The award-winning character comedian Anna Morris presents her critically acclaimed Edinburgh sell-out show Bitchelors. Four diverse ‘contestants’ compete for your vote at a Woman of the Year Awards, hosted by Britain’s Biggest Bridezilla, Georgina Francis (Comic Relief’s Bride Aid).
A ruthless mumtrepreneur, a sweetly sinister baker, a fearless foreign correspondent and an irate anti-marriage activist: YOU decide who wins, and how the show ends. We caught up with her for a chat about the show over a cuppa!
In the show you play five different characters (not all at the same time!) What can people expect from the show?
It’s set at a spoof Woman of the Year Awards show. So the audience become the judges as soon as they walk in. They’ll be presented with a host and four different contestants all fighting to win. They can expect some persuasive arguments, songs, accidents, twists and turns… Then they can vote for their winner which means there are four completely different endings!
How do you cope with the challenge of bringing five different characters to the stage?
Hours and hours of rehearsal with my Director Dave Jackson, who also contributes additional material to the show. He’d make me switch from one character to the other at the click of a finger, changing posture, mannerisms and accent. We’d do this for hours. We made sure every single character was totally different. We have a 30 second transition between one character to the next so we made sure only shoes and one top were changed. The shoes made a massive difference to the way I stand and move. As soon as the shoes go on I become the character! We have heels, army boots, ballet pumps, trainer heels (yes I got those off eBay!)…
Are any of your characters based on people you know or have met?
I pick up mannerisms and accents from people – sometimes unconsciously. So yes they are all based on bits of people I suppose! One character Jane always sounds like she’s on the verge of tears and has a nervous shake in her right leg – this was based on a woman I met at a temp job I did who was really shy. I then exaggerate these observations and add in more detail as I build the character.
Who are your comedic influences?
Victoria Wood is my biggest influence. When I was 8 years old I’d record (on VHS!) her As Seen on TV show and watch it again and again until I could quote all of the scripts. I loved her characters, wit and observations of everyday life. I saw her do it and said ‘that’s what I want to do too’. French and Saunders, and later Caroline Aherne and Julia Davis were also very inspiring for me.
Georgina’s wedding blog has had over 50,000 views on YouTube. What has been people’s response to the ultimate Bridezilla?
They love to hate her! She tries so hard to be perfect and is a massive snob, and people seem to love it as they’ve all met someone like that. But there is also some pathos with Georgina, as you’ll see in the show (she’s the host). You can tell something isn’t quite right… and by the end of the Awards she’s learnt a lot about herself and has a bit of a meltdown.
What will she get up to once the wedding has taken place?
You’ll have to see the show to find out!
Who is your favourite character to play?
The underdog, Jane (a baker). She’s the most low status and nervous of the bunch. She doesn’t want to win, she doesn’t even want to be there. She can’t even look the audience in the eye at first…but slowly builds her confidence as she speaks…but then lets out a dark and shocking secret which has massive consequences for the audience and the rest of the show…
Why do you think people should come and see your new show Bitchelors at Soho
Because they get to take control of it have a role. The role of a judge! It’s their show, as well as mine. They can vote for their favourite character to win and the ending will be decided by them. Each night we might have a different winner and ending – nothing is planted or fixed – the tech will select one of four videos we have prepped for whoever wins and I have to remember each one! It’s a show that people will remember!
Thanks for having Tea With Wilma
Anna Morris – Bitchelors will be at The Soho Theatre from 19th – 21st March. For tickets visit www.sohotheatre.com