Lala Barlow and Robbie Smith talks about THE WORST LITTLE WAREHOUSE IN LONDON
Name: Lala Barlow and Robbie Smith
Name of show: The Worst Little Warehouse in London
Venue: The Kings Head Theatre
Dates of run: Kings Head Theatre 21st – 26th May
Can you tell me about the show?
The show is a two hander comedy cabaret about our real life year living in a converted warehouse in North London. We’ve interwoven our love for musical theatre into this 55 minute non-stop, action packed cabaret where we play ourselves, all of the characters (housemates) that we lived with and also accompany ourselves on keyboard as we sing through and tell the story of our year in London!
What part do you play in the show and where does it fit in to the story?
I play myself in the show (Lala) and Robbie plays himself. As we ‘move’ to London and move into the warehouse, we introduce each character and take turns morphing into these additional people with the clever use of a simplistic prop. It takes place sequentially throughout the show with us hopscotching around playing either ourselves or one of the other 10 housemates, which eventually culminates in a family dinner at the end where all 12 housemates are present, and the results are catastrophically hilarious!
What’s your favourite part of the whole show and why?
My favourite part of the show would probably be the dinner at the end just because as an actor, it’s an immense thrill and pleasure having to switch characters every 3 seconds as you really have to keep your brain and wits about you. It gives multitasking a whole new meaning! I also really enjoy the nice grounded moments of the show when I actually get to play myself, speak in my own voice and tell the story to the audience without any of the bells, whistles and ‘add ons’ of the other characters.
What has been a highlight of your career so far?
A highlight of the show’s success was definitely appearing on the Assembly Stages at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It has been a bucket list gig of both of ours for many years, particularly being able to take a show written, conceived and performed by the two of us over there and perform it for a month, it was a huge honour and thrill. We both savoured the experience and learnt so much. We also saw about 100 shows during the month between the two of us, so safe to say that it was exhausting but a complete joy from start to finish. We hope to go back again sometime in the future, perhaps with a new show!
Who are your biggest inspirations inside and outside of the industry?
Anyone who is willing to risk everything for what they love doing. The amazing (and Australian) Eddie Perfect has just been nominated for a Tony for his work on the original score for Beetlejuice which is currently playing on Broadway, I think that’s a pretty inspirational achievement. It’s so wonderful to see fellow Australians making noises overseas and doing extraordinary things. We recently saw the amazing Tim Minchin in concert here in Melbourne also, such an original and so unforgivingly him. And how good is that, when people love you for what you are! We can’t resist authenticity. Anyone who is good at what they do and a nice and kind person in this industry, deserves a nod.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
We both sort of give each other our own space to what we like before the lead up to a show. Usually we’re both running around ensuring that the multitudes of character props that we use during the show have all been pre-set correctly!
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
The Rainbow Connection for Lala and Clare De Lune for Robbie. The childlike meets the classic, pretty much sums up our professional working relationship!
What’s so special about this production and why should audiences come to see it?
It’s not your traditional run of the mill cabaret and for that reason, people have been telling us that our show is rather unique. We DON’T incorporate any terrified audience members into the show or drag anyone up onstage whatsoever, probably because we simply don’t have time to! It’s 55 minutes of fast, furious and sometimes frenetic action that speaks to anyone that lives or has lived in London. It’s a wonderfully accurate portrayal of life in London through the eyes of two people that have just moved here from very far away. And obviously for anyone that has ever share-housed or lived with other humans, it will bring back all of those wonderful relatable memories of people you’d long forgotten…. and the things they did, or didn’t do. There’s a generous helping of musical theatre show references in there, and some classic pop culture pearls for those that can keep up. And of course, it’s bloody funny!
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