INTERVIEW: THE BURNING comes to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to investigate Witches!

Name of Edinburgh show: The Burning
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard (Upstairs)
Performance time: 15:15
Show length: 60 minutes
Ticket price: Previews: £7, Early Week: £11 (£10), Midweek: £12 (£11), Weekend: £13 (£12)

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
My name is Kimberley Hallam, I’m from a tiny village on the edge of Cheshire, I eat an excessive amount of mushy peas and occasionally rub soft pastels on a page and call it art. I trained in Physical Theatre at East 15 Acting School; there was lots of clowning and acrobatics- in short, I sweated a lot and threw myself onto crash mats for three years. I’ve had the pleasure of working with David Glass on his global project This Changes Everything and on the “unstageable play” Peer Gynt, directed by Ryan Kiggell.

Tell me about your new show, what it is all about?
The Burning follows two timelines, one of real witches throughout history intertwined with a modern day woman uncovering the secrets of her family’s past. We explore how the invasion of capitalism divided communities creating the “witch” we know today and how the continuous rein of patriarchy gave way to persecute them. We challenge you to rethink your definition of “witch” all the while celebrating the beautiful resilience of women and the real magic they hold.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2019?
Our director Roberta Zuric and dramaturg Zoe Guzy-Sprague began researching long before us actors walked into the studio. We have since had an epic research and development process, full of creating and exploring. It’s important to reflect on the past not just to remember where we went wrong, but to make sure any malevolent events never happens again. It’s frightening how much of our brutal past is still hiding in today.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Keep hydrated and try to get enough sleep! There’s a lot of fun to be had at all hours of the day, so you need to keep your body fuelled. Try to read every flyer you get, they can become very overwhelming but you never know what little bit of magic you might miss.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I walked onto the stage dressed in a jelly fish costume. I opened my mouth and out came a Jamaican accent, to which I then had to continue with for the rest of the show…

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
-Mimbre are an all-female acrobatics company, they are a wonderful reminder that women can be strong and achieve the impossible.
-Justice in motion does exceptional work to raise awareness on modern day slavery both on and off stage. It’s wonderful when you feel a company’s passion about making a difference.
-And of course Gecko, who always have the most beautiful authenticity in everything they do, always so playful and imaginative.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I will do a downward dog about a dozen times. Gotta be loosey-goosey…

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
-I’ve been stalking This Egg for a while now, I am still yet to see any of their shows and I have heard wonderful things about Dressed- so you’ll find me there!
-M.E.H by The Outbound Project is a show about “hysterical” woman throughout history. I had the privilege to work with them in the very early stages of development, they are over a year on and I’m thrilled to see how the show has grown.
-And I’m dying to see some stand-up comedy! I’m totally ready for some belly busting laughter.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
People should come to us, not only for the fiery physical sequences, live music created by Phoebe Parker (one of our performers) and the candid language, but for the shocking impact that the witch hunts have had on the gender roles of today. We need to understand where we came from in order to make a change. (Plus we have an all-female cast and crew which is an incognito first-how exciting!)


Buy tickets to West End theatre shows (some great discounted offers)
Subscribe to my mailing list for all the latest theatre news, special offers and competitions