shows there this year PRAISE BE I’ve watched his previous shows across multiple Fringes and they’ve always been fringe highlights for me. To have all of them there at the same time, is blowing my fringe mind. Everything everyone says about ‘It’s true, it’s true, it’s true’ is absolutely true true true. Rob Oldham and Rose Matafeo got me through a particularly bleak patch of last years Fringe, food for the soul, and they’re back – thank goodness and bring on the bleak patches for this years fringe! Ooo also if you’ve got little ones then The Herd’s ‘Slime’ is the one for you!


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+3 Interview: Lucrece

“My first visit to the fringe was as a drama student in 1981. I remember seeing Steven Berkoff and Linda Marlowe in “Decadence”, as well as an excellent production of “Marat-Sade”. I was 22 and it felt like the centre of the theatrical universe.”

WHO: Paul Goodwin: Director

WHAT: “Lucrece is raped by Tarquin, the King’s son. She chooses to tell her story and demand justice and revenge rather than remain silent. Her courage leads to the overthrow of the monarchy and the founding of the Roman republic. Following a critically acclaimed co-production with the National Centre for the Performing Arts Mumbai, The Shakespeare Edit brings its thrilling adaptation of Shakespeare’s epic poem to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. ‘A hard-hitting tale of courage we all need to see’ (in.BookMyShow.com). ‘I sat stunned and somehow hopeful’ (Mumbai Mirror). ‘A triumph’ (Mumbai Notebook).”

WHERE: theSpace @ Niddry St – Upper Theatre (Round) (Venue 9) 

WHEN: 12:15 (50 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

My first visit to the fringe was as a drama student in 1981. I remember seeing Steven Berkoff and Linda Marlowe in “Decadence”, as well as an excellent production of “Marat-Sade”. I was 22 and it felt like the centre of the theatrical universe.

I returned many years later in 2004 (as actor and artistic associate of Lifeblood theatre company), with a production of Glyn Maxwell’s verse drama “The Lifeblood” at Metro Gilded Balloon Caves, followed by a run in London at Wiltons Music Hall. The production was revived at the at Pleasance Courtyard. in the following year as part of the British Council Showcase.

In 2018 I came as a punter and had a great time seeing shows and family (my step-son lives in the city). This is my first visit as a producer, bringing something that I have adapted and directed.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

On a personal level I reached the age of 60 this year!! Professionally – I directed a production of Lucrece in India, as part of the inaugural theatre season at The National Centre For The Performing Arts, Mumbai. I also directed Shakespeare scenes at the Accademmia Nico Pepe – a drama school in Udine, Italy.

Tell us about your show.

Lucrece is Shakespeare’s original title for his epic poem known today as “The Rape of Lucrece”. It is a mythic story that first appears in literature 2,500 years ago. What makes Shakespeare’s version unique is that two thirds of the narrative is post-rape, with the focus on the psychological journey of the survivor. The language is beautiful, what happens to Lucrece is not, this contradiction makes it both thrilling and disturbing. Lucrece is produced by The Shakespeare Edit – an emerging theatre company whose primary purpose is to create urgent, engaging Shakespeare with a global vision. The company started work on Lucrece in November 2016.

A year later came the Weinstein exposé, and the #MeToo movement. That the issues Lucrece deals with; patriarchy, the abuse of power, sexual assault are so relevant today, is testimony to the timelessness of Shakespeare’s work. Lucrece was originally produced to critical acclaim in Mumbai – a co-production with the National Centre For The Performing Arts. The company are looking to tour the production nationally and Internationally after Edinburgh.

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

The things that I am looking forward to seeing are: “Oedipus”, International Theater, Amsterdam – King’s Theatre. Cut The Cord Theatre, both “I Run” and “Endless Second” at Pleasance. “Ubu the King” Misanthrope Theatre (Ukraine) at C Venues. “Subject Mater” at Paradise Green. “The Good Scout” The Space @ Surgeon’s Hall.


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+3 Interview: The Professor

“For me, the Edinburgh Fringe opened up a career’s worth of opportunities to work in the West End (12 Angry Men with Martin Shaw) and Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Holland, Ireland and Canada.”

WHO: David Calvitto: Solo Show Actor

WHAT: “The university’s oddest professor has made a remarkable discovery. He’s thrilled – but why is his lecture today even stranger and wilder than ever? An odd, surreal comedy about Dickens, shipwrecks, the Venus de Milo, fainting poets and the perils of original thinking. By two-time Fringe First winner Brian Parks. Performed by Stage’s Best Actor David Calvitto. ‘A brilliant piece of writing’ (BroadwayWorld.com). ‘There is no American writer more thoughtful – in an explosive and surreally comic way’ (Scotsman). ‘Calvitto is one of the funniest, cleverest performers around’ (Herald). ‘One of the most-admired actors on the Fringe’ (Scotsman).”

