Interview: A Jive Ace & A Satin Doll

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Anthony & Cleopatra; Napoleon & Josephine; The Jive Aces & The Satin Dollz; some unions simply transcend romance. The Mumble managed a wee blether with Ian & Bella…


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Hello Ian, so where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Ian: Originally from Essex and East London but I got a bit posher and moved to Sussex 😉. I was actually born in Liverpool while my parents happened to be there for work, so basically an Essex Scouser… 😉

When did you first realise your were a natural born performer?
Ian: I guess at the age of 9 when me and my sister put on a whole circus in the back garden for all the neighbors and raised money for charity. There had been a circus workshop in the park near our house during the holidays and it certainly inspired us.

Hello Bella, so where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Bella: Hello! I am from a town called Folkestone, in Kent, and that’s where I currently live!

When did you first develop a love of music?
Bella: I’ve loved music from a very young age. I started dancing at the age of four and developed a love for music beyond my years.

By 2018, what are the strings to your showbiz bow?
Ian: I think the main thing is really that I absolutely love doing this ‘job’ and I love the audience and making people happy. (I would say that goes for the whole band too). So because of that I feel I can entertain naturally so that’s the basis. I sing, play trumpet and ukulele. And I have the best bunch of musicians with me and we also love to surround ourselves with and nurture great talent such as the gals that are with us on this show – singing, dancing showgirls the Satin Dollz!

You’ve got three famous figures from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starter, mains & dessert?
Ian: They would be Louis Prima, Dean Martin and Elvis Presley – I would definitely cook (with a little help from the Grazia, our accordion player) calamari for starter, then sea food spaghetti with garlic and obviously Tiramisu for dessert, with a ball of gelato. Obviously it has to be Italian food with two of those guests being bonafide paisano

You have a wonderful, traditional voice – who are your influences?
Bella: I’m influenced by many artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Eva Cassidy.

What does Bella like to do when she’s not performing?
Bella: I have a love for vintage clothes, so in my spare time I love to attend vintage events and go shopping!

Who are the Jive Aces & what is your role?
Ian: The Jive Aces are a six piece jump jive and swing band who have been together, same line-up, for 21 years. Some of us have known each other since school! We very often have extra guests with us usually at least a female vocalist but we have added more and more variety in recent years until this show at the Ed Fringe which kicks off a tour with the lovely Satin Dollz! I am the band leader, front man and co-founder and basically the ‘Ring Leader’ in this great show!

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Who are the Satin Dollz & what is your role with them?
Bella: The Satin Dollz are group of singing and tap dancing pinup darlings. We mostly perform songs from the 1940s with slick choreography and tight harmonies. We have three divisions, LA, Paris and London. I am the vocal captain for the London Dollz.

You are bringing a show to the Edinburgh Fringe. Can you tell us about it?
Ian: The show is “Swinging the Fringe” and is our first show at the Fringe with the Satin Dollz – it is upbeat fun jive and swing music with the gals tap dancing, singing and great choreography with colorful frocks and suits with the style and glamor of the 40s and 50s

How did the link up with The Jive Aces come about?
Bella: Originally through Facebook through mutual performers over 10 years ago. They first met in LA when the Jive Aces were touring over there and performed a show together at Warner Bros. Then when the Paris and London Dollz were started they invited us to do many concerts. We are doing a four show theatre tour in Northern Ireland in November and several UK theatres next Spring too.

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Can you describe your working relationship with Ian in one word?
Bella: Laughter

Can you describe your working relationship with Bella in one word?
Ian: Posh…

What will the Jives Aces & The Satin Dollz be up to after the Fringe?
Ian: This kicks off a theatre tour that takes us to Ireland, across the UK and even to the US – can’t wait!!

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show in the Edinburgh streets?
Bella: The UK’S No.1 Jive and Swing Band and a talented bunch of singing and dancing pinup darlings, what more could you want?


Swinging the Fringe

Assembly Checkpoint, Bristo Place

Aug 13th (21.30) 14th (18.30) 15th (15.00)

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www.thesatindollz.com

www.jiveaces.com

An Interview with Sam Russell

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Sam Russell is coming up from London on the sleek, slick wings of the Angel Comedy night. The Mumble caught him for a wee, mid-flight blether …


Hello Sam, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Sam: I am from a place in South London, called Streatham. We are famous for having London’s biggest indoor ice rink, a few nice green spaces and knife crime… All our attractions involve blades of some description. Currently I am on a large bed in a room at Edinburgh Business School on my first day at the Fringe, wondering if I should go back into town or just get as much rest as possible.

