+3 Interview: Flanker Origami

“This first hybrid edition of the Fringe festival is juggling with lot of challenges and opportunities, and it is great that it opened to online performances as there is so much experimentation going on.”

WHO: Bianca Mastrominico: Performer, co-creator

WHAT: “An artistic couple expose their daily rituals and lockdown coping routines, digitally unleashing two eccentric performance personas bent on transforming their Edinburgh home into a glittery alternative reality. Through dressing up, dancing, disembodied animations, forced karaoke and improbable ASMR storytelling, they are on a quest to enhance their own wellbeing and yours! Stranded on Zoom, their relationship reveals a tender and funny, if slightly disturbing, world of online intimacy on the edge of misunderstanding and manipulation. Award-winning Organic Theatre returns to the Fringe for a digital world premiere.”

WHERE: Fringe Online – Zoom (Venue 362) 

WHEN: VARIES (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

We have presented work at the EdFringe before and we are an Edinburgh-based company so even when we haven’t performed we have been lucky to have it on our doorstep – it’s addictive!

This first hybrid edition of the Fringe festival is juggling with lot of challenges and opportunities, and it is great that it opened to online performances as there is so much experimentation going on. This is very exciting and enriching, and also fair for artists who cannot afford to travel right now. It feels like the Fringe is returning to its origins, with theatre-makers taking the lead over the needs of venue programming, and we are thrilled to be part of this new iteration. Besides, we’re working from home so it’s cost-effective…

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

Like many other theatre makers, we found ourselves confronting the need to be creative, learning new ways of working and making the most of the constraints of being ‘at home’. With Flanker Origami we are affirming the power of creative action over habits forced upon us by the health crisis and our home has now been transformed into a (rather messy) digital stage… We couldn’t have imagined an emergency that would have forced us to reconsider how we make, perform and meet our audiences, as well as how we live our lives, and Flanker Origami is our joyous, slightly dark but liberating response to the time that was lost to fear and shock.

Tell us about your show.

Flanker Origami is a ‘home-specific’ performance, so John Dean and I are inviting our audiences to gaze, imagine, and be voyeurs of our personal spaces in our real house. There isn’t a narrative, but a roller-coaster of dynamics between our two eccentric alter egos Flanker and Origami, out of which emerges a darkly comedic and – at times – grotesque journey into the collective psychological drama of the lockdowns. Flanker (and) Origami are seen stranded on Zoom in their own house, with no other escape than playing out preposterous online wellbeing routines, under the illusion of healing themselves and others.

The performance is a world premiere produced by Organic Theatre, it has been devised for digital audiences on Zoom and will be live-streamed daily during the last week of the festival. The process started with adapting our studio work during the pandemic and once we understood that this year’s Fringe was including a digital programme, we decided it was a good fit.

We’re not alone in the show, as we have animated replicas of ourselves in 2d rotoscope animations by artist and animator Cristiana Messina, and a fantastic technical collaborator Chiara Menozzi. It’s a weird experience that we live in the same city and we only ever see each other online…

Organic Theatre started in 2002 as an intercultural performance lab, devising and touring performances and workshops in the UK and internationally – we have performed in theatres, art galleries, museums, streets, barns, village halls and festivals. Our processes are collaborative, interdisciplinary and based on extended periods of research and development. In Flanker Origami we dance, our performances are physical, but there is also a strong emphasis on using text which is improvised and becomes scripted as part of our final performance. We like to create on our feet, through improvisation and repetition of the bits that made sense to us, so the resulting work feels somehow in-between art and life.

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

Supporting online work is crucial as many artists are experimenting with the digital medium and what came out of necessity has become a new way of engaging with audiences, producers and press, possibly beyond the Fringe. We particularly recommend the curated programme at Summerhall, which gives a lot of food for thought in terms of creative hybrid exploration. Both these shows play imaginatively and topically with online forms:

> >  iMelania – Summerhall online – Gather.Town
> >  Knot: The Trilogy, Summerhall online – Darkfield App


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+3 Interview: Triple Bypass: Three Ten-Minute Plays About Living for Death and Dying for Life

“The magical thing about fringe is for so many of us, once we attend or become involved in any way, the urge to put up your own work becomes not only irresistible, but it doesn’t seem so impossible any more.”