WHERE: Assembly Rooms – Drawing Room (Venue 20) 

WHEN: 15:20 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This will be my 15th year performing in the Edinburgh festival. Several times – including this year – I have acted in 2 or 3 different shows per day. I’m a masochist in that way. I think Phil Nichol and I are neck-and-neck in the contest for who has performed the most shows in the fewest years.

For me, the Edinburgh Fringe opened up a career’s worth of opportunities to work in the West End (12 Angry Men with Martin Shaw) and Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Holland, Ireland and Canada.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

I guess I’d have to say two things. First, I had the great pleasure of working with London’s Secret Cinema company on an amazing production of Bladerunner. Such an amazing cast and unforgettable production. The other was the two days of filming on the new Kingsman film with Ralph Fiennes coming out later this year.

Tell us about your show.

The Professor is a solo-show about a very eccentric teacher giving his farewell talk. His perceptions of the world and views of history, art and the sciences are outlandish and very, very funny. Let’s say he’s a highly original thinker who also happens to have a lot in common with his many four-legged friends.

This will be the 7th show I’ve done with the writer of ‘The Professor’, Brian Parks. He’s a two-time Fringe First winner and a friend and collaborator of 20 years. We had a great run of his play, Americana Absurdum, in London at the Menier Chocolate Factory after winning the Fringe First in Edinburgh.

We’d like to take it to London afterwards and then maybe Australia, but we have to prove our mettle here first!

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

The other play I’m doing this year is called Judas. It’s written by and also stars Tim Marriott, who made a big hit with Mengele two years ago. I get to play a baddy in this one. No, not a Roman with a spear. None of that in this one.

I want to see The Shark is Broken by Ian Shaw. Ian plays his father Robert Shaw in a behind the scenes look at the making of Jaws. Also, Stand Up Poet starring Gavin Robertson at Old Assembly Close, and Lucy Farrett: Lois which is at Underbelly.


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+3 Interview: The Dots

“We have had so many ideas that we have been going a little overboard!”

WHO: Nerine Skinner: Performer and co-creator

WHAT: “Slick and sophisticated cabaret trio. Well, they were ’til the soprano stormed out. And the mezzo died. Remaining Dot Helen (up Dot creek without a dotting paddle) frantically finds emergency understudies. Watch as this new ensemble launch into an under-rehearsed whirlwind of quavering fear, major malfunctions and minor injuries as Helen desperately tries to uphold the bar of her beloved trio without a minims rest. Will they strike the right chord? Will they B flat? Can Helen stave the day? Join The Dots for music, mayhem and a cataclysmic crescendo! For-tis-si-mo-ment!”

WHERE: Imagination Workshop – Hanover Suite (Venue 119) 

WHEN: 20:00 (50 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

I have been to Edinburgh with my own shows created by myself and comedy partner Lizzie Franks. We have taken two shows up there including ‘Myself and Myself’ and ‘Mindfulmess’ with our comedy duo ‘Franks and Skinner’. We had a great time up there and received 4 and 5 star reviews.

I have also been up to Edinburgh with another company called ‘Interactive Theatre International’ performing in an interactive, immersive theatre dining experience called ‘Confetti and Chaos’ (formerly ‘The Wedding Reception’), which both myself and my new comedy partner, Helen, will also be performing in this year alongside our brand new show ‘The Dots’.

Helen Colby, my new comedy partner also has performed in Edinburgh in the hugely successful ‘News Revue’.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

This year, the biggest thing to have happened to me is meeting my new comedy partner Helen Colby. We have entered into a new realm of creation! We met at panto in Salisbury while performing in ‘Beauty and The Beast’. Helen played Spite, the evil witch, while I played Souffle, an Instagram obsessed nightmare!!

We immediately connected and decided to create something different that would work on a universal level and ever since we have had so many ideas that we have been going a little overboard!

Tell us about your show.

Helen Colby formed ‘The Dots’ back in 2017 after a glittering career in London’s West End. She had performed in many shows including ‘Sweeney Todd’, ‘Sister Act’ and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’ to name but a few and decided she wanted to put her focus into creating a slick, professional 3 part harmony group that would not only sound and look fantastic but would also provide a twist to the usual groups circulating in the industry. The group has been working regularly with very talented performers and the gigs have been flowing in.

When Helen and I met, I had come from a different background in performance. I have worked heavily in devising projects and writing and performing my own stand up sets as well as working within my already formed comedy duo ‘Franks and Skinner’. When Helen told me what she was looking to achieve with ‘The Dots’ long term, I knew we could work together to make this happen. We decided to bring a new edge to the the group that would involve a comedy arc that would bring all these elements together.

