+3 Interview: Sisters: On Demand

“As a comedian you’re whole year seems to revolve around August so we’re really excited to head back. It’s a bit like a summer camp for comedians.”

WHO: Christy White-Spunner & Mark Jones, Writer/performers

WHAT: “After a sell-out debut show, innovative sketch duo Sisters are putting you in control of their highly anticipated second hour. ‘A genuinely exciting new voice in sketch comedy’ (Telegraph). ‘Stands out as a must-see’ (EdFringeReview.com). ‘Given the double act genre a real shot in the arm’ (List). ‘A fantastically dark sketch duo with a bright future’ (BroadwayWorld.com). As seen on BBC Three and heard on BBC Radio 4.”

WHERE: Pleasance Courtyard – Pleasance That (Venue 33) 

WHEN: 20:15 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This year will be our second full show, the follow up to last year’s sell-out debut show: ‘White Noise’. In terms of fringes, this will be the 7th year we’ve been at the fringe, either performing on our own, testing out material or working on other shows. As a comedian you’re whole year seems to revolve around August so we’re really excited to head back. It’s a bit like a summer camp for comedians.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’17?

Taking our debut show to London’s Soho Theatre in April was an amazing experience. We’ve seen so many incredible acts perform there over the years so to do a run of our own was a real milestone for us. We also played Latitude festival for the first time this Summer. I heard The Killers were really excited to warm up for us.

Tell us about your show.

This year’s show is the product launch of our own sketch On Demand service, in which we attempt to hand over control of the show to the audience. If all goes to plan then it should run in a different order each day. Like last year it’s entirely self produced and written by the pair of us. We’ve previewed it in London for a couple of months and at Latitude Festival and would love to take it further afield after Edinburgh.

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

Some of our favourite sketch acts are returning to the Fringe this year like Sheeps, The Pin, Beard and Lazy Susan as well as new double-act Moon, so sketch fans will be spoiled for choice this year. Other than sketch, Ben Pope’s debut stand-up show is a must.


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+3 Interview: The Song of Lunch

“It is staged with cartoon animation by Charles Peattie, gorgeous black and white silhouettes which, because The Song Of Lunch is a retelling of the Orpheus myth, uses imagery from Greek pots.”

WHO: Robert Bathurst, Producer

WHAT: “Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet, Downton Abbey, Toast of London) and Rebecca Johnson (The Trip, The Flood) star in this hilarious and poignant drama of a disastrous attempt to rekindle lost love. Set in a Soho Italian restaurant, Costa Award winner Christopher Reid’s verse comedy is exquisitely intertwined with glorious animations by Charles Peattie (Alex cartoon, Daily Telegraph) in this bittersweet tragi-comedy of love, loss and Chianti. Directed by Jason Morell. ‘Robert Bathurst is a class act and a master of nuance’ (Herald). ‘A beautiful comic actor’ (Financial Times).”

WHERE: Pleasance Courtyard – Forth (Venue 33) 

WHEN: 14:20 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

I was here when I was a student, doing revues. It had the same manic atmosphere but was less shiny and efficient than it is today, with few performance hubs and no instant ticketing. There was an attractive handmade griminess, cut n paste publicity, a greater sense of amateurs winging it, and the coffee would simply not be acceptable to today’s crowd. Decaff, soy latte, extra shot please.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’17?

I’ve done another series of Cold Feet for ITV.

Tell us about your show.

The poet Christopher Reid wrote a book, The Song Of Lunch, as a comic antidote to his previous publication, A Scattering, written in tribute to his late wife and finding some resolution in grief. Both are in verse, both are about love and loss and I thought I could stage them together. Christopher has let me.

I’m trying out The Song Of Lunch at this Festival. It is staged with cartoon animation by Charles Peattie, gorgeous black and white silhouettes which, because The Song Of Lunch is a retelling of the Orpheus myth, uses imagery from Greek pots.