When did you first realise you could make people laugh?
Sam: There is an apocryphal tale that at about 4, me and cousin would stand on tables and not tell jokes as such, but say words in the cadence of jokes e.g.
‘Why is the pasta always wet?’
Pause…
‘Because of the tomatoes!!!’
This did get laughs apparently, purely due to the confidence of the delivery rather then the quality of the writing. Something I still somewhat rely on to this day!

Can you tell us about Angel Comedy in London?
Sam: Angel Comedy is just a little bit magic. It started out just as many nights in London do. A free gig, above a pub (The Camden Head, in Angel), once a week. But due to the amazing talent and work ethic of the team its Aslan-like founder, Barry Ferns (see his show, ‘Barry Loves You’ every night of the fringe 9:00pm at The Tron) has assembled. It now owns the top two London comedy clubs on Trip Advisor. The original and their brand spanking new venue, the wonderful titled ‘The Bill Murray’ both running 7 nights a week. Angel runs under a great philosophy, which is basically London can be a massive rip off for everything. But not having much disposable income doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a laugh. It is still free to get in for all of the 8 o’clock shows at both venues, we have a bucket at the end and people pay what they can. What is lovely is you’ll see the student who could only throw in a couple of quid a few years ago, come back after landing their dream job and then throw in a £20. That’ the magic part! If you want to get a taste of that magic at the fringe, check out the Angel Comedy Showcase at 1:15 every day @ Espionage.

What are the differences between a bad MC & a good one?
Sam: A good MC put the night before themselves. A bad MC makes the night about themselves.
A good MC is a charming waiter serving a variety of different courses. A bad MC is a waiter who doesn’t really care about the food and just wants to go outside for a fag.
A good MC is a good parent making sure the bath water is the right temp for baby, not to hot or to cold. A bad MC throws the baby in the tub willy-nilly.
A good MC doesn’t let is show how much it infuriates them when audience members say to them ‘hey, you should try stand up’. A bad MC makes a sarcastic comment.

Can you tell us about Shoot From The Hip?
Sam: Shoot From The Hip is how I got into comedy. I went to Uni at Royal Holloway. There was an improv society there, which I had a few friends in. They kept asking me to give it a go and I kept saying NO. I was going to be a serious actor darling. Eventually they twisted my arm, I did my first show… and never looked back. Shoot From The Hip was born from that group of friends, and since November 2011 we have never gone a week without doing a show. This fringe is actually the longest I’m going to go without doing improv and I am already freaking out about it. The show we do is called a ‘Mullet’. Short up front, Long in the back. Basically the first half is fun improv games like ‘Whose Line’, and the second is an improvised 25 min play. We currently do three shows a week as well as one of theatre shows, for full details check out: Shootfromthehipcomedy.co.uk

What are the three main differences between an Improviser & a Stand-Up?
Sam: 1. You’re alone in stand up. With improv you’re in a team.
2. I think you need to be a special breed of monster to do stand-up. But I genuinely think anyone can improvise, its just like learning to play like a kid again.
3. Stand up feel like being a great stage magician, you know all the moves to make it seem as if something miraculous has taken place. Improv on the other hand can sometimes feel like real magic. Something will happen on stage and we’ll all look at each other and think ‘How the hell did we do that?’

