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Star Inflation is Real

Star Inflation is Real

Mutterings about star ratings are as much a part of the Fringe as plastic pint glasses. Some people think critics are too generous, some people too harsh (mainly about their own shows), and others think star ratings should be abolished altogether. James T. Harding does the sums and finds that, whatever you think it means, star-rating inflation is real. Continue Reading

Laura Albert & Susie Orbach Attempt Live Therapy at the Book Festival

Laura Albert & Susie Orbach Attempt Live Therapy at the Book Festival

In 2005 it was revealed that author JT LeRoy was in fact a hoax – written by Laura Albert but played in person by her sister in law Savannah Knoop. At this year’s Book Festival, Laura Albert attempted a therapy session with psychotherapist Susie Orbach in front of a live audience, talking about her eating disorder, relationship with her son, and the power of her pseudonym. Broadway Baby’s James T. Harding reports. Continue Reading

Scottish Playwright Linda Duncan McLaughlin on the Birth of A Play A Pie and a Pint

Scottish Playwright Linda Duncan McLaughlin on the Birth of A Play A Pie and a Pint

Architect Rob can't find his Rotoring mechanical pencil. A small event, perhaps, but the early onset dementia it heralds will challenge Rob and his wife Cathy's relationship to its very core. This is a new production of Descent at the Gilded Balloon. Broadway Baby’s James T. Harding met Scottish playwright and actor Linda Duncan McLaughlin to discuss the play, the Scottish new-writing scene, and the twin creative-writing courses of Glasgow. Continue Reading

Clique’s Milly Thomas Dives in at the Deep End with Two Plays this Fringe

Clique’s Milly Thomas Dives in at the Deep End with Two Plays this Fringe

Writer and actor Milly Thomas is best known in the theatre world for her 2016 play Clickbait and for writing an episode of Clique on BBC Three. This Fringe she is presenting two plays of her own penning: Dust at Underbelly – which she also stars in – and Brutal Cessation at Assembly. James T. Harding met her to talk about the process behind the two plays, her duty of care to the audience, and how best to support emerging, diverse writers. Continue Reading

Taggart Creator Glenn Chandler\'s Gay Boarding-school Play

Taggart Creator Glenn Chandler's Gay Boarding-school Play

Glenn Chandler, creator of the legendary Taggart, has become known at the Fringe for his plays exploring different facets of gay life. This year, Lord Dismiss Us, from the 1967 novel by Michael Campbell, is amusing audiences at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall. In conversation with Broadway Baby’s James T. Harding, Glenn talks about his process of adaptation, overcoming suicidal feelings during his schooldays in Edinburgh, and the London gay scene of the 1970s. Continue Reading

Yes, There\'s a Fringe for Books Too

Yes, There's a Fringe for Books Too

As the Edinburgh International Festival and its Fringe celebrate their 70th anniversaries, Broadway Baby’s James T. Harding takes a look at how they’ve inspired a plethora of literary events in counterpoint to the Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF). Continue Reading

From Stage to Screen: Modern Life is Rubbish\'s Philip Gawthorne

From Stage to Screen: Modern Life is Rubbish's Philip Gawthorne

Modern Life Is Rubbish is romantic comedy about a couple whose love of music brings them together as well as revealing their differences. The feature film version starring Freya Mavor and Josh Whitehouse recently made its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, but the story started life as short stage play. Broadway Baby’s James T. Harding met playwright and screenwriter Philip Gawthorne to learn more about the film and talk about writing across stage, television, and the big screen. Continue Reading

Trauma and Therapy with Let Me Go Writer-director Polly Steele

Trauma and Therapy with Let Me Go Writer-director Polly Steele

Let Me Go is a feature film based on the true life of Helga Schneider (Juliet Stevenson) - whose mother was a Nazi war criminal. The film deals with intergenerational trauma, mother-daughter relationships, and the revelation of truth. Broadway Baby’s James T. Harding met the writer-director Polly Steele after the European premiere in Edinburgh to talk about adding fictional characters to real-life stories, the influence of therapeutic techniques on her work, and women in film. Continue Reading

Phyllida Lloyd Transfers her All-female Julius Caesar to the Screen

Phyllida Lloyd Transfers her All-female Julius Caesar to the Screen

When it was first staged in 2012, Phyllida Lloyd’s prison-set Julius Caesar was called “gimmicky, humourless and slow” by the Telegraph and “witty, liberating and inventive” by the Guardian. Joined by Henry IV in 2014 and The Tempest in 2016, the once-controversial trilogy has become a byword for stripped back, all-female Shakespeare - and it’s about to be enjoyed by a much wider audience thanks to filmed versions of the 2016 re-staging. Broadway Baby’s James T. Harding met director Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia, The Iron Lady)after the premiere screening at the Edinburgh International Film Festival to talk about the impetus behind Julius Caesar and the process of transferring it to the screen. Continue Reading