We started playing about with ideas in the room with our wonderful third Dot, Macey and soon ideas and concepts for a full show came to light and we decided to premiere this new mix of comedy, cabaret and dance in Edinburgh this year!

Post Edinburgh we hope to tour this and take it onto cruises as well as look at it on a television level as we feel it has legs to go further. We already have Christmas bookings in Theatres so we have a busy year ahead!

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

We would highly recommend our audience to see ‘Confetti and Chaos’ as both Helen and I are also in that show! The company producing ‘Confetti and Chaos’ also produce the ‘Faulty Towers Dining Show’ which I will also be performing it in Edinburgh! The Imagination Workshop Festival Hub has many different shows on this year at the fringe including a fabulous show called ‘Love/Hate Actually’ and ‘Only Fools and Horses, The Cushty Dining Experience’ among many others so it is a great venue to check out while up there… and good news… they are all in the same venue at The Principal Hotel, so make a day or evening.. or week of it!


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+3 Interview: The Black Blues Brothers

“We did lots of big shows… but maybe one of the most important was the performance we did in front of Pope Francis in the Vatican.”

WHO: Guy Masterson, Comedian

WHAT: “The circus show that everyone is talking about! Joining the energy of Africa with a rhythm and blues sound, five unleashed acrobats perform their comedy tribute to cult movie, The Blues Brothers. In an elegant American bar, the chairs, tables and surroundings become props for new feats of acrobatic daring. Showcasing a vast range of skills and disciplines, watch in awe as the Black Blues Brothers amaze with hilarious dance challenges, fire and somersault routines, human pyramids and much more. An astonishing performance for all the family!”

WHERE: Assembly Rooms – Music Hall (Venue 20) 

WHEN: 16:30 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

It’s the first time, and we are very excited about that! In those years we have been travelling all around Europe, but we have never been to the U.K. before. We performed in theatres, festivals, big events… with the sun and with the rain, so we don’t fear Scottish weather! Edinburgh is a great city, before and after the show we surely walk around the city to discover its treasures!

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

We did lots of big shows… but maybe one of the most important was the performance we did in front of Pope Francis in the Vatican. It was during the Jubilee for Circus and Travelling People and… wow! Doing our acrobatics in such a place, in front of the Pope. I think we’ll never forget that experience!

Tell us about your show.

We are a group of friends that one day decided to become acrobats. We come from a social circus trust in Kenya called Sarakasi. It helps young people in trouble, giving a hope through art. Some years ago we met there Alessandro Serena, Professor of Circus History and producer from an Italian theatre-circus company. We feel a very good vibration with him and we started collaborating with him. We came in Italy and we create the show with him, basing on his experience as a director and producer and on our acrobatic techniques and energy. Now that show did more than 500 dates all around Europe and we want to do 500 dates more! And more! After the Fringe we are going to tour in Italy, Spain and other countries, then in the winter season we’ll do several shows in theatres… We’ll never stop!

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

Ed Fringe is full of very good acrobatic and circus shows. The Fringe itself is a huge circus! Last year we saw My Land, a poetic show of Recirquel company. What a show! If you want to see what contemporary circus can do with ancestral myths, but most of all if you want to see great artists sharing their energy with you, that’s the show you are searching for!


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+3 Interview: Love/Sick

“As far as filling the Fringe’s brief to provide a platform for new companies, we’re ticking all the boxes.”

WHO: Luke Dunne: Director

WHAT: “For the romantic, the cynic, and the sick of heart – Love/Sick is a play about the kind of love you won’t find in fairy tales. Dark, funny and heartbreaking in equal measure, happy endings are far from guaranteed. John Cariani’s collected short plays sharply cut across the full spectrum of romantic relationships, from young love to old flames. There’s no sterile, airbrushed prince and princess here – Love/Sick is about flawed, messy people with problems they can’t always solve, but who will fight like hell to make it work anyway.”

WHERE: theSpace on the Mile – Space 1 (Venue 39) 

WHEN: 10:00 (55 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

I’ve been coming to Edinburgh to see the Fringe for years, but my first time involved in a show. In fact, this is our company’s first time bringing a show to the Fringe, as we’re very new, and every member of the cast and crew is a newbie too! So as far as filling the Fringe’s brief to provide a platform for new companies, we’re ticking all the boxes.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

So I think our story as a company really started at the very beginning of this year, when we first pitched Love/Sick to theatres in Oxford. After that, we decided at the last moment that we didn’t want to wait another year to take a show to the Fringe, and got in contact with the Space UK team. They were fantastic, and having had full houses and good reviews throughout our run in Oxford, most of the original cast and crew have put a huge amount of effort into making sure that this version of Love/Sick is even better. So all in all, deciding to start a company and do Love/Sick is pretty big for us, but honestly the last few months have been so full on and so much fun it’s hard to pin one moment down.

