THOR AND LOKI talk about embracing who they are at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
HARRY I trained as a classical oboe player then began writing and composing after music college. Originally our company HOUSE OF BLAKEWELL were a cabaret act, where Alice sang the songs and I stayed safely behind the piano. But over the years our work has become more and more ambitious and theatrical, I’ve ventured out onto the stage and now, here I am!
ALICE I trained at Guilford School of Acting and met Harry when I was cast in a new comedy musical he wrote the music and lyrics for. It was one of my first jobs after I graduated, and we clicked straight away. As HOUSE OF BLAKEWELL has grown I’ve been able develop my writing skills alongside performing and I feel really lucky to be able to do both.
Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
HARRY It’s a comedy musical based on ancient Norse mythology. Thor and Loki are both misfits in a messed-up world who need to learn to embrace who they are to save the world and create a better future.
ALICE It’s a big, warm-hearted show with singing wolves, a raven called Elaine and a chorus of tap-dancing trolls.
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
HARRY We’re really excited to open the show in Edinburgh after two years of workshops, drafting and rewrites! The show is about two characters who need to make a real change to save the world, which has been torn apart by bigotry and greed. It’s a modern take on an ancient story about making the leap towards something new and different.
ALICE Odin and the Gods and Giants are stuck in conflict, trying to maintain old and unequal power structures. I think there are a lot of parallels in the world right now!
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
HARRY Drink lots of water.
ALICE And espresso Martinis (that’s probably not responsible advice).
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
HARRY We did a set at the Brighton Fringe launch party. We were introduced, we walked onstage, and then the entire audience left the room. They’d just started serving free prosecco next door.
ALICE I mean you can’t compete with free prosecco. I’d have done the same.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
ALICE I am a BIG Bernadette Peters fan. I also love Kristin Wiig and comedian Luisa Omielan.
HARRY I love Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s songwriting. It’s smart and clever and funny, but also full of heart. We are also massive fans of big Broadway divas like Patti LuPone and Elaine Stritch.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
ALICE In Edinburgh you only have 10 minutes to get all the set, props and instruments setup before the show, so it’s a bit of a mad rush. We try to make time for a focusing exercise, like our rubber chicken warmup.
HARRY It’s a classic.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
HARRY I really want to see Joe Sutherland’s new stand-up show at Underbelly, and Trojan Horse at Summerhall looks really interesting.
ALICE I really want to see Luisa Omielan’s new show and I’d love to see the Guilty Feminist Podcast if I can get a ticket!
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
HARRY There is thunder, glitter, singing, dancing, live music, a cast of six and an epic story!
ALICE There’s a recorder duet that should NOT be missed.
Thor and Loki
Assembly Roxy (Upstairs), 2 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9SU
Wednesday 1st – Sunday 26th August 2018 (not 13th), 19:15
Twitter: @blakewellhouse, @VGPTheatre, @AssemblyFest, #ThorAndLoki