You’re washed up on a desert island with an all-in-one solar powered DVD/TV combo & three films, what would they be?
Sam: 1. 1978’s Superman. I would want something that would make me hopful
2. 2005’s The producers. I would want to laugh and that film never fails
3. A semial piece of pornagraphic cinima. Because I am a honest man

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You are bringing your solo debut to the Fringe, LUCKY BASTARD. Can you tell us about it?
Sam: I started writing this show in January, about how lucky my life seemed and how I had a strange sense of guilt about it. I get to do my dream job, I am married to a very lovely woman and I’m all on the things that we in society think of as privileged: straight, white, male, middle class etc. However in March of this year, something happened that flipped this show on its head (I won’t tell you here, you’ll have to come see it). But it made me takes stock of my life and I began analysing more what luck is. Apart from adding this March event, the content of the show remained remarkably similar: Doing a Elmo voice to piss off cold callers, dealing with estate agents named Chad, meeting my hero… What changed was the perspective. The show is now about how when we are lucky we need to admit it and embrace it. Don’t always be looking for the next thing you want; wallow in the majesty of the wonderful everyday. And also when things are going shit, remember that they can always get better and that if you’ve got a tomorrow to make things better, you are a Lucky Bastard.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street, what would you say?
Sam: “Hey guys, looking for some comedy! Awesome! Well I’m doing my first show up here, I’m incredibly excited. It’s called Lucky Bastard. Its a hour of stand up comedy that I’ve been working of for the last year. I don’t want to spoil by giving too much away, so I’ll just tell you three things that you can look forward to in the show: 1. A pitch perfect Elmo impression. 2. Handy methods for getting cold callers to never call you again. 3. a philosophical look about what really important in life and how lucky we are to all be alive and enjoy this glorious day together.”

What will Sam Russell be doing after the Fringe?
Sam: Straight after the Fringe I am going to a convention in Leeds called Thought Bubble to pitch a comic book about Adam from the Garden of Eden, living thoughtout all of human existance whilst looking for his wife Eve, who has been kidnapped by God… so you know… normal stuff.


LUCKY BASTARD

Just the Tonic @ The Caves

August 2-12, 14-26 (16.55)

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An Interview with the Dirty White Boys


Just exactly who are the Dirty White Boys, & why the hell are they so hilarious? The Mumble track’d them down for a wee blether…


Hello Jack, so where ya from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
Jack: I’m originally from the glorious north west, near Manchester; specifically the quaint little town of Rochdale, which you may recall from various unsettling news stories, but I currently live in that London. I’ve moved in with my comedy husband Chazz and we couldn’t be more like a long-time married couple – we sleep in different bedrooms and don’t talk to each other.

Hello Chazz, so when did you first realise you could make people laugh?
Chazz: Hello right back! I guess I don’t have the memory specifically, but I’ve been told on several occasions that during my Christening I farted very loudly during the quiet bit and giggled my arse off. Well, at least until they dunked me like an accused witch. Nice to know I had timing back then.

Which comedians inspire you, both old skool and on the scene today?
Chazz: Sketch has such an amazing legacy in the UK. What me and Jack do is inspired by the classic music hall (Morecambe & Wise) as much as it is by more contemporary groups (The League of Gentlemen). Also, 8 years ago I saw my favourite sketch show ever at the fringe (The Bunker by The Beta Males) and that’s definitely rubbed off on my writing style.

How did you get into stand up?
Jack: I started doing a bit of stand up whilst in the comfy supportive world of university and stopped dabbling once I left. Like many people who try being “actors” I found I had to make my own work if I wanted to perform on stage… hence sketch.

Upon which life-experiences do you draw your own comedy?
Jack: A lot of my comic ideas come from the absurdity I find in the most mundane of situations. A lot of our material is focused on either an ordinary person in a surreal scenario or a complete nutter in a perfectly relatable setting. It’s nice to be a bit bonkers without having to make a point about anything. I’m also a big fan of the darker side of jokes, creating characters on the very end of their tether is very amusing for me.

What is it about performing live you love the most?
Chazz: Instantaneous feedback and that sense of community; like you’re all sharing a secret. It’s a wonderful atmosphere and on the really good nights it’s practically electric. Can’t beat that feeling.

How did you meet Chazz?
Jack: I met Chazz in my first week at university, nearly nine whole years ago. We were auditioning for the same play and after just a few minutes of conversation I remember thinking “gosh, he’s a bit much, I hope we both don’t end up in this play together…” But we did. The rest is history.

How does living with Jack influence both your comedy & your delivery?
Chazz: Jack is beautiful grounding mechanism. Sometimes when I’m by myself it’s easy to focus on what I think the audience wants rather than what I find funny. After days of obsession with meta-narrative and theming, sometimes it’s good to have someone remind you a comedy show is supposed to have jokes. Plus, he’s the funniest bastard I’ve ever met.

