Grace Chapman talks about bringing her show IT’S NOT A SPRINT to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Grace Chapman
Name of Edinburgh show: It’s Not A Sprint
Venue: Jackdome
Performance time: 13:30
Show length: 50 mins
Ticket price: £10 / £8.50

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I have been working in theatre for almost 10 years during which time I have written, performed in and produced several shows. I was Co-Artistic Director of Idle Motion and I am now one half of NOVAE theatre, a new theatre ensemble dedicated to female led new writing. I love tea, Queer Eye and pretending I’m Beyonce on the dance floor (I’m definitely not).

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
‘It’s Not A Sprint’ tells the story of Maddy who is celebrating her 30th birthday by running a marathon – tied to a helium balloon. We meet her at the starting line with 26.2 miles to run and a big decision to make. The night before her boyfriend proposed. This sends Maddy into a spiral of self doubt as she does battle with the ‘voice in her head’, her inner ‘worst, best friend’ who forces her to confront her deeper anxieties on fidelity, children, career, body image… pensions. It’s a funny, moving exploration of age and the relationships we have with both ourselves and each other (oh – and there’s glitter)

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
This show began life as a short play at the Space theatre’s One Festival in London in January and I’ve been developing it since. I think what makes it relevant is Maddy. She is an insecure, funny, determined woman on the brink of her 30s and faced with endless questions about the next stage of her life. Does she want to get married? Does she want children? If so how many? When? Ultimately, it’s a show about a person, trying to take control of their life and confront those inner insecurities that have been holding them back. I think everyone can relate to that in some way.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Find good coffee. Take risks on shows. Never leave the house without a waterproof.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I have definitely laughed on stage when I shouldn’t have. Several times. In highly inappropriate moments. I am a liability…

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Any woman who is self producing her own work and smashing it.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Taylor Swift ‘Shake it off’ … every time.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
The Thelmas’ ‘Lady Killer’ is a must see, as is Rhum and Clay’s ‘Mistero Buffo’.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
It’s funny, it’s inventive and I promise it will make you laugh. Plus I run throughout the entirety of the show which is really something to behold… (I’m 6ft 1. There’s a lot of limb).


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