Rhys Llewelyn says WAKEY WAKEY at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Rhys Llewelyn
Name of Edinburgh show: Wakey Wakey
Venue: The SpaceTriplex Studio
Performance time: 15:40
Show length: 40 mins
Ticket price: £5 (£3 concessions)

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I’m a recent acting graduate from the University of Wales Trinity St. David. I’ve been acting since I was fourteen, working on school productions and in a youth theatre company. I also performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago in a production of Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Wakey Wakey is an original, one-act, dark comedy set at a wake. A group of five dysfunctional friends come together, and things don’t go according to plan. We’ve tried to tackle a wide range of themes: friendships, death, marriage and relationships, religion, alcoholism, and theodicy.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
We started writing about six months ago alongside our final year in university, and rehearsals were around three weeks. We’ve tried to make the show accessible to any age. But, we think it definitely hits hard at the forced conveyance of love and the ‘happily ever after’ ending that we were brought up on.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Don’t work too hard! Make sure you have a good time, because there are so many great shows to see. Let yourself rest otherwise you’ll burn out quickly.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
During a dance scene, one of the characters falls and I was supposed to pick them up… As I bent down to pick them up, with my back to the audience, my trousers ripped. That was the day I decided to always wear black underwear on stage!

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Always loved watching Jack Black. He’s a big guy, and there aren’t many big guys who land main roles in film. I’m a big guy too, so it’s nice to see that I’m not limited.
David Tennant is a big inspiration too. Everything I’ve seen him in has been great, and he can act on stage and the screen in such a nuanced way.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
To be honest, I always make sure to have a pre-show poo. Not having to worry about an emergency is a great comfort, so I can relax and do a great show!

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
I’m a big fan of Dirty Protest – they’re a great company, and I love watching their stuff. I’m a big fan of stand up too, so I’m looking forward to seeing Archie Maddocks, Jason Byrne, and my friend, Coral Halliwell!

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
We’re looking at this show as a way to start our careers – it’s the first time we’ve all worked together as a company, and the first time that we’re putting on an original show. We’d love people to come and see, so that we can gain as much experience as possible. Hopefully, we’ve made some unique observations and you’ll have a laugh or two! Plus, it’s only a fiver!


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