What are the secrets to a good sketch?
Jack: A good sketch just needs a very strong conceit as it’s foundation or there’s not much point. We always build off a central concept and see how many different directions we can go with it; how many ideas we can pull from this one simple notion at the core of the sketch.

Where did the idea for Dirty White Boys originate?
Jack: Dirty White Boys was originally a double act comprising of Chazz and another funny friend of ours. They did some comedy gigs at uni, but when we were all thrust, most begrudgingly, into the real world, the band split. He (who cannot be named for legal reasons) went on to bigger and better things and Chazz suddenly needed a wing man for this gig he had preemptively booked the pair in for. And so, because I had nothing else going for me at the time and because everybody else refused to work with him, Chazz rang me up to fill in and I agreed. We wrote some skits, did them to a crowd of people, they laughed and our combined ego made us think we could be the new gods of sketch comedy. Look at us now.

You’re bringing MANNERS to this year’s Fringe. Can you tell us about it?
Chazz: MANNERS is our 3rd full hour, and (while it sounds presumptive and arrogant) we’re going back to basics. Non-stop sketch comedy for an hour. We exhaust one idea of comic potential and move onto the next one. No stone left unturned. And they’re really beautifully bizarre ideas this year. There’s definitely one sketch that makes a hard turn from music hall silliness into Mike Leigh film, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You guys have been doing the Fringe in various guises for a decade now – what advice do you have for a performer arriving fresh faced for their first?
Jack: My advice? Pace yourself! It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t rush into watching too many shows as they won’t all be brilliant and you can lose a lot of money that way. But when in Scotland, drink and eat as the Scots do! You might live to regret it but you’ll have a blast doing it for a month.

Can you describe in a single sentence the experience of performing at the Fringe?
Chazz: Incredible highs tempered with a lot of berocca.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street…
Chazz: If you want to laugh for an hour, this is the show for you. Non-stop, fast-paced, triple-distilled, hyphen-overusing silliness.


MANNERS

Just the Tonic @ The Caves

August 2-26 (22.10)

An Interview with Samantha Pressdee

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Everyone who saw Murder She Didn’t Write last year were chuffed to bits. The Mumble managed a wee blether with one of Bristol Improv Theatre’s finest…


Hello Samantha, & welcome back to the Fringe, how’s your comedy going?
Samantha: Thank you! It’s going good. I’m excited to start work on my new big project about mental health, which includes a new stage show. Since last year I have started my own night ‘Conscious Comedy’ which I’m also bringing to the fringe. I’ve done a few gigs across the country but have had to keep a low profile due to stalking and harassment. I’ve had a lot of grief and trauma the last few years.

Can you tell us about Love Muffin Productions?
Samantha: It’s my social enterprise, baked in 2016 with the help of the new enterprise allowance. Which essentially means, my topless comedy show Sextremist was partly funded thanks to the Tory Government! Our mission statement is to create experiences which bring people together for the purpose of empowerment and the greater good. As well as Sextremist we’ve produced Back 2 Basics, The Men, Sex & Feminism Podcast and now Conscious Comedy. My number 2 in this operation is the wonderful Clare Morgan. She’s been with me since the beginning. I’m Bipolar. So get an access to work grant to pay Clare. Bipolar is a disability, there are things I can’t do as well as neurotypical people, like admin! But I also consider it a blessing. I have a deep compassion for humanity and am very creative. It’s a label I share with some of my comedy heroes Alfie Brown, Russell Brand, also Jim Carrey I read is Bipolar.. According to an article in The Guardian from 2014 us comedians are the most likely profession to be diagnosed. I had to show a judge that article when I had to go to court to get the Personal Independence Payments I was entitled too early in my recovery because a paramedic sent from the private company Capita had decided if could do stand up comedy, and didn’t take meds – I was fine. Cutting off resources which vulnerable individuals need to survive is a human rights abuse!

