Double Denim Duo on Working With not Against the Audience

Australian comedians Michelle Brasier and Laura Frew made their duo debut at this year’s Fringe as Double Denim, having previously performed as part of Backpack Anorak. Michelle and Laura met Broadway Baby’s Sarah Virgo over lunch to talk about their show this year, the first time they’ve worked as a duo and why Edinburgh is the only place to be as a comedian in August.

A lot of comics yell and get mad at their audience and I hate that so much

Sarah: So, this is your first show working together as a double act, what’s that been like compared to previous group and individual work?

Michelle: It’s really different… this is the first time that it’s just us. It’s been more relaxing, less people is always a bit easier.

Laura: We’re really good friends, I know a few double acts that aren’t friends anymore… but we’re very honest with each other.

Michelle: We’re like sisters. We’re opposite humans and we’re very, very different.

Sarah: Double Denim is on at 11.45pm, and the two of you showcase a lot of energy in your performances; how do you keep yourself and the audience’s energy levels and interest up?

Laura: Every now and then you do have to work a little bit harder: on a Wednesday night or a Sunday night it’s always particularly hard [to keep up the energy in the room]. But, as soon as our house music comes on we just sort of [*enthusiastic dancing from Laura*].

Michelle: I feel really passionately about this. A lot of comics yell and get mad at their audience and I hate that so much. I think you just have to look at them and be like, What is it that you want?, try different things on them, and then find what works for them. That’s so exciting for us in our show because we can do that. And if there is one pocket that’s more tired than the other, you have to revisit them, be gentle with them… it’s about communicating and negotiating. It’s not about throwing something at them. [The show] is just an invitation to come and play with us, it’s not a demand. We’re not having a good time at your expense and I think that’s really important.

Sarah: How did you come up with the concept of a sketch show that is also a big party on stage?

Laura: I call it a sketch show with a loose narrative.

Michelle: It’s a kid party for grown-ups! A lot of the time we just improvise and see what happens.

Laura: Yeah, we came up with that little high five we do on each other’s armpit, we came up with that–

Michelle: –when we were drunk on a tram.

Sarah: What do you enjoy about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?

Laura: It’s amazing. There are so many opportunities to meet other artists from different places and you create these amazing friendships. It’s a home away from home, a family you have for a month.

Broadway Baby’s review: http://broadwaybaby.com/shows/double-denim/722503

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this article has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now