I got funding from the Arts Council and the Jerwood Foundation to help make the animation and, after a short trial run at Chichester, this is the first time I’m presenting it for critical opinion. I’ve put together a really skilful and committed production team, the show’s a two-hander with the wonderful Rebecca Johnson and we’ll see how it goes. With luck people will begin to realise that Christopher Reid is one of our finest living writers.

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

Tim Key, John Hegley, Arthur Smith (who’ll be getting a statue soon), Su Pollard, Esther Rantzen, Margo, Avocado. And all those whispers.


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+3 Interview: Brett Goldstein: What Is Love Baby Don’t Hurt Me

“It’s a stand up show about love, sex, porn and addiction.”

WHO: Brett Goldstein, Performer

WHAT: “Sex. Porn. Love. Addiction. Can Brett tell the difference? Brett Goldstein, award-winning comic, actor and writer, returns with a new stand-up show about relationships, psychology, living in a post-porn world and the hell that is being in love. Come help him through this difficult time. ‘Sharply written, impeccably delivered, always charming… Warm, wise stuff’ (Daily Telegraph). ‘Fast paced, dark and brutal, and performed with skill and ease… Oddly philosophical and fascinating.’ (WhatsOnStage.com).”

WHERE: Pleasance Courtyard – Beneath (Venue 33) 

WHEN: 19:00 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This is my 12th time coming to Edinburgh I think. I spent four years doing plays up here. Then started doing stand up. Did a new act show. Then three mixed bills. Then three solo shows. This is my fourth solo show. I’m tired even explaining that.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’17?

I went to a dinner party. Never again.

Tell us about your show.

It’s a stand up show about love, sex, porn and addiction. I wrote it. Live Nation are producing it. I’ve done lots of previews before Edinburgh. I might take it on tour after.

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

Something that isn’t comedy so they aren’t comparing the two. Maybe, a nice opera or some mime.


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+3 Interview: Infinita

“Since 2001 we have then performed in 32 different countries, some 150 performances a year…”

WHO: Gianni Bettucci, Director of Familie Flöz

WHAT: “After sell-out success of Hotel Paradiso and a five-star hit with Teatro Delusio, Germany’s mask theatre masters return to the Fringe with their next brilliant, visual comedy. In Infinita, a cast of irresistible, larger than life characters are seen both as warring children and as residents of an old people’s home. The wily games of nursery one-upmanship seem hardly to change with the passage of time. Survival of the craftiest is still the rule of the day. Infinita plays out in a succession of increasingly hilarious scenes, combining poignancy, astute observation and some superbly skilled slapstick.”

WHERE: Pleasance Courtyard – The Grand (Venue 33) 

WHEN: 13:30 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

It is our fifth time, we are old Fringers so to speak. We started in 2001, then 2004, 2015 and 2016. We started small, in a small venue in George Street and ended up in 2016 in the Grand selling over 16.000 tickets. Its being a long, tiring and rewarding journey.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’17?

The international success. We arrived in Edinburgh in 2001 being and unknown German company. Right after we started receiving calls from all over the places. Since 2001 we have then performed in 32 different countries, some 150 performances a year…

Tell us about your show.

It is one of our best shows W have been performing INFINITA for 10 years now, but it is the first time that comes to Edinburgh. As all the other productions by Familie Floez is a collective creative process where all the actors participates and there is a director, an external eye so to speak, which coordinate all comes out from our improvisation. INFINITA is the third production of a company who came together in 1996 at the Folkwang Schule in Essen, at the time lead by Pina Bausch. We started in 4 people, we are now over 40, with 4 different companies touring at the same time 4 different productions.

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

We love to visit the circus hub, or any of the international or circus shows… so many talented friends in the program!!!! Portrait in Motion for instance is a pearl!!!!


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+3 Interview: Owen Roberts: I Let a Six-Year-Old Write My Show

“I keep telling her to get a job, but she says she’s too busy inventing a machine that enables her toy dog snowflake to levitate.”

