Kate Alderton talks about bringing her show KIN to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Name: Kate Alderton
Name of Edinburgh show: Kin
Venue: Underbelly, Cowgate Bellybutton
Performance time: Aug 2-12, 14-26 4pm
Show length: 60 mins
Ticket price: Previews £7 then £11/ £10 conc.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
One of my first jobs was ‘The Warp’- a 24 hr play directed by Ken and Daisy Campbell which is where I met Oliver Senton, the director of ‘Kin’. Over the years I’ve done all sorts from physical theatre with Frantic Assembly to big wigs and dresses theatre in Charleys Aunt at The Crucible. More recently I’ve done a fair bit of immersive and site specific which I love. I’m also a performer and producer with The Mycelium, we made ‘Cosmic Trigger’ at The Cockpit last year.
Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
It’s a funny, sharp two hander by Max Dickens (Man On The Moor 2017, Trunk 2017) about estranged sisters who are forced back together for a night while their dad is dying in the next room, trying to pin down a version of their past but discovering how memories shape-shift depending on who’s holding them. How families can winkle out the parts of us we hoped we’d grown out of, and hold the parts of us we thought we’d lost. How death brings life into hyper-sharp focus.
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
Oliver got me in for a rehearsed reading in May and I loved the script. Anyone who’s ever been to a ‘big day’ family gathering will recognise that painful dance of family dynamics when everybody’s expecting each other to be who they once were, but at the same time, fighting to stay true to who they’ve become.
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
I’m an Edinburgh virgin but I’m going for: leave enough space in your plans for the magic to sneak in, give generously, book some shows that don’t sound like your thing, say Yes!, pack for the day as if you might not make it home til late.
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I was at the end of a scene in a show but when I tried to exit in the blackout, I couldn’t find the break in the side curtains. As I flailed about, the lights started to come up for the next bit and I realised I’d be trapped onstage. In a panic I wrapped the curtain around me, but I pulled it too far onto the stage so it ended up too short and only covered me to my knees. Up came the lights and I just had to stand there, with pale brightly lit legs poking out, very obviously a person wrapped in a curtain for the entire (extremely serious) next scene.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
I get inspired by people who are anarchic, generous and a force for good in the world- Alan Lane & Slung Low, Daisy Campbell, Jeremy Stockwell, Gobsquad & Bryony Kimmings.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Singing ‘My Analyst Told Me’ by Annie Ross as fast as possible. Always tea.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
‘Status’ with Chris Thorpe & Rachel Chavkin, ‘A Sockful of Custard’ with Jeremy Stockwell & Chris Larner, Amanda Palmer. There’s something that’s set completely in the dark I really wanted to catch, but I can’t see it on the website!
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Max has written a brilliant piece for two strong female leads with cracking dialogue that’s as funny as it is painful. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to peering in on the complex corners of a family get-together without having to go to one of your own. Plus you’ll get to see one of us eat Chinese food live onstage.