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)

An Interview with Andy Quirk & Anna J

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The Mumble have just managed a wee blether with East London’ premier rapper of first-world problems, Andy Quirk, and his backup dancer, Anna J, who will both be headin’ to Edinburgh this August to spread the wisdom…


Hello Andy and Anna, so where ya from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
A&A: Hi Mumble, as we say in our opening track, we’re from East London. Leyton. The cool bit obviously… But our first world pain is universal.

When did you first realise you could make people laugh?
Andy: I took my first world problems to Edinburgh as part of a three man show in 2016 and found a lot more people got it than I could have predicted.
Anna: What do you mean, make people laugh? This is serious! To be honest I find it strange people laugh when I pull my best moves. I learnt these from back in the day – dance offs at primary school, later in Camden Palace. You get me?

How did you get into comedy performance?
Andy: Some people would say my whole life is a comedy performance. It wasn’t a difficult transition to put it on stage.
Anna: It weren’t my first choice but I’m waiting for my big break. I’m expecting a lot of top producers to be dropping in on our show this year and once they make an offer…well, y’know I could be saved from all this.

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How would you describe your performing style?
Andy: Energetic! Though I do expect our crew to join in just as enthusiastically. It’s all about the therapy.
Anna: What you chatting about? You only have to look to see I’m the only PROFESSIONAL in the crew and I’m setting the bar. And if any of those so-called new crew members think they can outdo me I’ll let them know exactly who is the lead backup dancer in this outfit!

What is it about performing live you love the most?
Andy: The energy, the buzz, everyone just having a good time.
Anna: Well I get to get my groove on and perform to my crew so they can see my skills and prowess.

What do you like to do when you’re not being funny?
Andy: Watch other people being funny, I love the comedy community. It’s the best.
Anna: I like to go for long walks, travel and enjoy a cheeky glass of vino with friends. Yeah, I’ve got friends. Lots of friends. Thousands! On Facebook.

Who is Anna J?
Anna: I’ve often thought, “Who is Anna J? What is her purpose? When she is gone will her legacy live on?”
Andy: Pretty confident.

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You are bringing your show, First World problems, to the Fringe. What have been the processes behind the creation of the show, from inception to hatching?
Andy: Writing songs, lots of songs about things that annoy us. Working out how to tie them together. Debating with Anna J what we can make the crew do to take them to the next level.
Anna: Let’s be clear, I am the show. Words cannot adequately describe the process, not even I can describe it so I don’t expect anyone else to understand. Except in years to come through intense debate and study. A degree course might just about do it. No, a Phd. “I’ve got a Phd in FWP.” Sounds good.

It seems like you’ve been on quite relentless tour with it so far, where have you been performing?
Andy: We’ve done a good few fringes and festivals this year so far. Four Saturdays at Brighton Fringe was a good experience, meeting the people of Merthyr Tydfil was a real eye opener, Hastings were a really warm bunch and the Scottish music festival we did was predictably anarchic with people dancing and bringing their own instruments to join in.
Anna: It’s good to meet the fans wherever our help is needed.

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Has the show evolved during this period?
Andy: It’s an ever-changing beast, we’ve added all kinds of twists and turns as they emerged during shows. Really, the show goes where the crew take it. No two are the same.
Anna: It’s more advanced, better, stronger. And that’s down to me doing more stuff.

Can you tell us about the show?
Andy: It’s a genre busting musical comedy show of songs about first world problems where the audience join our crew for an hour that’s part concert / part therapy session which also follows the everyday trials of a white rapper in his thirties and his sassy backup dancer.
Anna: What? Just come! This interview is long man. I’m out of here. See you there.

You have twenty seconds to sell the show to someone you are flyering in the streets of Edinburgh – what would you say?
Andy: I love the idea anyone would listen for twenty seconds but if they did then I’d tell them it’s something quite different to anything else they’ll experience at the fringe. Fast paced, interactive, funny and a show with absolutely no desire to ask thought provoking questions. Frivolous fun for fans of music and expressing their frustrations with modern living.

Finally, what will you be doing after the Fringe?
Andy: More shows and a second album (the first is on iTunes/Spotify/etc). Well, after a good rest – we’re performing an unbroken run of 24 shows at the fringe this year!!


First World Problems

Laughing Horse @ Espionage

August 2-26 (14:45)

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www.andyquirk.co.uk

An Interview with Rosie Sings

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It is a rare gift indeed to be funny AND sing like an angel. The Mumble were honored, then, to catch a wee blether with Rosie Houlton…


Hello Rosie, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?

