Tom Foreman talks about THE LAST SESH at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Name: Tom Foreman
Name of Edinburgh show: The Last Sesh
Venue: theSPACE @ Surgeon’s Hall
Performance time: 21.25
Show length: 50 minutes
Ticket price: £8 (£7)
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I’m 18 years old from London, just about to go to university in September. Acting is all I’ve ever wanted to do for as long as I can remember, so performing at the Edinburgh Fringe is a hugely exciting opportunity for me. I first started acting in my local village pantomime, and ever since have tried to get as much experience as I can. I was fortunate enough to go to Trinity School in Croydon, which puts a great emphasis on performing, and so through the school I have also performed in operas such as Billy Budd at Glyndebourne and in New York and Tosca at The Royal Opera House. Last year a group of us took our first show to the Fringe and enjoyed it so much we thought we’d do it again, but this time with an original piece!
Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
‘The Last Sesh’ follows a group of mates sitting in their friend’s bedroom, attempting to plan their big summer holiday before they all leave for uni. When a girlfriend gate-crashes with her family friend, things quickly turn sour as loyalties are tested and secrets exposed. ‘The Last Sesh’ is a brand new comedy that scrutinises lad culture and explores what it means to come to terms with growing up in the modern world. Whilst I have written as a hobby in the past, this is my first debut for public viewing, and I’m as excited to share it as I am apprehensive for its response.
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I started writing it a few years ago but came back to it in late August after the Fringe last year when we decided we wanted to go up again. We’ve been steadily working on it since October whilst trying to balance our A Levels, taking a break out between May and July to focus on our exams. As typical gender roles are increasingly probed, ‘The Last Sesh’ is our own exploration of lad culture in the modern world, and a decade after ‘The Inbetweeners’ first aired on our TVs, we feel this is an opportunity for audiences to decide for themselves how far we have come since then.
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Embrace the chaos, and accept rejection! The Fringe is the craziest thing as both a performer and a spectator, but it’s what makes it so special. Planning your day down to a T will most likely leave you unable to be flexible with other shows you may find from flyering, so I would always recommend booking the shows you definitely want to go to and leaving some time for you to decide on the day. For performers, accepting rejection is important for the long days flyering on the Royal Mile. Not everyone will take a flyer, and many locals are just trying to go about their day to day routine. Knowing that before we’d gone last time would have saved us a bit of stress the first couple of days!
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Our tech man, Luke, was in a school play a few years ago where he had to interpretively dance in a rainbow tutu behind a famous Shakespearean speech. He’s never lived it down and the photos still resurface to this day.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
I’d probably say Eddie Redmayne, because watching his career grow has been incredible to watch, and yet he remains a humble and very friendly individual. I think it’s important for the big stars to stay grounded, and it’s nice to see people like Eddie Redmayne doing this and that really inspires me to continue pursuing my career.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
We had an old drama teacher who used to teach us quite quirky tongue twisters, such as “a cricket critic cricked his neck at a critical cricket match” and “she stood upon the balcony inexplicably mimicking and hiccupping whilst amicably welcoming him in,” so we always repeat this to warm up and they’ve now become a bit of a tradition.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Way too many to mention! Of course the big ones like NewsRevue and Sh*t-Faced Showtime which always deliver incredible performances, but there are so many smaller shows this year that have really caught our eye. ‘Flight’ looks like a very interesting theatre piece performed in a shipping container that we’re definitely hoping to catch, and ‘Goon’ looks like our kind of humour! Also (but not only) “A Broad Abroad,” “Falling with Style,” “In Loyal Company” and “I Spy With My Little Eye Something Beginning With Why Have You Been Sleeping With My Wife.”
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
I think often student theatre is given a bad reputation because people consider it a bit scruffy and a bit amateur. However, as a company we are committed to delivering a professional level of theatre for amateur prices, and a performance that everyone can appreciate and enjoy. Acting and writing is something we all want to do for careers, so please, give us a chance and come and enjoy our last sesh together.