+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)

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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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+3 Interview: Kill Me Now

“I learned if you attempt said haircut your husband will want to divorce you. Especially if you make him look like a cross between Lloyd off Dumb and Dumber and a Peaky Blinder whose head’s been run over by a lawnmower.”

WHO: Rhiannon Boyle: Playwright

WHAT: “Welcome to undertaker Anna Morgan-Jones’ live Zoom webinar. Her goal? To sell you the lucrative franchise model of her “end-of-life celebration” funeral business. But can the self-confessed grief guru successfully make it through her PowerPoint presentation – full of rainbow coffins, leopard print hearses and beer-can shaped scatter tubs? Or will secrets, accidental truths and internet trolls cause her to unravel right before our eyes? A dark comedy about coming to terms with grief by critically acclaimed Welsh new writing theatre company Dirty Protest and award-winning playwright Rhiannon Boyle.”

WHERE: Summerhall Online – Zoom (Venue 253) 

WHEN: Varies (45 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

I am officially popping my Edinburgh cherry this year and I’m both nervous and excited in equal measures. Luckily my producers, Dirty Protest Theatre, have been around the block and are very experienced, so I’m in pretty safe hands.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

One of the main things I learnt in lockdown is that you can’t watch a five-minute YouTube tutorial and then go on to give your husband a hairdresser quality haircut. Especially not with a beard trimmer and a pair of child’s blunt crafting scissors. I learned if you attempt said haircut your husband will want to divorce you. Especially if you make him look like a cross between Lloyd off Dumb and Dumber and a Peaky Blinder whose head’s been run over by a lawnmower. Hairdressers should be key workers. End of.

Tell us about your show.

Kill Me Now is a digital, dramatic experience performed as a real-life live Zoom webinar written by me, award winning playwright Rhiannon Boyle. It’s a funny, heart wrenching one woman play, developed in lockdown specifically for a virtual audience.

Critically acclaimed Dirty Protest Theatre co was set up in 2007 as Wales’ new writing company by a couple of pals of mine. Back then they were a small DIY company of mates putting on short plays in bars and quirky venues across Cardiff. I was involved in writing for their very first scratch night and have written for them ever since as a side-line. Then a few years back I decided to give up my teaching job and take the plunge and become a full time writer and Dirty Protest have been by my side ever since. This our first full length professional production together and we’re so excited to have got here.

We’re excited to say that Kill Me Now is premiering in Edinburgh this year. We have had a lot of interest in our work from international arts promoters and theatre bookers primarily in Australia, USA/Canada, South and East Asia, and South America, which of course is super exciting for us.

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

Fellow Welsh theatre company Hijinx’s show, Metamorphosis, which was originally created with neurodiverse and learning disabled performers in lockdown, is playing the final week of the Fringe and is definitely worth a watch. I’m a big fan of comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean and so I’m keeping an eye on news on her Edinburgh offering. My Left Nut by Michael Patrick and Oisin Kearney, which is online on Summerhall’s platform also sounds pretty funny and right up my street so I’ll definitely be getting tickets to see that.


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+3 Interview: Ithaca

“Nothing gets people talking to you like standing in a bin.”

WHO: Phoebe Angeni: Author and performer

WHAT: “It’s not all in your head. Fantasy and reality merge in this autobiographical one-woman adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey. Dynamic, dramatic and at times darkly comedic, Ithaca explores the journey of Nobody, a feminine aspect of Odysseus, who was born in the Cyclops’ cave. Nobody’s journey is about finding home, but also creating space and a voice for herself within a world and body, which seem to forcefully reject her. Ithaca is a stage-for-screen production examining crucial social issues (fatphobia, bullying, domestic harassment, mental health, chronic illness, and immigration) and features physical theatre, devised movement, poetry and some special effects.”

WHERE: Fringe Player (Venue 65) 

WHEN: (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This will be my third year performing at the Edinburgh Fringe! I was lucky enough to be at the festival in 2018 and 2019 and both years were absolutely incredible. My first year at the Fringe was wild and overwhelming – the sheer vibrancy of people coming in from all around the world to share their creativity was amazing to experience. I feel like I got more of the lay of the land in 2019 and I was also more involved with show marketing.

As part of The Greenhouse I did reverse-flyering shifts just about every day standing in bins on the Royal Mile to chat with folks about sustainable theatre practices. Nothing gets people talking to you like standing in a bin and it was a fantastic way to meet audience members, fellow performers, and feel the pulse of the city. This year has been a much different experience as a completely one-woman production. I’ve definitely been honoured to help directors carry their visions to the festival, but there’s something extra special about sharing a project that’s entirely my own.

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

Since the start of the pandemic in 2019 I’ve learned so much – not only how to execute every single element of stage-to-screen production, but how to rely on myself and have more confidence in my creative choices and intuition.

Tell us about your show.

My show, Ithaca, is an autobiographical one-woman adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey. I’ve always wanted to create a show inspired by the Odyssey and when I was furloughed at the start of the pandemic I decided there was no better time to throw myself into this project. It’s definitely been a difficult process because throughout the past year and a half I’ve been separated from my creative community while living in San Francisco. After remotely work-shopping my script with some fellow artists back in the UK I reached out to local theatres in San Francisco to get the show on its feet. Theatres were pretty much shuttered, so I never heard back. It was so important to me to be able to finally tell my story and I didn’t have the budget to hire help, so I decided to do everything myself. Throughout the course of the pandemic I produced the show. I set up a voiceover studio, recorded and edited each of my 14 character’s voices, sourced and adapted a soundtrack, directed myself by watching playbacks of my rehearsals, and I devised and choreographed each poetic piece. Finally I set up cameras, filmed Ithaca scene by scene in a 16 square foot space, and edited the entire show.

While watching other recorded shows throughout the pandemic I noticed that I often felt distant from the energy I usually feel in a theatre. Since the pandemic, a lot of familiar experiences have seemed distant and with Ithaca I wanted to help bridge this divide. I have some experience with film poetry, so I thought to incorporate experimental effects to enhance a digital experience and immerse viewers further into the play – to create empathetic connections and push the boundary between virtual and physical performance space. Ithaca draws heavily from Homer’s Odyssey both in structure and theme, which luckily fairly easily mirrors or complements my life story. You don’t have to have read the Odyssey to understand Ithaca – its themes, such as defining a relationship to selfhood and home, are universal concepts and the social issues that Ithaca addresses are widespread and important for all viewers to consider.

Ithaca premiered 25th June– 4th July via Broadway on Demand and I’d love to continue virtual or live touring after Edinburgh Fringe.

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

My viewers should definitely join me in watching mandla rae – as british as a watermelon, Sally Charlton’s Mother’s Milk, and Move by Disaster Plan. mandla rae’s work looks visually stunning, powerful, and mandla rae’s trailer definitely piqued my interest – rising from the dead? Yes please!

Sally Charlton’s Mother’s Milk sounds salacious, poignant, fun, and also powerful (and I’m in love with the idea of abstract expressionist-like usage of milk on stage). Disaster Plan’s Move also sounds like my absolute cup of tea. If you can go in person, do it! The beach, feminine community, Gaelic songs with an international outlook – what’s not to love??


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