+3 Interview: The Gin Chronicles: A Scottish Adventure


“Edinburgh can be the best of places and the worst of places, and getting the right venue for YOUR show is crucial. “

WHO: Robert Blackwood & Nick Cowell – Producers, Writers, Co-Directors, Performers

WHAT: “It’s England 1947. John Jobling and Doris Golightly (1940s amateur detectives) are called to investigate the threat of a London gin shortage, but as the case opens up all roads seem to lead north… to the bracing boulevards of Edinburgh. A train journey beckons, toast and marmalade is replaced by porridge and haggis (though not together), and the looming menace of a juniper crisis.”

WHERE: artSpace@StMarks (Venue 125)

WHEN: 18:30 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!

Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

We came up last year for the first time as a company. We were put in touch with this venue, Artspace@StMarks, by a really good friend of ITR, a fabulous Scottish actor called Steve Hay. He said something along the lines of “Guys, you should really get in touch with Michael Mulligan and see if you can work something out, as your show would really tie in with what he’s looking for.”

Edinburgh can be the best of places and the worst of places, and getting the right venue for YOUR show is crucial. Ross Smith, who looks after the venue, was absolutely lovely to us, and the vibe he and Michael set really made an impact on our decision to return this year. We just didn’t want to go anywhere else.

Tell us about your show.

The show is a Vintage, Radio-style comedy show set in 1947. It’s about two amateur detectives and how their salubrious love of gin leads them on on an adventure up to Scotland. When we’re in a confident mood, we say it’s like Noel Coward meets P.G.Wodehouse meets The Goon Show meets Blackadder.

We’ve done some previews in and around London, and are really excited to have a longer run up in Edinburgh this year. We’ve also got 2 wonderful sponsors, which means that every adult who buys a ticket to the show gets a complimentary Gin & Tonic (Darnley’s View Gin & Fentimans Herbal Tonic Water) which was the constant questions last year: “Do you get Gin if you come and see the show?” Well, this year, you do!

Rob writes the scripts and then Nick comes in and tells Rob to stop over-writing, Rob knows that Nick is right, and then the piece takes full shape in rehearsals with The Misfits of London (a repertory company of actors who know the shows, and our style, and who are involved depending on availability). We are both actors, and perform in the shows as well, so The Misfits are very patient with the number of hats we wear on a daily basis. Thankfully our company director, Anthony Shrubsall, comes in to help steer what we’re creating, and is a cool head in a creative maelstrom.

After Edinburgh, we’ve got a couple of weeks at The Bridewell Theatre in October, and our goal is to take it around the world as a way to spread British humour, Gin, Tonic and happiness.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

The Royal Scottish Pipers Society – We know how hard it is to get tickets to the Tattoo, so, er, basically, these guys are in the same venue as us & are awesome.

Laughing Stock – Effortlessly-talented writer-performers in a sketch comedy show that is thoughtful, ball-bouncingly funny and full of humanity.

Blind Mirth – Rob has insisted on this one, as he was in the troupe when it was founded, and he went to see them last year and was blown away by how bold and fresh they are (and much funnier than him in general, in fact). Talented young improvisers who are going on to Second City stateside, and writing and performing comedy professionally for shows over here.

Shakespeare in the Garden: Twelfth Night – Shakespeare is a God, and this production is full of people we know and respect. A great way to see a show, have a picnic and be out in the early-evening light (inside if it’s raining).

C.S.I. Crime Scene Improvisation – Steve Bond is a friend of The Misfits of London, and a truly funny band of improvisers have put together a really funny, cool impro show.