​Drolls: The Illegal Comedies Time Forgot

​Drolls: The Illegal Comedies Time Forgot

At the largest arts festival in the world, it's easy to forget that theatre wasn't always welcome in Britain. When the Puritans made theatre illegal, the scene was driven underground. This working man's theatre of the Seventeenth Century has been largely unknown, but now The Owle Schreame Theatre Company aims to revive and revitalise the bawdy 17th-century drolls for a new audience. Broadway Baby’s James T Harding interviewed actor and artistic director Brice Stratford to learn more about the historical context of the drolls, the process of turning them into a performance, and the best type of milk to pour over an actor’s face. Continue Reading

Staging the Unstageable with Kill The Beast’s Zoe Roberts & Natasha Hodgson

Staging the Unstageable with Kill The Beast’s Zoe Roberts & Natasha Hodgson

Macabre comedy company Kill The Beast (Peter Brook and Manchester Theatre Award winners) return to the Fringe with their 70s werewolf spectacular He Had Hairy Hands and a new 80s futuristic throwback, Don’t Wake the Damp. Broadway Baby’s James T Harding met writer-performers Zoe Roberts and Natasha Hodgson to learn about the magic of Warwick, the role of democracy in script development, and creating compelling women’s roles in horror. Continue Reading

Agent of Influence’s Sarah Sigal on the Unusual Staying Power of Pamela More

Agent of Influence’s Sarah Sigal on the Unusual Staying Power of Pamela More

Agent of Influence: The Secret Life of Pamela More is the story of a high-society fashion journalist recruited by MI5 to facilitate the abdication of King Edward VIII. Broadway Baby’s James T Harding met playwright Sarah Sigal to learn more about holding seances with fictional characters, the nature of theatrical collaboration, and her family’s multigenerational conspiracy theory. Continue Reading

​Linda McLean on her Adaptation of The View From Castle Rock

​Linda McLean on her Adaptation of The View From Castle Rock

Alice Munro’s short-story collection The View from Castle Rock fictionalises the real-life history of her ancestors’ economic migration from Scotland to Canada. Stellar Quines has taken up residence St Mark’s Church for a half-Fringe half-Edinburgh International Book Festival production, the first time any of the Nobel Prize winner’s work has been dramatised in Scotland. Features Editor James T Harding spoke to playwright Linda McLean to learn more about her unusual adaptation style. Continue Reading

How to Win Against History\'s Seiriol Davies on Making a Musical

How to Win Against History's Seiriol Davies on Making a Musical

How to Win Against History is a new musical about Henry Cyril Paget, an eccentric, cross-dressing marquis who was written out of history by his family. James T Harding met Seiriol Davies (Mess, Underbling & Vow) to learn more about the marquis behind the musical, the show’s development into what we see today, and how to repel Roman troops using only the power of dance. Continue Reading

Jonny Labey & Quentin Beroud on Rediscovering Rupert Brooke for Verge of Strife

Jonny Labey & Quentin Beroud on Rediscovering Rupert Brooke for Verge of Strife

Poet Rupert Brooke is known for the patriotic poetry he wrote as World War One got under way, but most know little about the trail of broken hearts he left through Edwardian counter-culture beforehand. A new play Verge of Strife by Nick Baldock aims to change all that by bringing Brooke’s life and work back into prominence. Star Jonny Labey (EastEnders) and director Quentin Beroud (Richard II, House of Parliament) join Features Editor James T Harding to talk about getting into Brooke’s usually cruel character, his bisexuality, and the way he has and hasn’t been remembered. Continue Reading

Julia Sutherland on Prison Romance, Staging Radio, and her show Jailmates

Julia Sutherland on Prison Romance, Staging Radio, and her show Jailmates

Based on it’s performers’ real-life stand-up material, Jailmates is a love story about an unlikely couple who meet on a pen-pal website jailmates.com. The Radio Scotland comedy drama is previewing at the Fringe before being recorded later this year. Features Editor James T Harding met co-writer and performer Julia Sutherland to talk about the shows unusual writing process. Continue Reading