WHO: Deena MP Ronayne, writer and producer

WHAT: “Deena MP Ronayne’s award-winning debut as a writer takes audiences on an emotional journey ranging from fear and hate to delight and joy. Seeking Dignity is a suspenseful drama with a twist in its tail; Close To Black sees two young women who meet as strangers, but discover they have a lot in common; and Tango-ed Web is a laugh-out-loud black comedy about fatal attraction. Filmed live and fully-staged in an empty Aberdeen Community Theatre (South Dakota), the plays are captioned throughout.”

WHERE: Online@theSpaceUK (Venue 132) 

WHEN: On Demand (50 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

I am ‘attending’ virtually this year. I visited Edinburgh for the first time as a tourist in 2011 and I attended the EdFringe for the first time in 2018 as a scouting producer, disguised as a tourist! At that time, I had just produced my first show at the Orlando Fringe Festival (‘Shakespeare’s Ghostbusters’), so I was delighted to be present at EdFringe. What I loved the most was all the street performances and how easy it was to connect with other artists. The magical thing about fringe is for so many of us, once we attend or become involved in any way, the urge to put up your own work becomes not only irresistible, but it doesn’t seem so impossible any more.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

I think I’ve really developed my leadership style since then. I prefer to lead by quiet example and empowering my team. It also didn’t take me long to realize that part of leadership is paying for things you didn’t break, apologizing for things you didn’t do, and offering an explanation for things you didn’t say. It can be frustrating and isolating, but my favourite part of that learning curve is realizing that mistakes happen, and they are ok and important as long as you take earnest ownership of the occurrence and the solution.

Tell us about your show.

I am producing my show through my company, Hardly Working Promotions LL, and it is also the first play I have written. It is called ‘Triple Bypass: Three Ten Minute Plays About Living for Death & Dying for Life’. It consists of one heavy drama, one fan fiction, and one comedy, all with a different take on life and death. There are trigger warnings, because it deals with some heavy issues, but it ends with the light-hearted comedy that hopefully leaves audience members with overall enjoyment. This show has gone through nine virtual festivals before EdFringe, picking up three awards in the process (Most Viewed – Elgin Winter Fest, Producers Award – Front Row Fringe, Spirit of the Fringe Never in a Box – Front Row Fringe) and after EdFringe, it will be available virtually through The Boulder Fringe, The St Lou Fringe, The Lahti Fringe, and The Melbourne Fringe. My hope is to bring this show to several festivals live with local cast and crew members in 2022, including Edinburgh. I encourage everyone to please feel free to contact me if you are interested in being involved in one of the live productions in the future.

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

There are so many great options for shows produced, performed and written by women this year. Check out ‘Afterparty’, ‘Hitler’s Tasters’ and ‘Sweet FA’ for some women empowered work!


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+3 Interview: Spaces Between Us and Satori

“Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities in the world and I don’t think there’s anything quite like Fringe time. We miss it!”

WHO: Lewis Major

WHAT: “Envisioning a world of impermanence and shifting atmospheres amongst different patterns of sound, light, and movement, Spaces Between Us and Satori is an approachable, sensitive, and moving double bill of contemporary dance by acclaimed Australian choreographer, Lewis Major. Imagining a system where things are kept suspended and in movement by each element’s own gravitational fields and contending forces, the dancers and their stories form the locus, generating their own rhythms and luminosity.”

WHERE: Black Box Live – Black Box Live: From Australia (Venue 417) 

WHEN: On Demand (40 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

No, although it’s the first time presenting digitally. I’ve been very fortunate to spend a few summers in Edinburgh performing in other shows, although I’ve also headed up just to take in the incredible experience of the festival. I’ve often rocked up in the last part of the month, put out a call to friends to see what is worth catching, then spending a week taking in 4 or 5 shows a day. Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities in the world and I don’t think there’s anything quite like Fringe time. We miss it!

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

Always, always be ready to pivot – on a dime if necessary. The world is still in turmoil and even as we seem to start to get a hold of things, it’s been shown time and time again that those artists flexible enough to change things on the fly will be the ones to survive and thrive. Also, we should be kinder to each other.

Tell us about your show.