WHO: Owen Roberts, Writer and Performer

WHAT: “After a severe case of writer’s block, Owen has thrown caution to the wind and decided to let a child write his show for him. Kids are funny, right? What could possibly go wrong? She can’t spell, she can’t sit still for more than 30 seconds, and her ideas are wildly unrealistic to say the least. This show is about the weird stuff children think and how bloody difficult it is to work with them. From one third of sketch legends BEASTS: ‘A tsunami of silliness’ **** (Telegraph).”

WHERE: Pleasance Courtyard – Pleasance This (Venue 33) 

WHEN: 16:45 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

No, I’ve done 5 fringes with my sketch group Beasts. However this is my first time doing it as a solo artist. Which is why a few months ago I caved in and asked for help writing the show, however the only person available was a six year old child, so she’s writing it now.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’17?

I moved in with a six year old, she’s basically my housemate now, except she doesn’t pay any bills or rent, or do any house work. I keep telling her to get a job, but she says she’s too busy inventing a machine that enables her toy dog snowflake to levitate.

Tell us about your show.

My show is called ‘I Let A Six Year Old Write My Show’ because that’s what I did. She writes the material, I have to perform it, and honestly the drivel she’s come up with. One minute I’m supposed to be playing a Chinese police woman disguised as a burglar fighting a dancing crab, the next I’m trying to eat a volcano with my foot, it’s chaos.

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

I’m also performing with my sketch group Beasts 16-19 Aug, also one of the other members of Beasts Ciaran Dowd is doing a solo show called ‘Don Rodolfo’, so check that out too.


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+3 Interview: Propeller

“For the month of August, Edinburgh becomes the worlds creative epicentre, and if you work in the arts I don’t know why you would be anywhere else.”

WHO: Louise Oliver, Producer

WHAT: “So you want to change the world? Really? You? You Instagram checking, avo-smashing, coconut-flat-white sipping loser? Yeah, the world sucks sometimes – OK, a lot. But you can’t do anything about it. Can you? This show says yes, yes you can. Maybe. If you ever feel frustrated about the way things are but don’t know what to do about it, this is the show for you. A devised piece about power and the possibility of change, directed by double Fringe First winner Caitlin Skinner and co-created by The Network Ensemble.”

WHERE: Pleasance Courtyard – Pleasance Above (Venue 33) 

WHEN: 13:00 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This will be my 13th year at the Edinburgh Fringe. My first experience of the Fringe was to bring my own show back in 2005. I wrote and directed a partially devised comedy that intended to condense 3000 years of theatre history into one hour. I was a recent Theatre Studies graduate and was convinced, in all my youthful naivete, that this was a highly original idea. Being one show in a programme of thousands taught me very quickly that it definitely wasn’t. Since then I have attended the festival every year in some capacity; performer, writer, director, producer, Festival Fringe Society employee and audience member. To me, it’s the most important date in the cultural calendar. For the month of August, Edinburgh becomes the worlds creative epicentre, and if you work in the arts I don’t know why you would be anywhere else. This year I am wearing my producer hat and am working with the Scottish Drama Training Network to produce our production of Propeller, and I am also the Associate Producer with Edinburgh based production house Civil Disobedience, and we will be presenting a diverse roster of around nine shows at this years Festival.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’17?

So many amazing things in my life and career have happened to me as a direct result of being involved in the Festival. It’s hard to pick just one. I’ve been able to work abroad, make some intense friendships, some of which have ended up also being creative collaborators. The Fringe has given me the opportunity to do what I love for a living. I suppose one of the most life-changing results was in 2013. That year, whilst working at the Festival, I decided I wanted to re-train as an actor. I met and subsequently auditioned for the Head of Admissions for the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts while he was in Edinburgh as a talent scout. That meeting and audition resulted in an acceptance on a scholarship to their programme for actors and I ended up moving there for a couple of years to be the ultimate living cliché; a struggling actor in New York City. Unique and once in a life time opportunities like that happen all the time at the Fringe. It’s like no where else in terms of what’s possible.

