Katherina Radeva talks about FALLEN FRUIT at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Katherina Radeva
Name of Edinburgh show: Fallen Fruit
Venue: Summerhall Tech Cube 0
Performance time: 11:25am
Show length: 60 mins
Ticket price: £12/£10 and £5 preview on the 1st August

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
Born in Bulgaria in 1982, I arrived in the UK aged 17 in 1999 because I was awarded a full scholarship to study Art and Design at the City of Bath College. I then went to do a degree in Set and Costume Design at Wimbledon School of Art. During my time there I fell in with the “wrong” crowd and began to make my own performance works. So, for the last thirteen years I have been writing, performing, designing, producing and drawing for dance and theatre with Two Destination Language (which I and my partner Alister Lownie run together) as well as numerous brilliant theatre and dance artists across the UK.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Fallen Fruit is about the fall of the Berlin Wall, as I experienced it “back there, back then, where I come from” at the age of 7. It comes from an honest reflection on what it is to be raised, through your formative years, against the background of huge political changes – the collapse of communism and the beginning of capitalism in Eastern Europe, although really, it is post-communism that the people are really living under.

The show layers questions about borders, migration and freedom. Three narratives interweave to take you on a journey of the highs and lows of November 1989 and the aftermath of the end of the Cold War. A story of a girl growing up, a love story on the verge of breaking down, and a zany TV presenter trying to inspire change.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
We first made the show in 2011. It toured a little in south west England and then we got distracted by making other shows, including Near Gone, our Total Theatre award winning show, which has toured since.

So, earlier this year we knew that this point in time, months before Britain leaves the European Union and a year from the 30th year anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, was a good moment to revive the show. It is extremely current. The show really asks you to reconsider the effects of walls and separation in a witty and charming way, from the perspective of a little girl growing up on the cusp between communism and capitalism.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
For performers: be kind to yourself. Make sure you give yourself time and space to rest. While networking is very important, so is doing a great show without feeling like a massive tyre has just run over you. Go for a walk or a swim and eat well. If you liked a peer artist’s show, tell them – there is nothing nicer than hearing a kind word from a fellow maker.

For visitors: allow time to walk from venue to venue – you can’t really rush it in Edinburgh. Be patient with the crowds and remember you are part of them too. If you like a show, tell your friends. Word of mouth is the best marketing! Be on time; shows normally start very pronto. Don’t see more than three-four shows a day, otherwise your brain may not cope with all the info. Hang out in places like Summerhall Courtyard and Traverse Bar. And whatever you do, make sure you take half a day to go down to Portobello and just walk on the beach.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
There have been many funny moments on stage- forgetting a line and just making stuff up, tripping over set, that sort of thing. But perhaps the weirdest of them normally happen in my dreams; I often have nightmares that an audience walk in and I’m not ready or I haven’t got my costume on, or I am not sure which show I am doing that day – stuff like that. Fortunately, none of those have happened, yet!

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Oh, Lordy, that is a big one. I don’t have one inspiration. I often love bits of shows, not because I think that as a whole show it isn’t brilliant but because my mind wanders off into the abyss. But artists like the monumental Christo, the monumental Francis Alÿs, the monumental Phyllida Barlow, the brilliant Zadie Smith, the amazing Kapka Kassabova, the extraordinary Jérôme Bel and many of my performance contemporaries. I think we live in an extraordinary moment for new theatre and dance.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Eat a banana, drink some water, but not too much, stretch and do a mega fast line run of the show. Listen to a track that makes me happy. Alway wish the technician running the show good luck!

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Everything at Summerhall, everything at Dancebase and everything at Traverse. When I have done those (which is impossible!) then I will venture further afield. I like a good circus show so I will keep my ear to the ground of what is hot, ground-breaking, bold and sexy in the circus venues!

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Imagine a world where we truly listened to and learned from one another. Fallen Fruit is a hopeful hour of opposites attracting each other, the power of dialogue and the restorative qualities of hot chocolate. The past helps us think about how to live this moment!


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