Spaces Between Us, the first half of our show, is about a number of things. Firstly, the physical distance that separates people – whether they are kept apart by work, geography, or a global pandemic – and how that affects a relationship. It’s also about the gulf in understanding between people, empathetically, emotionally, or otherwise, what happens when someone wants something that the other person doesn’t and how that interrelation between people plays out. It’s a deeply personal piece born out of the Covid crisis but connected to daily life also. Satori on the other hand is about as pure a dance piece as I’ve ever made. Based on the idea of impermanence and constant flux, we’ve used the juxtaposition of these very straight, very stark lighting tubes and the fluid, rolling, flowing choreography of the dancers to suggest ethereal beauty and universal rhythms of the universe seen in a non-specific, very suggestive way. This is a premiere for Edinburgh Festival made possible by the incredible crew at Black Box Live, though we’re taking it on tour in Australia very shortly.

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

You must see all of the shows that Black Box Live is presenting but especially Egg by my dear friend Erin Fowler and The Girl Who Jumped Off The Hollywood Sign by Joanne Hartstone. I’d also highly recommend Botis Seva’s BLCKDOG and T.H.E. from Singapore and their show Pan.


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‘Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq – Live From Bedfringe’ (Bedfringe, 30 July)

“A perfect performance by an artist who is at the beginning of the beginning of a brilliant journey.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars (Outstanding)

The worst thing you can do in a review is talk about the rest of the audience. What matters, I always say to new members of the writing team, is your reaction. How did the show impact you? Avoid phrases like, “the audience seemed disengaged” or “the audience seemed to like it” they’re just not useful. Last night was the exception that proves this rule. We, the audience, were very excited about this performance.

Thomas Benjamin Wilde esquire in the county of Bedfordshire has been one of those artists who’ve helped make the past 18 months almost tolerable. His YouTube covers encompass every kind of gem from Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell to Jack Buchannon’s Everything Stops for Tea. His original compositions are smart, funny, occasionally smutty, and catchier than COVID at a Trump White House event. Last night had the celebratory feeling of a comeback tour, yet it was only the first gig of a relatively recent newcomer’s much-delayed first ever tour.

The audience know that TBW is good. So good that had Bertie Wooster played banjolele even at two to the power of two hundred and seventy-six thousand, seven hundred and nine to one against as well as Thomas Benjamin Wilde esquire in the county of Bedfordshire then Jeeves might not have left him and Wodehouse would have lost a plot. Everyone in the room is a fan.

Last night was streamed live over YouTube (see above) and this is where I got that thrill that only comes from seeing someone you already greatly admire succeeding at something really chuffing hard. TBW was equally present for both the live audience and the folks at home. It was a beautifully balanced act, pulled off with the gracious humility of a true professional who has worked at their craft morning, noon, and night until it’s sharper than a cavalry saber slicing open a bottle of 2002 vintage bubbles.

It’s a funny thing that Burgess never much liked A Clockwork Orange. Graves wasn’t overly fond of I, Claudius. Graham fell in and out of love with The Wind in the Willows and we all know what Conan Doyle tried to do to Sherlock Holmes. So it follows that Thomas Benjamin Wilde esquire in the county of Bedfordshire has a complicated relationship with “That Song”, the one that made him a sensation.

BedFringe’s James Pharaoh claims credit for inspiring the little ears (no swearing) version and it’s a great twist on a much loved (by us at any rate) newly minted classic. This is the first show I’ve seen with Daughter 1.0 since EdFringe ‘19. She’s 6 now and a big TBW fan (although admittedly she prefers Tom Carradine). This was a brilliant family-friendly show to reawaken her excitement about live performance.

The unexpected move from the garden to the bar – the afternoon’s rain had tried very hard to stop play – amplified both the music and the energy of the crowd. It’s a long thin space with exposed rafters which were played to front and back. There was some Rodney Bewes style ad hocs when things went awry, but this forced improv only made things all the jollier. The flashing TV screen in the background wasn’t quite covered by the set, but other than that this was a perfect performance by an artist who is at the beginning of the beginning of a brilliant journey.