Inspector Sands’ Ben Lewis on What Really Happens in Care Homes

Inspector Sands’ Ben Lewis on What Really Happens in Care Homes

The elderly residents of a care home just off the A1 are waiting to die, some of them less quietly than others. What looks set to be a quiet day spirals out of control in the world premiere of Inspector Sands’ The Lounge at Summerhall. James T Harding met co-artistic director Ben Lewis to ask what really happens in care homes when the families aren’t there, licensing The Jeremy Kyle Show, the magic of parakeets, and the relationship between devised and scripted theatre in this new work. Continue Reading

Tarot Talk with In Tents and Purposes’ Roxy Dunn & Alys Metcalf

Tarot Talk with In Tents and Purposes’ Roxy Dunn & Alys Metcalf

Does a prophesy merely predict the future, or does it help to make it happen? New comedy drama In Tents and Purposes at the Assembly aims to find out, via time travel, Brechtian alienation and a good does of friendship. Features Editor James T Harding met Roxy Dunn (Channel 4’s Babylon) and Alys Metcalf (Olivier Award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong) to talk writing, drama schools, and deal a few Tarot cards. Continue Reading

Desmond O\'Connor on Royal Vauxhall and the Magical Power of Gay Clubs

Desmond O'Connor on Royal Vauxhall and the Magical Power of Gay Clubs

It’s the late 80s. Princess Diana, hounded by the press, wants to escape from it all. What better plan that to go gay clubbing to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern with her pals Freddie Mercury and Kenny Everett? And what better disguise than dressing up as a man? Features Editor James T Harding checks in with the Royal Vauxhall musical’s creator Desmond O’Connor (Scott Mills: The Musical, But First This: A Musical Homage to Radio Four) to find out more about this legendary story, the redemptive power of gay clubs, and Des’s musical-writing rehearsal process. Continue Reading

The Carer\'s Tom Kinninmont on Brian Cox, Shakespeare, and script executives

The Carer's Tom Kinninmont on Brian Cox, Shakespeare, and script executives

Screenwriter, producer and director Tom Kinninmont’s latest feature film, The Carer, starring Brian Cox, made its European premiere at 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival. Features Editor James T Harding met Tom (known for producing Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell and After Alice) to learn more about the film’s unusual journey, and how the production industry has changed over Tom’s career so far. Continue Reading

Sebastian de Souza & Preston Thompson talk Kids in Love

Sebastian de Souza & Preston Thompson talk Kids in Love

Kids in Love made its world premiere at the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival. The film follows the disruption of Jack (Will Poulter)’s gap-year plans when he meets a beautiful girl (Alma Jodorowsky) and is drawn into young bohemian London. Broadway Baby’s Features Editor James T Harding was on hand to ask co-writers Sebastian De Souza (known for his acting roles on Skins, The Borgias, and Recovery Road) and his high-school friend Preston Thompson (who plays Cassius in the film) about their screenwriting collaboration and how they think we can fix the inaccurate portrayal of young people in drama and comedy. Continue Reading

​‘You can get away with anything dressed as Thatcher’ - Matt Tedford on inhabiting the Iron Lady for Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho

​‘You can get away with anything dressed as Thatcher’ - Matt Tedford on inhabiting the Iron Lady for Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho

Matt Tedford’s drag incarnation as Margaret Thatcher started life as a simple Halloween joke but has since taken on a bit of a life of her own, winning him Best Male Performer at the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. James T Harding quizzes Matt about his Fringe show Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho, the not-so-true story of how Margaret Thatcher got lost in Soho one dark, rainy night, became a cabaret sensation, and single-handedly defeated Section 28 before it is passed by parliament. Continue Reading

‘We just ran up and down the Royal Mile shouting at people’ - The IdeasTap Underbelly and Les Enfant Terribles Award Winners’ Panel

‘We just ran up and down the Royal Mile shouting at people’ - The IdeasTap Underbelly and Les Enfant Terribles Award Winners’ Panel

The Fringe can be a tough place for emerging talent, struggling to be heard over the crowd. Fighting this trend, the IdeasTap Underbelly Award supports four original productions each year with funding, mentoring, and support at Underbelly while the Les Enfants Terribles Award brings a brand-new production to the Pleasance with cash and mentoring from Oliver Lansley and James Seager of LET. James T Harding finds out more from this year’s winners, Ben Norris, Toby Peach, Giles Roberts of the MolinoGroup, Joel Samuels of Fine Mess Theatre, and Izzy Tennyson. Topics covered include the effect of winning an award on the life of a Fringe show as well as the individual shows. Continue Reading

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