Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I’ve actually tried to give up performing a couple of times but then like a bad boyfriend I’ve always come crawling back to it. I did my undergrad at Cambridge where the theatre scene is mentally lively so I got to do a lot of stuff there which was great, and then after that I did a classical acting postgrad at the Central School of Speech and Drama. I’ve sort of very happily fallen more into comedy over the last year or so both through my work with NewsRevue and through writing and performing my own stuff with my beloved comedy partner Laura.
Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
NewsRevue actually holds the Guinness World Record for the longest running live comedy show. The show is a very fast paced hour of comedy sketches and songs performed by four actors and basically takes a satirical look at news, politics, current affairs and pop culture and turns it into an hour of comedy. At its home in London the material in the show changes week by week to keep up with what’s happening in the news but up in Edinburgh there’s the flexibility to call back to bigger news stories of the year gone by which is very exciting for us as there’s not exactly a shortage of material…
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
Down in London the cast of NewsRevue changes every six weeks to keep it as fresh as possible. I’ve done two runs of the show there and then got cast in the Edinburgh run at the end of May. Our fantastic producers and director Sam have been working on it for a long time now but we started our work at the end of June doing writing and rehearsals and previews in London. In terms of relevance to a 2018 audience I’d say it’s about as relevant a show you can get seeing as it’s literally about what is going on in the world right now. Audiences should recognise lots of the stories the material is based on, and obviously you’ll have Trump and May and other major players making appearances, so it should be as current and relevant as you could want!
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Waterproof clothing and a Caffe Nero loyalty card. If you’ve got both of those you’re golden.
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I did a tour of Antony and Cleopatra in the US while I was at university and it was all very theatrical and stylised and serious. At one point I was responsible for putting a dress on my friend Ellie on stage so she could change character and go into a very tearful dramatic scene about her marriage to Antony falling apart. The dress we had a sort of elasticated bodice-thing at the top and then was really loose and floaty at the bottom, and long story short I managed to put it on Ellie upside down so she had to do the whole scene waddling around with her ankles stuck together and her boobs falling out in front of 300 American teenagers. I did what every good actor would do and just squealed and ran off and left her to deal with the mess I’d made but we’re still friends now so thankfully no long-term damage done.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Comedy wise, at the moment I love Kate Berlant and John Early – I just think the stuff they do together is brilliant. I’m a big fan of Chelsea Peretti, Tig Notaro, Maria Bamford, Sarah Silverman, Saturday Night Live stuff obviously… The list is long. And Oprah. She’s always an inspiration.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Meditation and a salad. No, I don’t really have any rituals to be honest… I pace around quite a lot and convince myself I don’t know any of my lines. Might have a Diet Coke as well.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Well my NewsRevue colleague Pip’s show is going to be a highlight! She’s in a sketch troupe called Just These Please and they’re on at the Gilded Balloon Teviot Balcony. Kate Berlant (who I mentioned before) is up in Edinburgh too, as is Lady Rizo who’s an amazing cabaret artist. Myself and my comedy partner Laura are doing our sketch show as well – we’re called MOTHER and we’re doing a flying visit to Paradise in Augustines Studio from the 13th-18th at 12:20pm so I’m excited about that.
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
People should see NewsRevue because it’s genuinely one of the funniest shows around. The format’s brilliant and it’s full of characters and stories everyone will recognise and the news is generally pretty awful at the moment so laughing at it is probably the best cure there is and might actually make you feel better. Who needs the NHS.
Underbelly George Square (Udderbelly), Edinburgh, EH8 9LD
Thursday 2nd – Sunday 26th August 2018 (not 15th), 17:45
Twitter: @newsrevue @followthecow
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