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Well, Sam, lets take a look at the all important question of 2018, on the lips of every comedian, is this: you’ve got three famous figures from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starter, mains & dessert?
Samantha: First of all, I wouldn’t cook. I can’t. One of them would have to do the cooking, I will do the washing up. (Or just order a takeaway and pretend I cooked.) I would invite Marilyn Monroe, because she was also Bipolar and we generally don’t eat properly anyway. I like nurturing my fellow nutters. Then I would have Joan of Arc, who was psychic, as am I! Then I’d have the Guru OSHO so I could see for myself if he really is the narcissist he was painted as in Wild Wild Country on Netflix. The starter would be Saganaki, which is greek fried cheese. Then for the main we would have chicken tikka madras with garlic fried rice and keema naan. Dessert we’ll have hot chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice cream.

Last year you brought Back To Basics to Edinburgh, how did it go & what did you take from the experience?
Samantha: Despite 3 massive knocks, as well as all the harrassment, it went well. I’m proud of myself. I got my first 4 star review and the show went on to tour with 3 professional bookings and acceptance into the Bath and Leicester comedy festivals. Heartbreakingly, I found out days before the Edinburgh run that my dear friend and supporter Sarah Munro had passed away. She was only 36. Also, I experienced professional betrayal. On the journey up, my director who I had paid £2250 told me she wouldn’t be at the fringe to support me running in the show as she had the year before. I should have had her sign a contract, but she knew what I expected and I trusted her. That really shook my confidence, I felt like she’d duped me. Then I got struck with the flu. All that and I still completed the run. I think that proves my mental stability.

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This year you are involved in two projects, including your solo show, Pulling it Together. What’s your show about?
Samantha: It’s about my journey back to sanity after a mental breakdown in 2014, following the death of my Dad. I talk about my fight with public institutions to get my basic needs met as a marginalised member of society. The journey starts, and ends – with the police. My sanity has been truly tested by recent events. This is a story of resilience. I’m writing it for the one in four and those who love us.

How do you feel when you are telling such deeply personal stories & how do you hope the audience will respond?
Samantha: I hope to provoke compassion and empathy within the audience, which is mostly what happens. There were so many hugs after Back 2 Basics and people would tell me their stories. There was an emotional connection. When people come to see me, I feel connected, empowered and heard. My loneliness goes away. I read somewhere once that expression is the antidote to depression. Expressing myself feels enlightening. Connecting with people on the vibration of truth is deeply comforting.

You are also hosting Conscious Comedy for a couple of dates, can you tell us about the concept?
Samantha: It’s a sacred space, not a safe space. I see comedy as a platform for the truth. Not just another bland form of entertainment. In a way, comedy saved me. I like comedy with depth. I believe that great comedy can inspire change.

Who have you got on the line-up?
Samantha: I have got Zahra Barri doing both nights. I’ve been a fan of her work since 2015 when she did a showcase I hosted at the Edinburgh Fringe. She has a very interesting perspective, eastern meets western. Very well structured jokes and adorable as a person too. Also Alex Hylton, he’s very funny and has a warm aura on stage. I’ve seen him on my local circuit, he told me in his show he is talking about gender, identity and social politics. Looking forward to that. Also booked are; Janet Bettesworh, I gigged with her recently on a gig that was originally shut down by censors. She had a very interesting story about Greenham Common. Then there’s Dan Collins, Mags Mchugh, Paul Savage, Pope Lonergan & Alice-India Garwood. If there are any cancellations. I’ve got fellow anarchist Becky Fury on standby. She did a great job hosting the Malcolm Hardy awards last year.

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You’ve got 20 seconds to sell both shows to a random on an Edinburgh street. What do you say?
Samantha: For Pulling it Together I will just quote this from my badass bipolar sister, Britney Spears; “People can take everything away from you, but they can never take away your truth but the question is, can you handle mine? They say I’m crazy.” For Conscious Comedy, this is more than jokes. It’s a platform for comedians who have something to say. It’s comedy with a conscience.

What will you be doing after the Fringe?
Samantha: I will continue doing my spiritual work, I’ve been a psychic reader and presenter on Psychic Today, Sky channel 560 for over a year now. I’m also going to continue working on my new mental health project. I plan to launch a new podcast next year along with the finished stage show. Then I’ll be looking at publishing a book. Also my husband and I are planning on moving back in together after a long separation. He’s been my saving grace though all this drama. I’ve got some lovely people in my life. Tough times reveal true friends. Silver linings.