Reviewer: Dan Lentell

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+3 Interview: Patricia Gets Ready (For a Date With the Man That Used to Hit Her)

“I’m half Scottish and so my Dad took my when I was very little to just walk amongst the buzz the fringe creates, and then when I got older, I went a few times as a ‘gals trip’ with my mum. It’s such a great festival; the perfect mix of chaotic and focused.”

WHO: Martha Watson Allpress: Writer

WHAT: “Patricia has spent a year crafting a kick-ass speech while recovering from an abusive relationship. But when she bumps into her ex on the street, and accidentally agrees to dinner with him that night, she’s got some big decisions to make; what to wear? What to say? And whether or not to go? Join Patricia as she gets ready for the date, tells stories of her past and how it has affected her present, and looks honestly at her future.”

WHERE: Pleasance at EICC – Lomond Theatre (Venue 150) 

WHEN: Varies (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

It is! I’ve been before as an attendee, but not as part of a show. I’m half Scottish and so my Dad took my when I was very little to just walk amongst the buzz the fringe creates, and then when I got older, I went a few times as a ‘gals trip’ with my mum. It’s such a great festival; the perfect mix of chaotic and focused.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

That your priorities are never what you think they are. Oddly I have found that in a rather painful way, the numerous lockdowns and the entire pandemic has helped me take pressure off myself creatively. Over the past eighteen months I’ve been so occupied, thinking about my family and well-being, that when I returned to writing it felt so much more like a choice, rather than an obligation.

Tell us about your show.

So Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with the man that used to hit her) is a one hour, one woman show that follows Patricia getting ready in her bedroom, after accidentally agreeing to dinner with her ex that night. It’s a funny, heart breaking, and honest hour with a genuinely likeable woman who’s trying to understand herself a little better. Initially it ran at the above pub theatre in Kenington; The White Bear; and it transferred from their to the VAULTS festival in 2020. We snuck our run in just before the first lockdown which is sort of insane?

We have the wonder team behind it. Patricia has always felt like a culmination of all the right people at just the right time; written by Martha Watson Allpress, directed by Kaleya Baxe, performed by Angelina Chudi, produced by Nur Khairiyah and the tech is done by Steven Frost. It’s a small team for an intimate show, and everyone handles the piece, and each other, with real delicacy and care. Our team’s created something really special.

After the fringe, the hope is the show gets the opportunity to tour; I think taking this specific story to different areas will be so fascinating, as it’ll resonate different everywhere. It’s always exciting to think of the conversations that happen after the curtain call, and these’ll be so different and unique to each place. The more chat the better!

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

Oh my gosh! There’s so much incredible stuff to be seen, and the Pleasance’s line up kind of floored me with excitement. But honestly, I think walk the Royal Mile, find a poster that looks vaguely interesting but you have no idea what the show is or about, and GO SEE THAT. Surprise yourself. It’s always fun!


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+3 Interview: Screen 9

image of event

“Some of our company have been to the Fringe as performers for different productions, punters, industry members and others have never been—so it’s wonderful to go up as a collective.”

WHO: Kate Barton: Writer and Associate Director

WHAT: “At the Colorado premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, a community was torn apart by gun violence. But while their hearts were broken, their community was not. This hard-hitting verbatim piece follows the survivors remarkable true testimonies of the infamous Batman Shootings as they attempt to respond and recover from the tragedy. This is their story and every word is real. Piccolo Theatre is a bold new company, creating cutting edge and thought-provoking theatre. The Pleasance is proud to present Screen 9 as this year’s recipient of the Charlie Hartill Theatre Reserve.”

WHERE: Pleasance at EICC – Lomond Theatre (Venue 150) 

WHEN: Varies (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This is Piccolo Theatre’s debut professional show. We’re so excited to bring this show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; as a new, transatlantic theatre company we can’t wait to bring Screen 9 to the varied festival audience. Some of our company have been to the Fringe as performers for different productions, punters, industry members and others have never been—so it’s wonderful to go up as a collective. This show was supposed to tour in 2020, so after a year in pause (and more time in R&D and rehearsals), we are thrilled to present it to the public after our previews at the Kings Head Theatre and Durham Fringe Festival. Edinburgh in August is an incredibly eclectic, artistic and inspiring place to be—we can’t wait to be part of its story this year.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

