Birds of a Feather star Charlie Quirke talks about performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Charlie Quirke
Name of Edinburgh shows: Our Boys and Early Birds (in rep)
Venue: PQA Venues @ Riddle’s Court (venue 277)
Performance time:
Our Boys runs 3 – 27 August (not 8, 15, 22) at 20:30
Early Birds runs 3 – 27 August (not 8, 15, 22) at 18:00
Show length: Our Boys (90 mins), Early Birds (50 mins)
Ticket price:
Our Boys: 3 and 4 August: £9.00 (£6.50 concs); 5 – 27 August: £11.50 (£9.50, £8.50/£7.50 concs). 2 for 1 deal on 6 and 7 August.
Early Birds: 3 and 4 August: £9.00 (£6.50 concs); 5 – 27 August: £11.50 (£9.50/£8.50 concs). 2 for 1 deal on 6 and 7 August.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
So originally, I played football at a good level and for a couple of clubs when I was younger. Then as I got older I leant more towards acting at school and come teenage years, I started taking it more seriously, getting my first representation when I was about 12 or 13.

Tell me about your shows, what are they all about?
Early Birds is how Birds of a Feather was created and the backlash of such a racy show happening back in the 80’s and how it came to life. It’s very interesting the controversy behind it. Our Boys is about six injured soldiers, set in 2010 in the aftermath of Herrick IX (British operations in the Afghanistan). What’s really great is the script has been re-written especially for our production, which will allow it to resonate more with a younger audience.

How long have you been working on these shows and what is it that makes them relevant to audiences in 2018?
Rehearsals began last month and are still ongoing. Birds of a Feather is such a well-known and beloved show that people won’t believe the story and struggle behind getting it first aired. Our Boys is a very well-known play and has been produced in town twice, most recently in the West End in 2012. It’s a beautiful play which is as harrowing as it is hilarious. It is set in an injured soldiers hospital, where we learn about these characters, their relationships and lives.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Great question. For performers, I have two! 1. It’s a marathon not a sprint and 2… Good luck! Visitors: Enjoy. See a variety. Laugh. Cry. And get out of your comfort zone as an audience member.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I was doing a boxing play last year and an actor was meant to fake punch me but I caught one straight to the jaw, haha.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
My mum has to be there, honestly, for me. Also Gary Oldman. As well as Jake Gyllenhaal who I feel never ever lets you down. Also, Hugh Jackman as his story into the business is amazing.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
They sort of seem to develop through rehearsals. Currently another actor and me will shake hands before our first entrance together.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
I love getting there and speaking to people, taking shows off people’s opinion and from word of mouth.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the Fringe?
The shows have such variety that you could stay at PQA Venues and see a different show every hour and be entertained. We’re lucky enough to have the original writer of Our Boys Jonathan Lewis directing us so no one knows it better. How it’s being sculpted is amazing. You’ll be drawn in and find yourself laughing and then crying in the next breath.

Early Birds, by the top comedy writers Marks and Gran, is a fun fast-paced hilarious and interesting insight into one of the best known sitcoms ever.


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