Conscious Comedy

Dropkick Murphys

August 2nd & 8th (22.30)

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Pulling it Together

Laughing Horse @ City Cafe 

August 2-10 (14.25)

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An Interview with Katie Grace Cooper

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Interactive Theatre International are bringing four shows to the Fringe this year, & the Mumble managed a glass of bubbly & a wee blether with the creator of their newest piece, Pamela’s Palace…


Hello Katie, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Katie: I was born a Suffolk lass but soon migrated to Essex where I really embraced the local culture.

When did you first develop a passion for theatre?
Katie: When I was five I was given the role of Burlington Bertie from Bow. I wore a moustache and had a cane. I was awesome. I still remember the song “I’m Burlington Bertie, I rise at 10:30 and saunter along like a toff”. And I fell in love from there.

Can you tell us about your training in the clowning arts?
Katie: A while ago I heard about this performance technique where you look right at the audience and ask “do you love me?” I remember thinking how awfully pretentious that sounded, but also AMAZING. The connection and sensitivity with the audience felt important so I needed to know more. I started to see performers like Doctor Brown, Trygve Wakenshaw, Julien Coutereau and I was in love. I decided to embarked on this (frankly, incredible) journey and I had the honour of learning from clown and comedy masters like Gaulier, Cal McCrystal, Paul Hunter and Mick Barnfather. That’s not even an exhaustive list. In a lot of ways I still feel at the beginning of my journey. I think I will always feel that way – the more you learn, the more you realise how much there is that you don’t know.

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What is it about performing live that makes you tick?
Katie: I think there is something in those magical moments when things go wrong, or not quite according to plan. In a lot of ways, it’s a relief for the audience because everyone can relate to failure; and for me, sitting in the comfort of failure, embracing the fragility and unpredictability of performance is when I am most vulnerable and feel most connected to the audience.

You are a lady of versatility & talent, but what does Katie Grace Cooper like to do when she’s not being a creative polymath?
Katie: My fella and I live on a boat, so on my down time we love to travel up and down on the canal!

You’ve got three famous figures from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starter, mains & dessert?
Katie: Blimey! That’s a good one. Hmmmmm. So Emma Thompson is definitely one. I would ask her to perform her beautiful scene in Love Actually with the Joni Mitchell CD. Jill Soloway, who is the writer of epic series Transparent. I would basically try to network and smooze my large (but perfectly formed) behind to get a role in her next series. And finally, Millie Bobby Brown, the Stranger Things star. I would definitely request that she arrived as Eleven. And, obviously it’s a PIZZA PARTY! All the way. Coke floats for dessert.

You have been with Interactive Theatre International for almost three years, how did you get involved & how are you finding it so far?
Katie: My very dear friend, Oliver Harrison, who has been playing Manuel in Faulty Towers The Dining Experience for a few years, informed me that they were auditioning for the bride in The Wedding Reception. So I went along to an audition and was very lucky to be given the job!

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This Fringe you are part of Pamela’s Palace, in fact you co-wrote & devised it. Can you tell us about the show?
Katie: I love this show! It’s an interactive comedy set in a hairdressers. We’re working with an all female cast (even directed by a lady) and we’re looking at topics that are affecting women today – age, beauty, the pressures of being a woman, strength, weakness, vulnerability. It’s just about being human in an unforgiving world but it definitely brushes cheeks with feminism. It’s also so much fun! There are dance routines, original music and three really funny women.

Are you excited about bringing your creative brain-child to the Fringe?
Katie: The most excited I have ever been. There is nothing like coming to the Fringe with a show you are really proud of. We are really, truly proud of Pamela’s Palace.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street, what would you say?
Katie: This is a comedy show with sharp jokes, good dancing, and your ticket includes free bubbles and nibbles!!!!

Can you describe the experience of performing at the Fringe in a single sentence?
Katie: The most mentally and emotionally challenging month, but also the best experience of your life!

What does the rest of 2018 hold in store for Katie Grace Cooper?
Katie: Touring Pamela’s Palace around the world! Well, maybe not the world, but we are hoping to take her to Melbourne Comedy Fringe and Adelaide next year.


Pamela’s Palace

Venue 119: Principal Edinburgh George Street, 19-21 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PB

Dates: 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27 August 2018

Times: all performances at 9pm, doors 8:30pm.