This show has grown substantially from the first 10-minute sharing we did at The Pleasance in February 2020. We are partnered with Survivors Empowered, a charity set up by the parents of Jessica Ghawi, a young woman killed in the shooting. Working and supporting the incredible work they do with survivors of gun violence across the county is truly remarkable. They have been a source of wisdom, inspiration and encouragement for the project—and their level of generosity has been amazing. I guess, on a micro-level, we have also learnt how to cope as a company through an international pandemic, including how to run an entire rehearsal week on Zoom (having been pinged by the NHS app!). Since 2019, we have learnt a lot about reclaiming stories and spaces, and we feel very privileged as an ensemble to tell their story, rather than giving fame to serial or spree killers, as is too often done in theatres and media.

Tell us about your show.

It’s a verbatim show about the infamous Colorado Batman shootings in 2012, with every line being resourced from blog posts, trial coverage, and speaking to survivors, parents, and American citizens. The play creates four fictional characters based off real people to tell the survivors’ story, who find themselves in a world where the media focuses on the perpetrator and on the new shooting, often leaving the victims behind. It’s a powerful true story of survival and about finding joy, hope and community. It’s our debut show as a company, and after two preview runs, it’ll be premiering this August in Edinburgh. The dream would be to continue sharing this story next year to mark the 10-year anniversary of the tragedy, and to take it to more venues and an international audience.

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

Absolutely get your tickets to Patricia Gets Ready (With A Man Who Used To Hit Her). It’s the other Charlie Hartill Award show and carries a very human and important message. It’s definitely going to be a hit! For something lighter than Screen 9 and Patricia, I’d say Austentatious! It’s a really fun Jane Austen improv show that only gets better year after year!


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+3 Interview: PUSH

“The huge challenge of Edfringe is probably a big part of what makes it such an amazing and satisfying experience overall.”

WHO: Tamsin Hurtado Clarke & Scarlett Plouviez: Performer & Director

WHAT: “A hell of a lot can happen in the time you await the results of a pregnancy test. This is the story of a woman staring down the barrel of motherhood, torn between her own ambivalence… and an uncontrollable urge to push. Award-winning Popelei burst out of isolation and onto your screens with their darkly comic theatre production, reimagined for film. Blistering honesty, exhilarating choreography, and one extremely knocked-up performer.”

WHERE: Pleasance Online (Venue 117) 

WHEN: On Demand (40 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This will be our second time as part of Edfringe. We first showed up at Edinburgh in 2014 with our show Manuelita which ran at the Underbelly and won a Three Weeks Editors’ Award. Our memory is a little hazy (blame the obligatory post-show beers) but we certainly remember it as a rollercoaster ride, with plenty of highs and lows. The huge challenge of Edfringe is probably a big part of what makes it such an amazing and satisfying experience overall. That said, we wish it were much more accessible to a wider number of artists (or that we could afford to go every year!) and, for that reason, we are very excited about Edfringe’s recent incorporation of digital shows.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

Patience and perseverance. What else can you do in the face of a pandemic when theaters are closed and all your audience are behind doors? We waited it out and we kept creating in the ways we could, making audio and video work for audiences to engage with at home, including our digital monologue series Women In Lockdown and our location-based audio series Press Play (Available via our website, https://www.popelei.com/shows).

Tell us about your show.

PUSH is a show that Popelei created in early 2020, which previewed at Vault Festival the same year. As women in our 30s considering our own fertility, we thought: stories always focus on the practical issues of motherhood, but what about the more emotional and existential concerns? What does it feel like to stop and consider the hugely different paths your life could take? We were so excited to take PUSH up to the Fringe as part of The Pleasance programme in August 2020 but of course, that was not to be. But now, we are back and more excited than ever to have a newly-formed filmed version of the show which will hopefully reach audiences from all over the world who want to experience the Fringe from wherever they are.

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

SEE EVERYTHING! This is a chance to experience many of the plethora of shows of the Fringe in a more accessible and affordable online format. Our wonderful friends The Wardrobe Ensemble are presenting The Great Gatsby which has taken on a digital life after live shows were cancelled in January, and which Tamsin from Popelei happens to also star in. Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with a man that used to hit her) also looks incredible. We were lucky enough to see the brilliant Gobby live and we will certainly be re-watching on the sofa with a bag of popcorn.


