Anna Crilly talks about bringing a female double act to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Anna Crilly
Name of Edinburgh show: The Half
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard
Performance time: 14.00
Show length: 55 mins
Ticket price: £6.50 – £12.50

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background.
Although I did a degree in Performing Arts I didn’t actually do anything on stage until I was nearly 30, I guess it was down to confidence (of which I’m still learning how to have) and money, I had to have a job to survive and so going into unpaid theatre in my early 20’s just wasn’t an option, I think in hindsight it was a good thing coming into the comedy world a bit later its Maybe given me more perspective than I’d have had at 22, its also made me work much harder.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
The Half is the platonic love story of a female double act who fell out years ago and now have to perform together 10 years on. I can’t give away too much but It’s also about ambition and what that does to a friendship where one half has too much and the other one maybe doesn’t have enough.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
Danielle had the idea to write this a long time ago, we’ve all since had kids and turned 40 so those themes have inevitably become more relevant in this version and how that effects women’s careers in our industry, it’s based on all of our experiences of working in entertainment and sadly, that goes hand in hand with inequality and sexual harassment #metoo.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
The festival is the only opportunity for performers to have complete control over their shows, in the TV world that never happens so enjoy it. If you’re visiting remember that this is the only opportunity you’ll have to see shows that the artists have complete control over, there’s nothing more exciting than hearing a voice that’s not been meddled with to make it ‘commercial’ so do enjoy it!

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
In a show with Nick Mohammed and Colin Hoult a few years ago, Nick went to sit on a chair and it collapsed. To say we corpsed wouldn’t do it justice, as I remember our bodies convulsed with laughter which wouldn’t stop. It was one of those moments that I’ll treasure forever, the audience were perhaps less impressed.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Our director Anna Macgowan, she’s not directed anything on this scale and as such this is her directorial debut the energy, sensitivity and creative insight she has bought to this project is staggering, she’s one of the most talented directors I’ve ever worked with.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
William Andrews in Willy 4.45 Pleasance Courtyard it’s a beautifully touching and funny one man show the likes of which you’ll never have seen before.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
I don’t think anyone will have seen anything like this at the fringe before, it’s an astounding piece by Danielle who I believe is one of the UK’s finest writers.


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