Tell us about your show.

Propeller by the Network Ensemble and the Scottish Drama Training Network is one of my bigger projects for this year and I am really excited about it. Presented in partnership with Pleasance Futures, Propeller is a devised piece of new theatre about power and feeling powerless. It will be an irreverent, theatrical, call to action. It’s being directed by double-Fringe First winning Director Caitlin Skinner, produced by myself on behalf of the Scottish Drama Training Network, and created by the Network Ensemble. The company, known as The Network Ensemble, came together through the Scottish Drama Training Network.

The Network is a graduate production ensemble made up Acting, Performance and Technical Theatre graduates from Scotland’s Colleges and Higher Education Institutions. The Network Ensemble is about giving them that first professional opportunity as they make the transition from training to industry. As the show is being created by the cast, the 2018 Fringe will be the premier of the work. I believe the show is going to tap into a collective feeling of unchanneled frustration with the current political climate that the majority of people are feeling right now. We hope that it will serve as a fun yet practical guide to what we can all do as individuals on a grassroots level to effect change. Given the current landscape in America, particularly with regards to how young people are mobilising and engaging in politics, it would be incredible to take the show over there. Perhaps to college campuses and regions of America that are removed from the diverse urban hubs, where we could engage with local schools and community groups.

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

I think it’s good to challenge yourself when you are in Edinburgh. To go see something that puts you outside your comfort zone. It’s the kind of environment where anything goes so you are likely to see work that you aren’t going to find anywhere else in the world. You should take risks. Find out what everyone is talking about, because if there is a hot ticket, it’s likely to be a show that people continue talking about for years to come. You should seek those experiences out. If you normally only ever see stand-up, then go see some mental, immersive, site-specific theatre. You never know, it might just change your perspective and introduce you to something you never knew you loved. My personal recommendations for this year are One Life Stand, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, Bugle Boys, Jet of Blood, What Girls Are Made Of, Fringe Wives Club: Glittery Clittery, Hans: Like a German, Closed Doors, Handfast and Ulster American.


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+3 Interview: Short & Curly: Young at Start

“We are more conscious of our age among all the whippersnappers at the fringe.”

WHO: Rebecca, Performer

WHAT: “Curly is convinced that appearing youthful is the answer to success and he will do whatever is necessary to get ‘youth’. Cut a long story short. Short ruins it. If you thought pink custard was good you’ll crap your pants over this!”

WHERE: Pleasance Courtyard – Pleasance That (Venue 33) 

WHEN: 16:30 (60 min)

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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

No we have been coming to Edinburgh for many years in various guises but this is Short & Curly’s fifth show in Edinburgh.

Tell us about your show.

Paul (aka Curly) is turning 40 this August so naturally, we are more conscious of our age among all the whippersnappers at the fringe, he’s panicking about that so we nostalgically take a look back at his memories. They end up a bit warped because Short is interfering with them trying to prove to him that age has no importance as long as you’re still having fun.

It’s a fast-paced, multi-sketch, multi-character show that we’ve crammed as many ideas into it as we could, it aims to be as much fun for the audience as possible.

We write it and produce it together but we’ve been working on the show with Marek Larwood from ‘We are Klang’ as an outside eye.

We were already a couple romantically and then in 2010 we started running a comedy night in London and it seemed only fitting to become the resident sketch act.

We have been previewing the show around the UK. Afterwards, we will probably do the show once more in London and then put it to bed.

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

‘Kill The Beast’ always produce fabulous shows this year it’s called Directors Cut so we’re looking forward to that.

On a beast theme, two of the sketch group Beasts (Ciarán Dowd and Owen Roberts) are coming up with solo shows so we can’t wait to check them out.

You can’t go wrong with Susan Harrison’s; ‘Susan Harrison Is a Bit Weepy’


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