Broadway Baby

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As Brighton Fringe gears up for 2016, Broadway Baby offers an insight into the shows, the people and the world that is Brighton Fringe. We’ve been speaking to participants from around the Fringe and asked them to give us an insight into their shows.

Be nice to people on the way up, because you have to meet them on the way down

Name: Nye Russell-Thompson

Show: Just a Few Words

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m 22 years old and the creator of one-man theatre company StammerMouth. I grew up on the Isle of Wight and graduated in Performing Arts at the University of Chichester. Theatre and acting have been big players in my life, which sounds corny, but genuinely my life took a positive turn thanks to drama. I suffered with a severe stammer from a very young age and right up until my late teens and found that performing and acting (often like a fool) diminished my speech impediment. Over the years, “being” someone else on stage would lead to my stammer disappearing almost entirely. Now I’m very expressive and can continue the family tradition of making god-awful puns and talking politics.

Can you tell us a little bit about your show, what can we expect?

Just a Few Words is a one-man show about a guy trying to tell someone how he feels about them. However, this man also has a severe stammer. With his inner thoughts taking on a role of their own, in the form of a massive pile of A3 cards, it gives him strategies to help him say how he really feels.

The show is not the story of me but draws from my experiences in dealing with a stammer, including speech therapy techniques and my own thoughts on the impediment. It stems from a more conceptual school of theatre, with moments that require audiences to take their time and be patient with me, while a broken record player pops and fluffs in the background.

Why did you decide to perform your show at the Brighton Fringe?

I love Brighton, I think it’s a city that’s just full of progressive cultural flavours. The Fringe captures my love for things a little bit different in the arts, bringing lots of intriguing voices together. My show has something unique to say, for someone who used to struggle to say anything at all, so Brighton Fringe is a great platform for those quieter voices.

What makes your show different?

This is a show where the flaw, the struggle and failure in expression is what drives its point home - it is, for me, the best representation of my stammer. There are moments in the show where audiences will feel like they understand how a stammer feels physically and its effect on someone’s personality.

Who would enjoy seeing your show?

Anyone who wants to see something a little bit different, meaningful, likes bad puns and anyone who would be interested in learning something new about stammering.

What has been the best advice you have been given?

“Be nice to people on the way up, because you have to meet them on the way down” - this is just common sense but this advice from my dad has stuck with me. It doesn’t mean brown-nose people in power, just be a good person. He and my mum are wonderful people, very supportive.

What show, apart from yours, would you recommend at the Brighton Fringe and why?

Bootworks’ Now Listen To Me Very Carefully is a fantastic low-budget retelling of Terminator 2 and its impact on one of the performers. It’s so great, the audience get in on the action too.

What do you think audiences will enjoy the most about your show?

I really want to say the intentionally bad puns but that’ll be the guilty pleasure at best… I think audiences will enjoy the relationship between my character and the stack of cards with attitude, which leads to all sorts of funny and tragic misunderstandings.

Just a Few Words is appearing at Komedia Studio, 28 May 15:30 and 29 May 16:00


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