Iulia Isar talks about bringing a technicolour trip of homosexual awakening to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Iulia Isar
Name of Edinburgh show: The Dip
Venue: TheSpace @ Surgeons Hall, Theatre 1 (Venue 53)
Performance time: 11:30 pm
Show length: 50min
Ticket price: 3rd, 4th Previews £7 (£5); Mon-Wed £8 (£6), 2-4-1 on 6th and 7th; Thu-Sun £9 (£7)

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
It all started when I was five. I was staging Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood with my cousin on our terrace in a little village in Romania where I grew up. We would charge our families then buy all sorts of sweets or sunflower seeds with the money we’d make. Time flew and I found myself in more serious productions: performing in abandoned houses in Bucharest (not making money to buy any sweets) I thought that my love and passion for this craft could take me further. I came to London and now I am starting my final year of training at East 15 Acting School, working with creative people from all over the world, finding what my theatre is and grounding myself as a creative person, or let’s say, an “actor”.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
The Dip is an insight into a guy’s mind – though this “guy” could be any of us, this one is called Al – as he tries to express his feelings for his mate Nic. Soon the drugs take hold and it all becomes a crazy ride. It is his technicolour trip of homosexual awakening, it’s the stage’s answer to stoner films, it is the most playful and challenging show I have ever worked on.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I started to rehearse one month ago but because Milk and Blood’s audition process was more of a challenging workshop I felt part of The Dip’s world since then.

There is a homophobic police officer fish that talks and sings, the guitar-shredding Baba Ganoush Gestapo, the walls are breaking, hearts are breaking, minds are bending: it is a breath of fresh air for a 2018 audience, immersive and painfully funny.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
It is my first time at Edinburgh but I have a pocketful of advice from Edinburgh veterans. I have heard such things as “If you think it will be cold, it will be ten times colder” – so we should all bring wellies, bring all our energy, paracetamol, and don’t forget to drink water!

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I was reciting a truly depressing poem at kindergarten and stage fright made me roll the hem of my dress up so I was standing there in my underwear trying to deliver a sad poem which suddenly became hilarious. That was the most traumatic but I think every other embarrassing thing was done on purpose afterwards.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Every single person that I have worked with; all the quotes I read addictively before I go to bed; Jaques LeCoq; Keith Johnstone; my mom who is not even in the industry; the weather -as poetic and pretentious as it might sound I believe what I mean, think, feel, deliver and create carries the stamp of all these people and external factors. Plus when you seek inspiration in every single grain of sand, you might actually find something: inspiration doesn’t always fall from the sky.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I flop my arms around, accidentally hug or hit people with them sometimes, sing, pee about seven times and chew gum.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Fellow East 15 Acting School productions, comedy, physical theatre, everything, as much as I can catch!

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
At 11:30pm, our show is the one that will keep you awake all night, or put you to sleep with a ginormous smile on your face, come see for yourself. Plus it’s cheaper than drugs and has the same effect.

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