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‘Howerd’s End’ (Town and Gown, 15-17 July)

“An insight into genius, a glimpse of the dark matter cushioning every star, a sense of a love that dared not speak its name, but spoke instead in a quiet and gentle whisper.”

Editorial Rating: 4 Stars (Outstanding)

Full disclosure. My credentials as an impartial reviewer for anything connected to the brilliant Mark Farrelly are zero. I’m a huge fan. I’ve been reviewing him since EdFringe ‘12 when he appeared in Roy Smiles’ ‘The Lad Himself: A Celebration of the Life of Tony Hancock’. I’ve seen both his solo shows, and was part of the team that helped bring them into print. Earlier this year I urged the renaming of our little arts thing from Edinburgh49 to GetYourCoatsOn based on a throwaway comment Mark made in an interview with Karl Steele, manager of the Town and Gown. You have been warned.

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We enter to find Farrelly nursing a drink and a bevy of grievances large and small. Here is Dennis Heymer, the oh so secret other half of the late, great comedy legend Frankie Howerd. Remembered chiefly as an established mainstream mainstay, Francis Alick Howard, OBE (1917-1992) was the first in that line of non-conformist comics who progressed through the latter half of the previous century. Howerd was followed by the Goons, who were followed by Beyond The Fringe, who were followed by the Pythons, who were followed by Izzard. 

The great strength of this script is that one really doesn’t need to know very much about Howerd’s life to comprehend the drama. Celebrated comedian (40yrs) walks into a bar behind which is a sommelier (28yrs). A spark is kindled between them that will burn light and dark down the discrete decades together. Theirs was a romance set in a time when same-sex relationships, especially life long bonds, were still the love that dared not speak its name.

As Frankie Howerd, Simon Cartwright skillfully treads a tightrope in a performance that remains both recognisable and real without falling into simple caricature. His Howerd is a sympathetic, gentle giant, a little boy lost in a sexually-abusive past, adrift in a secretive and uncertain present, complacent about the Christmases yet to come. It’s a quietly powerful performance that grows louder in the remembering.

As Dennis Heymer and several other characters, Farrelly brings his A-game – that mix of pace and pathos of which he is a master. On stage he is a unique blend of considered spontaneity, obvious vagueness, and resolute indecision. Nobody else presents ultra real people on stage quite as well as Mark Farrelly.

There is a third presence on the stage in this two-hander. June Mendoza’s portrait of Howerd hangs above the mantelpiece throughout, a silent witness to the drama unfolding between the corporeal Dennis Heymer and the ghost of his dead soulmate. The pictures sets the sartorial standard which Cartwright’s costume follows exactly, from the cut of his lapels to the narrowness of his tie. This play is an animation of Mendoza’s capturing in oils of her sitter’s ambiguity, calm, and resilience.

This was an early performance of a production much delayed by the COVID crisis. There were faults and unforced errors. The scene of the characters’ first meeting is not blocked well. Farrelly’s impersonation of Peter Cook needs fine tuning and amplifying. A potentially pivotal final moment, in which the departing Howerd puts Heymer’s smoking jacket back on is lost to the audience by Cartwright’s physical bulk along with a chance to see Heymer reflected in Howerd’s eyes.

Farrelly fans, including this one, will not come away disappointed. They will leave with a trove of theatrical treasures that will shine alongside his past performances. They will gain an insight into his method through the addition of a second performer, one skilled and talented enough to more than hold his own alongside the chic sheik of the solo script. For those of us less familiar with Howerd himself, we will gain an insight into genius, a glimpse of the dark matter cushioning every star, a sense of a love that dared not speak its name, but spoke instead in a quiet and gentle whisper.


Reviewer: Dan Lentell

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Bedfringe 2021 Interview: Fruitcake – Ten Commandments from the Psych Ward

“I went back to nursing for 14 months over the pandemic and learned bugger all, except that I don’t look good in a nurse’s tunic. I look like I’ve nicked it, basically.”

WHO: Rob Gee: Writer and performer

WHAT: “From the writer and performer of 2019 Bedfringe sell-put show Forget Me Not – The Alzheimer’s Whodunnit Comic, poet and reformed mental health nurse Rob Gee presents a user-friendly guide to losing the plot.