Tickets – all tickets include 1-hour show, nibbles and a glass of bubbles: £25.00

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www.interactivetheatre.com.au

An Interview with the Delightful Sausage

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Chris Cantrill and Amy Gledhill are The Delightful Sausage & are coming back to Edinburgh this August. Which is absolutely brilliant news & as they are well funny. The Mumble managed to catch them for a wee blether


What is the secret formula for a funny joke?
CHRIS: Get yourself a ticket to the number 54 bus. Write down all the conversations you hear and occasionally slip ‘bum hole’ in.

How did you get into comedy?
AMY: During a dark period in my life, I was on the run – a fugitive from justice. The open mic comedy circuit provided the perfect opportunity to guarantee absolute anonymity and stay under the radar.

Which comedians inspire you, both old skool and on the scene today?
CHRIS: I’m a huge fan of alternative, surreal cabaret and there’s a pioneering Northern double act that we simply have to acknowledge when we’re talking about The Delightful Sausage. Two guys, three syllables – Cannon and –

For anyone who has not seen The Delightful Sausage in action, what shall they expect?
AMY: Dizziness, nausea and an intense urge to tell absolute strangers your full PIN number. It’s surreal, colourful bollocks which will blow your mind out yer arsehole.

Can you describe your working relationship with Amy in a single word?
CHRIS: Who?

Can you describe your working relationship with Chris in three words?
AMY: Strong and stable.

You’re washed up on a desert island with an all-in-one solar powered DVD/TV combo & three films, what would they be?
CHRIS: Probably American Psycho, Falling Down and Herbie Rides Again.

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Last year your show went down really well with the reviewers, did that surprise you?
CHRIS: Is that a neg? To be honest, we were surprised that anybody came to see it at all. It’s so very, very strange and full of lumps.

Do Southerners laugh at your jokes?
AMY: It’s been much better since we’ve brought the interpreter on board.

What have you learnt about yourself as a human being in the last year?
AMY: I’ve learnt that I’ve got a propensity for aggressive script editing and the conflict management which that creates.

How has your show developed since last year?
CHRIS: We’re already incredibly proud of our new show. It’s an even stranger yet somehow more personal journey which we’ve managed to pack full with unsettling illustrations and tight, rock-hard gags.

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You’ve changed venue this year, what’s the back story?
AMY: Last year we met John, one of the owners of Monkey Barrel after he came to see our show. We are really excited to be in a venue where we’ve seen a ton of our favourite acts. I’ll also be performing with Just The Tonic as I’m compering this year’s Big Value late show. Which is nerve-wracking but for two hours a day I’ll be allowed to wear my own clothes. Cowabunga.

Can you describe in a single sentence the experience of performing at the Fringe?
AMY: With its blissful highs and anxiety-filled lows, the Fringe is the best damn laxative on the planet.

What will you guys be doing after the Fringe?
CHRIS: Probably getting a black belt. It will help keep my trousers up. Just an example of the kind of fun I’ll be having as I return back to Manchester to entertain my partner who spends the month of August looking after our two-year-old. What a trooper!


TDS: Regeneration Game

Monkey Barrel Comedy Club

August 2-26 (12:00)

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www.thedelightfulsausage.com

An Interview with Sam Rees

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Sam Rees possesses a brilliant theatrical mind, & is just about to unleash a Nick Cave inspired, dreamy love paean upon the Fringe. The Mumble managed a wee blether…


Hello Sam so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Sam: Hi! I was born in North-East London but moved to East Anglia when I was 2. I grew up in a town called Bury St Edmunds, about 20 minutes from Cambridge.

When did you first find yourself getting into the dramatic arts?
Sam: Looking back, I think when I learnt all the words to ‘Commotion in The Ocean’ before I could read, it was already pretty inevitable.

What does Sam Rees like to do when he’s not being creative?
Sam: Mainly earn money in order to be creative! But I also love music and have recently gotten back into swimming after some less than healthy years at university.

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How, where, when & why were ‘We Talk Of Horses Theatre’ formed, & what is your role in the company?
Sam: The company was formed by me and one of my bestest mates, Pip Williams, who also studied drama at UEA. We solidified around an idea about July 2017. We’re both artistic directors, as well as (for this project) writers and performers. We brought in another mate to direct, another to do the music, and another to do the publicity art. Next time round I think the pair of us would like to switch up our roles again, scare ourselves a bit.

