Broadway Baby

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Broadway Baby and Flightless Birds, the hodgepodge group of students behind Kind Hearts and Cormorants have a little chat about their show.

All in all, it is quite hard to define a show, let alone a comedy show, and so perhaps the best comparison we can offer is mash-up of Dylan Moran, Peter Sellers and Peter Rabbit squeezed into a sublime sartorial swirl.

Tell us about your show

Kind Hearts and Cormorants has nothing to do with ornithology; in fact it is our self-styled, original ‘snappy, intelligent, and at times surreal sketch show’. The show consists of a series of fast-paced sketches and pithy motifs. Some examples include the recurring misdeeds of Moules Moriarty, the manic evil genius turned mollusk determined to avenge himself through his bad puns, or the adventures of our classless hero The Hon. Tarquin Trelawney Mountbattingdon-Battingdon, undercover reporter for the Daily Yah! There will be the return of a few old favourites from last year, including what was once termed “the best dalek-in-a-lift-joke on the Fringe”. All this is interspersed with musical elements – on keyboard and accordion – and the debut of ‘Out of the Vatican!’ – that Papal acapella spoof that everyone’s been waiting for. All in all, it is quite hard to define a show, let alone a comedy show, and so perhaps the best comparison we can offer is mash-up of Dylan Moran, Peter Sellers and Peter Rabbit squeezed into a sublime sartorial swirl.

Why did you decide to take your show to Space UK this year?

To be honest, it was less that we decided to take our show to Space UK, and more that Space UKdecided to take us! Due to its immense popularity and international fame, applying to the Fringe has become increasingly difficult, especially for unknown, impoverished students like us. We originally applied to the Free Festival, as we performed with them last year and had a great time of it (even if it was at the highly unamusing time of 9am). However, they, like a lot of other venues, really favour shows that run the entire length of the Fringe and we were only able to do one week so after a long wait for a response, with the deadline looming, we applied to Space UK. Charles Pamment phoned us up really promptly with a slot offer and was very helpful with all kinds of advice. Given the great reputation, efficiency and general professionalism of Space UK, we were absolutely thrilled.

Why Edinburgh? What’s the attraction?

Well, to us it’s fairly obvious. Edinburgh is home to the Fringe, the greatest, broadest arts festival in the world and is famed for kick-starting the dramatic careers of many a bumptious student... More than that, Edinburgh is a pretty groovy place. It is a fantastic city, Theo (one of our group) lives there and won’t stop going on about how great it is. Places like Armstrong’s, the Meadows and the Mosque Kitchen make it all year round but during the Festival, there is a real creative buzz which can serve to strengthen artistic flair!

How did you create your show?

Creating the show is the easy bit; for when all five members of Flightless Birds get together, often in non-comedy related circumstances – like a New Year’s party - we naturally find ourselves bouncing ideas off each-other, each member of the company adding their own particular talent to the mix, be it character acting, satire, or situational humour, before we know it we’re assembled in a corner writing. Our friends know to leave us alone, and will resign themselves saying ‘they’re off again’. When it gets nearer to the festival we tend to meet in a secluded ‘comedy bunker’, where we rehearse, learn lines, and try out our material on unsuspecting pensioners at the bus stop.

What’s the main thing you want to get out of the festival this year?

In terms of returns for the show, we expect little. An audience would be nice, the occasional laugh, and maybe, just maybe, a good review – primarily to prove to our parents that we didn’t waste the entire summer (and perhaps to gain enough credit to try radio comedy). Only one thing’s certain in our minds, and that’s that we won’t make any money. But that doesn’t matter. For us the Fringe is about enjoying performing with each-other, meeting other artists, and trying to give people the best experience that we can for our hour of limelight; for we believe that comedy is powerful stuff, and we all need it.

Can you tell us a bit about your company’s background?

Flightless Birds’ background is grounded in friendship. We all met either at school or through family friends, and every summer went up to the Scottish Highlands for a big holiday. Given the volatile nature of Scottish weather, we were often confined to a cramped, basic holiday house, where we used to write skits for fun, and then perform them to locals and family at a ceilidh. One night, at the end of a performance, one of the audience members who ran a pub in Inverness suggested that we try for the Fringe; this we did and – although we were given a tragic morning slot – met relative success, and were encouraged to return again. After a year’s break and a bit more writing, editing, acting and general procrastination - here we are!  

Production Company: Flightless Birds

Venue: theSpace @ Jurys (V260)

Dates: 8th and 10th-15th August

Times: 12 noon - 12.55pm

Twitter Handle: @Flightlessatire       


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