Sharon Byrne talks about GUTTED at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Sharon Byrne
Name of Edinburgh show: Gutted
Venue: The Space, Triplilex Big.
Show length: 1 hour
Ticket price: £9

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I’m a playwright from Dublin living in the UK. My first play ‘Charlies Wake’ was at the Finborough theatre in 2001. I’ve been writing plays and screenplays since then. Gutted is my first play to produce at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Gutted, a black comedy is about three young Dublin women working in a fish factory in 1980s Dublin. Through dynamic monologue and dark humour the women tell us about the events of one night in their lives. They vividly and dynamically portray the characters who change the direction of their lives. Gutted tackles issues of abortion and domestic violence.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
Gutted was produced along with the Marlowe Theatre Studio in Canterbury in 2017. It’s a new play and given the recent Irish abortion referendum, it’s a relevant to women today. Women in Ireland have had no choice for decades but to come to England to terminate their pregnancies. Set in the 80s, Gutted highlights issues that are still extremely relevant today in Ireland and across the world.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
For performers – stay cool, don’t burn out too quickly. Conserve your energy and see some other shows with your pass. Time out from the intensity of your own performance is crucial and should be inspiring.

For Visitors – See our show ‘Gutted’– you won’t regret it and have fun…

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I’m not an actor. I’m definitely more comfortable behind the scenes. I don’t like being on show. I once performed in a pub singing ‘Waterloo’ with two other girlfriends in a very short-lived band. I was terrified. I hid behind the amplifier.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
There’s a whole list but these playwrights have influenced my work.
Martin McDonagh
Conor McPherson
Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Sarah Kane
I met Sarah Kane at the Paines Plough Theatre Company in 1998. She was an amazing writer and inspired me to continue with my writing. While I was there doing a placement, she was the writer-in-residence.

I interviewed her for my dissertation and she was a huge inspiration as a woman playwright highlighting themes of redemptive love, sexual desire, pain and torture. I wanted my writing to have more depth. Playwriting is an art where one can express our inner demons, if you like. In Gutted all the women are dealing with their inner and outer demons – repressed sexual desire, domestic violence and abortion.

I also love Martin McDonough’s dark comedy, ‘The Lieutenant of Inismore’ a favourite. I think Gutted fuses elements of black humour and important issues about women that still need addressing.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Breathe! Stay calm.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
I am taking my 8 year old son with me to Edinburgh so we will be hitting the family shows. I’m really looking forward to sharing the experience with him.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
It’s Irish, It’s funny, it’s uplifting and it’s relevant to women’s issues today.


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