What is the company ethos, exactly, what are trying to achieve?
Sam: We formed because we believe that when it really comes down to it theatre is more collaborative than it is competitive. Particularly in this day and age, with more and more people wanting to succeed at it, we think it’s so, so important to form bonds, compromise, make friends, share ideas, enrich each other. No man’s an island. As we expand we want to bring more and more people in, add more talent to the melting pot.

Last year you were in Edinburgh with Suited Elephant’s ‘POV,’ how did you find the experience?
Sam: That was an amazing experience. And for me, very formative. It was a verbatim show about pornography, and as such there was no proper writing involved, but I was given the opportunity to lead some workshops and put the piece together, edit, arrange, be a dramaturg essentially. I don’t think any of us had worked on a piece like it before, so we were quite unsure about how it would be received. Then we got there and spoke to our audiences, saw we were getting some 5 star reviews, and it just took us aback. To be validated in that way is very intoxicating. It made me realize I wanted to make work, not just be in it.

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This Fringe you will be bringing You Down There and Me Up Here, can you tell us about the show?
Sam: I don’t want to just bash out the flyer blurb, but the quick pitch is it’s about two young men struggling to hang onto their identity in the face of crisis. One is a recovering heroin addict who is convinced he’s the rock star Nick Cave (and maybe he is) the other is a man who has fallen head-over-heels in love with someone while already being in a relationship. It follows their parallel journeys, their struggles to fulfil their desires, and how they change for the better or worse. It’s about the nature of truth, our expectations from life, how we see love and devotion, what it means to be obsessed with someone, and the difference between who we are and how we are seen.

Where did the idea come from for You Down There And Me Up Here?
Sam: The pair of us had been struggling with a direction for a few months, and then we experienced some work that seemed to point a way ahead-particularly ‘Sad Little Man’ by Pub Corner Poets and ‘Men In The Cities’ by Chris Goode. We wanted to make something lyrical, almost like prose-poetry, but also something cathartic, where we could try and crush a few of our own demons along the way.

Why Nick Cave?
Sam: We both love him. I think he’s extraordinary. And his music is equal parts violent and romantic, fevered and beautiful. It had to be someone we both idolized to an extent, for the basis of the show to work.

You’ve performed the play already this year in Norwich and London. How did it go & are you tweaking as you go along?
Sam: Yes we’ve tweaked, mainly in order to make the show say what it’s trying to say better, to be its best self. It’s been hugely educational both times. I’m personally very happy with the five shows we’ve so far done, and I think they will go to strengthen our performance at the Fringe. We’ve ironed out the cracks now, it’s tight and muscular and dynamic and ready for whatever Scotland throws us at us!

Do you & the cast socialize outside rehearsals?
Sam: Yes, excessively. To the point where we have already come up with some rules about not going straight to the pub after every show in Edinburgh.

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What do you hope an audience member will take away from the show?
Sam: It might frustrate them, it might confuse them, hopefully it will touch them on some level. It’s very wordy and dense at time but I really think fundamentally it’s got a huge, beating heart at the middle of it. So it would be nice if people see something of themselves in it. So far it’s always been a show people want to talk to us about, have questions about, want to unpick, and for me that’s a huge compliment. You want people nattering about it at the bar afterwards.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street, what would you say?
Sam: Well, I’d ask them if they’ve ever been in love with the wrong person? Whether they’ve ever treated someone close to them in a way they shouldn’t? Whether they’ve ever been unsure of who they are or what they really stand for in the world? And if I get a reluctant nod to any of those questions you can bet I’m shoving a flyer in their hand!

What will Sam Rees & We Talk of Horses be doing after the Fringe
Sam: Personally, I will be sleeping, eating some greens, earning back a bit more money. We’ve got some possible places we can take this show, but we’ve also got ideas coming out of our ears for the next one, and we’re still so young, so I reckon we’re going to try out as many different things as possible. It’s our time to learn, and fail and get better. And for making more friends along the way!


You Down There & Me Up Here

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Greenside Infirmary Street, Ivy Studio,
Aug 3-11 (16:05)