“I’ve missed the madness the past few years.”
WHO: Jessica Millward: Director
WHAT: “In a Sheffield basement, two men try to bury the bodies of their past to find a hopeful future. With no way out, will Fritz make it to his wedding? Will Matlock get away with murder? Or will the police finally raid the marijuana grow in the attic? A new dark comedy with a fresh take on men’s mental health, the care system and addiction. 2021 Offie nominees for Lead Performances and Most Promising New Playwrights. ‘Reminiscent of the works of Beckett and Pinter’ ***** (TheReviewsHub.com). **** (Stage).”
WHERE: Pleasance Courtyard – The Attic (Venue 33)
WHEN: 14:05 (60 min)
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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?
I came to the Fringe in as a punter in 2019 (and even as an actor in 2018) but this is my first time bringing a show to Edinburgh as a director. I’ve missed the madness the past few years. The festival is an amazing place to see new work that breaks the mould so it’s even more exciting to be here with a bold new writing show ‘Fritz & Matlock’. It feels like a hub of new talent. I can’t wait to connect with other artists and inspire my own practice.
What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?
We are just making theatre. It isn’t life or death, even though it can feel like it. (Ask me at the end of fringe if I’ve taken this fully on board or not!)
In terms of my work one big thing I’ve learnt is to take more risks. I wasn’t that interested in theatre with surreal undertones in 2019 but now I love it!
Find people who share your theatre values, tastes and who you can be really honest about the work with. I’ve found people the past couple of years who I have this with and I want to find more.
Work with people who are nice and you want to get a pint with. I’ve absorbed this and will be taking full advantage at the fringe.
Tell us about your show.
I met Jamie and Sal, who wrote and perform the play, when I was assistant director on Operation Crucible at Sheffield Theatres. I was instantly drawn to their work ethic and talent. After talking to them and reading Fritz & Matlock (a new play they had written together over lockdown) I knew I wanted to be the one to direct it. The show is produced by Part of the Main and we are a Pleasance Associate company after doing Fritz & Matlock at Pleasance London in October 2021. After that run we were nominated for Offies for writing and performances, and got a lovely 4 stars from the Stage which we are really proud of. It’s got legs for a post-Fringe run so we’re looking forward to chatting with regional venues as the Fringe progresses.
What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?
We are a neurodiverse led team on Fritz & Matlock so we’d love to shout out ‘Joshua and Me’, directed by the brilliant Lucy Jane Atkinson. It’s one-woman show about being a sibling to someone who’s autistic – 10.55am at Pleasance Dome. We can’t wait to catch it!
Part of the Main have two other shows on at Edinburgh Fringe as well. In ‘Bloody Mary: Live!’ Mary Tudor does stand up with a feminist twist at 10pm Pleasance EICC. ‘All by Myself’ is a show with no words about being your best self when no one will watch. That’s at ZOO playground at 6.25pm. All powerhouse female directors.
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