Fruitcake charts a night shift on an acute psychiatric ward, seen through the eyes of a jaded nurse who hears the voice of God – a kindly Jamaican woman – who gives him ten benevolent commandments to help him through the shift; and life.

Fruitcake is based on twelve years Rob spent working as a registered nurse in psychiatric units around the UK and Australia.”

WHERE: Quarry Theatre

WHEN: 31 July 2021 @ 18:00 (60mins)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Bedfringe?

I did the 2019 Bedford Fringe with my show Forget Me Not, which is a whodunnit set on an Alzheimer’s Ward. It sold out and we all had a lovely time, by which I mean me and the audience.
This will be my 102nd international fringe festival. For me, the best ones are less like trade fairs (Edinburgh, Adelaide) and more like actual fringe festivals (Orlando, Winnipeg), although they’re all good in one way or another. Bedford’s a lovely one to do because it’s very well organised and everyone’s friendly.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

I went back to nursing for 14 months over the pandemic and learned bugger all, except that I don’t look good in a nurse’s tunic. I look like I’ve nicked it, basically.

Tell us about your show.

Fruitcake charts a night shift on an acute mental health ward, seen through the eyes of a jaded nurse who hears the voice of God. In this case God is a kindly Jamaican woman who gives him ten benevolent commandments to help him through the shift; and life. It’s won Best of Fest at Calgary, Ottawa and Winnipeg Fringe Festivals, Best Spoken Word at Minnesota Fringe and Best Solo Comedy at Buxton fringe.

The show is based on the 12 years I spent working as a registered nurse in mental health units around the UK and Australia before becoming a full-time writer and performer. When I first wrote it, I performed it to an audience of ex-patients. I was really nervous! Thankfully the feedback was very positive, it was a huge relief.

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

Gerard Harris (A Tension to Detail) is great. It’s like watching someone fail to organise their thoughts in the most entertaining way possible. A very witty fella too.


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Bedfringe 2021 Interview: Tremaine Dawkins

“Be prepared for audience interaction, jazzy improvisations, exquisite harmonies & melodies that you can’t resist swaying along too.”

WHO: Tremaine: Singer-songwriter & perfomer

WHAT: “Tremaine will be performing a soulful acoustic set on the Garden Stage, accompanied by her backing vocalists. The set will include a mix of original songs from her album & stylish renditions of some classic. A performance & experience not to be missed.

Tremaine has a voice that will stop you in your tracks. She is also an exceptional songwriter. Her style is a unique brand of Soul/Gospel -encouraging, heartfelt lyrics laid over beautiful jazzy chords, wrapped in a soulful groove. Her impressive vocal range, improvisations & intricate harmonies, make Tremaine an exhilarating live performer.

Tremaine draws influences from Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder & Sade.”

WHERE: Quarry Theatre Garden

WHEN: 24 & 31 July 2021 @ 15:00 (60mins)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Bedfringe?

In 2019, I gave a heart-warming vocal & piano performance on the Garden Stage & I’m back again this year. This time I’ve brought some backing vocalists with me, to really add a new dynamic. I’m also doing two shows this year. So plenty of opportunity to enjoy some acoustic Soul music in the open air.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

Since my first performance, I’ve been recording my second album which is due for release early next year. I’ve also been focusing on developing my style – mixing my influences of Motown, Soul, traditional Gospel & modern Jazz to create something new.

Tell us about your show.

My show is an exhilarating live acoustic performance of Soul/Gospel music. I perform both original songs from my debut album ‘But for the Grace of God’ & re-workings of some well-known classics. It’s me, my piano & backing vocalists on stage – outside in the sunshine singing encouraging, heartfelt lyrics laid over beautiful jazzy chords, wrapped in a soulful groove. Be prepared for audience interaction, jazzy improvisations, exquisite harmonies & melodies that you can’t resist swaying along too.

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

Be sure to check out The Goldentones after you’ve seen my show. They are also performing on The Garden Stage, after me on Sat 24th July at 7.30pm. They are a great group of singers performing operatic to Pop covers. A performance to definitely check out.


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