Rosie: Hello Mumble, well I was born in the city which lacks all culture – Milton Keynes! I now live in the city where culture thrives – EDINBURGH!

When did you first realise you could sing really well?
Rosie: When someone told me they thought I could and then I asked someone to teach me how to try and do it well.

Which singers inspire you?
Rosie: Oh SO many singers are inspirational and I am constantly learning! However the artists I’m listening to at the moment would mainly be Morgan James, Shoshana Bean and Anne Marie.

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When did you first develop a passion for performing?
Rosie: Being born a Princess I’m no stranger to performance. I grew up touring the UK with my Dad in the circus and I often got asked to help with his act which I found fun and got to have a small taste of ‘showing off’. It wasn’t until I started Rosie Sings where I found the passion because I can just express who I want to be in the ways I want. It’s more of a true and honest passion.

You’re washed up on a desert island with an all-in-one solar powered DVD/TV combo & three films, what would they be?
Rosie: Three movies to pick me up if I was ever to be bored of the sea and sand would be – From Up on Poppy Hill, Moulin Rouge and Batman Begins.

Last year you were performing at the Fringe. How did it go?
Rosie: Last year was my first show at the fringe however a lady from the audience after one of my shows did came up to me and say ‘I come to see you every year – but this year you were the best you’ve ever been’… so I’m going to go with what she said and say – I was the best I’d been!

What have you got for us this year?
Rosie: This year the show is about all the men from my love life… or as many as I can fit in within 60 minutes.

Your show is quite a mish-mash of styles, just what exactly ARE you?
Rosie: … I’m me Bitch … I love everything from Old School Garage to Whitney.

How much of Rosie Houlton the person is there in Rosie Houlton, the performer?
Rosie: All of the stories in my shows are factual. How I perform them and the confidence I have on stage is the Rosie I inspire to be in my day to day life… but usually I just spend my time eating oreo cookies while I bathe.

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Can you tell us about your band?
Rosie: The band well … the band are what bring my show to life and add the unique character and sometimes aroma most boys bring along with them. I’ve been a very lucky Princess indeed as I’ve had a wonderful time working with different musicians throughout the year which has helped adapt the show creatively. The arrangements for the show have mostly been worked on with my Fairy Godmother Neil Metcalfe, if you live in Edinburgh and work as a musician you will know or want to know Neil, he is a genius and I wouldn’t have a show at all without him. During August I’ll have the wonderful Doug Price flying over from Canada to take on the role of Musical Director for the Fringe. Doug and I worked together last year and it will be so much fun to have him back by my side to see what we can get up to this time! I’ve also worked with Linda Stewart who stepped in on keys Sunday 1st July who has been working with the musical Wicked and touring the world on cruises. But the boys who make me smile and often wet in my pants are the very tall, sexy Scottish duo you got to see me perform with recently – Damien Quinn and Callum Morrison. We will be seeing more of them alongside Rosie Sings in the future but for now my lips are sealed!

How do you select the songs for your show?
Rosie: The songs I select can be for a number of reasons. Most importantly I have to like the songs I’m using and make sure that they have relevance to my story. Sometimes the song comes first because it reminds me of a story and other times I have a story and have to find a song to go along with it.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street, what would you say?
Rosie: I’m the voice of an angel with the mouth of a sailor. I will sing some of the greatest love songs to compliment the stories of my turbulent yet fruitful love life… and I just discovered Gin, which has nothing to do with me turning 30.

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How will you know & feel when you have just given a good performance?
Rosie: From how it effects my audience. I’m always pushing myself out of my comfort zone and encouraging others around me to face their fears. With this show being specifically about the trials and errors of my Love life, I’ve already found in my previews it is connecting with some people who can relate to a mutual experience. The show is to entertain through being honest about who I am. I’ve made some mistakes and I’ve learnt some things and when an audience member connects with that and tells me afterwards, I find that really rewarding.

Can you describe the experience of performing at the Fringe in a single sentence?
Rosie: Last year I caught a photographer taking photos of me and so I stopped to smile at him, he said, ‘No don’t stop, I’m just here to capture your struggle.’

What will you be doing after the Fringe?
Rosie: I’ll be getting on the next plane to the hottest place where I will stay until someone pays for me to come home … and eat cheese.


Rosie Sings Facts About Love

Fingers Piano Bar

Aug 4-26: (16:20)

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www.Rosie-Sings.com