INTERVIEW: FOUR WOKE BAES heads to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name of Edinburgh show: Four Woke Baes
Venue: Underbelly Cowgate (Belly Button)
Performance time: 17:05
Show length: 75 minutes
Ticket price: Previews: £7, Weekdays: £11.50 (£10.50), Weekend: £12.50 (£11.50)

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I’m a playwright, and I write about people in crisis with themselves, society, and their identity within it. I’m endlessly fascinated by the divide between who we believe we are and how we behave in the world.

The last time I performed on a stage (in a musical), I flubbed my lines in the middle of “Fugue for Tinhorns” in Guys and Dolls, so I don’t do much of that anymore! It was in university and come to think of it… Teddy Bergman (our director) was in that production, so this is full-circle!

Tell me about your new show, what it is all about?
Four Woke Baes is about a group of liberal men who embark on a camping trip which is turned upside down when a woman arrives and she refuses to leave because they’ve encroached on her campsite. (A man encroaching on a woman’s space?! Never happens, right!?) Over the night, she turns their relationships upside down, including their friendship. It’s about gender politics, marriage and monogamy in a time of endless options and alternatives. I don’t care what your sexual orientation, political belief or gender preference is, everyone’s trying to figure out how to navigate coupledom in 2019.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2019?
I was engaged a few years ago and the relationship imploded. I found out my parents had an open marriage. I went on a journey to understand why couples keep such deep secrets from each other, why we’re naturally disposed to seek permanence and the play is the result of that. I’m excited because while the play is a comedy, it also feels quite dangerous, especially if you see it with someone you love.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
First festival, Wilma. Biggest tip is to track down our cast and crew and drink with us because we’re a righteous, sexy riot! (Psssst you’ll find us at The Blue Blazer).

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Besides flubbing lines? I did once have a playwright talkback where a strange woman in the audience stood up and went on and on and on for a good ten minutes about how I was the second coming of Tony Kushner and Eugene O’Neill’s love-child and by the time she finally gave it a rest I said, “Thank you, Mom.”

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry, and why?
Directors. I love genius directors. Our director, Teddy. In the States, David Cromer, Ivan van Hove and up-and-coming Whitney White with whom I just did a show.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Tears, panic, and a prayer to god of good audiences (with empty bladders).

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Here’s what I’m hyped about, and they’re all female artists:
Do Our Best – Remy Beasley
It’s True, It’s True, It’s True – Breach Theater
Algorithms – Sadie Layla Clark
Gobby –Jodie Frankley

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Because we’re different. We’re a comedy with danger. You will hold your breath until you laugh and then hold it again. Our actors are out-of-this-world special. We’ll make you laugh and squirm and have a deep think about how to love so dangerously your heart explodes. After it’s exploded, we’ll give you a roasted marshmallow on a stick, because we’re surrounded by a campfire. It’s kind of like a tantric experience, our show. Yum!

Thanks for having Tea With Wilma


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