Tell us about your show.

Love/Sick was written by John Cariani, an American playwright, but this particular production came together originally as myself and my co-director Olivia, who is also performing in this production, discussed what we felt was missing from student theatre. Something to balance the sketch shows/stand up fare that British universities are so fond of, and the often overly niche and slow-paced theatre that student companies (at least in Oxford) often produced. So we settled on something fast, with 7 short plays that pull you from silliness to sadness in a comic but often unsettlingly dark take on romance.

Because we have a case of 4 playing 14 different roles, because the show is only 55 minutes long and tries to develop 7 snapshots of often very different relationships, boredom just isn’t really an option. Our Oxford run was both a lot of fun and a big success – we sold really well, and reviews were really positive. But even though we have retained most of the original cast, we’ve been rehearsing so the Edinburgh show to be tighter and funnier than the Oxford run, so we’re all really excited to see how it unfolds throughout the Fringe. We don’t have any plans to take this show beyond the Fringe, but who knows!

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

I would love our audience to go see more student theatre and comedy – The Free Footlights Shows are always good fun and offer a really wide range of student stand up, and I know a lot of really excellent student theatre is travelling to the Fringe this year, like the musical ‘Rust’ which is being put on by students from Cambridge. I also know that Almost, Maine, another Cariani play, is being put on this August, so if our audience have a good time at Love/Sick they should certainly check that out too!


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+3 Interview: Who’s the Daddy Pig?

“Before starting stand up comedy I was an actor, and one of the biggest jobs I had was playing Daddy Pig in the official stage production of Peppa Pig. Fast forward a few years and I became a dad in real life, and suddenly Peppa and her family were back in my life again.”

WHO: Philip Simon: Writer and Performer

WHAT: “Having played Daddy Pig in Peppa Pig, when Philip became a dad surely there was only one expert to turn to for parenting advice? Yes, that’s right, you’re not misreading this; Philip really did play Daddy Pig in Peppa Pig (the stage production, not the TV show, don’t get carried away!). Join Philip for an hour of award-winning stand-up comedy about dating, parenthood and, of course, Peppa Pig… just don’t bring the kids! Jewish Comedian of the Year 2015. BBC New Comedian Shortlist nominee. Writer for Mock the Week. ‘Never less than hilarious’ (The Stage).”

WHERE: PBH’s Free Fringe @ Banshee Labyrinth – Chamber Room (Venue 156) 

WHEN: 12:00 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This show will be my debut hour, but I have been at the Fringe every year since starting stand up comedy in 2011. Usually, it was just for a week or so to do some spots and show my face. Last year was my first time going for the whole month so I could do a work in progress of the current show.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

I’ve ticked a lot of professional boxes this year. I’ve continued to work as part of the rehearsal teams for Mock the Week and Taskmaster, and I’ve also travelled more for gigs. Apart from the UK, including The Comedy Store, in the past year I’ve worked in Belgium, Germany, Turkey, Crete, Cyprus and Israel, and next year I’m already booked for a run in Dubai.

Tell us about your show.

Before starting stand up comedy I was an actor, and one of the biggest jobs I had was playing Daddy Pig in the official stage production of Peppa Pig. Fast forward a few years and I became a dad in real life, and suddenly Peppa and her family were back in my life again.

As well as a (not-so-child-friendly) look at the world of Peppa Pig, I wanted to explore a number of themes in my show, including fatherhood and the importance of raising boys in today’s f*cked up world, thinking especially about gender stereotypes, equality and feminism.

I’ve done some work in progress shows at various festivals, but Edinburgh 2019 will be Who’s the Daddy Pig’s official debut. Depending on how the show goes and how it’s received I’d love to be able to tour it, especially looking at other festivals around the world (Peppa Pig is shown in 180 countries) and possibly linking it with mental health charities, especially those helping men coping with depression and their mental wellbeing.

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

I’m also running a compilation show with Aaron Levene called “Jew-O-Rama”, which brings the best Jewish (and JewISH) comedians at the Fringe. That’s at Whistlebinkies everyday at 5:15pm.

Some other people I’m excited to see are Joe Bor who’s doing a lovely show about his grandfather’s friendship with the actor Herbert Lom. He’s also doing a character show featuring “Posh Climber Jasper Cromwell Jones”. I’ve always enjoyed watching Jenny Collier’s shows each year, as well as Rachel Creeger, Aaron Simmonds and George Rigden whose preview I saw recently, along with Jen Brister, Abandoman and Mitch Benn. Oh, and if you want to be taken completely out of your comfort zone for some bonkers comedy brilliance, then you must go and see Candy Gigi Markham’s show. Don’t ask, just go, and thank me later!


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