Emilie Biason is Killing Exes the Friendly Way

The love between two best friends is pushed to extremes in a new dark comedy that’s heading to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. The play, written and directed by Emilie Biason, is called I Killed My Ex. That should give you an idea of the extremes we’re talking about.

With your bestie in tow, there's nothing you can't do

Somewhat nervously, I spoke with Emilie about exes, dark comedy, and the importance of friendship.

We should first clarify that the use of 'I' in the play’s title doesn’t mean the story is in any way autobiographical. In fact it’s more of a metaphor isn’t it? Can you tell us where the idea came from?

It began seven years ago when a friend and I found some skeletons in our exes' closets. I started to collect stories about toxic relationships and the dynamics of friendship within them. I am interested in studying complex themes through a satirical lens and these stories gave me the idea for I Killed My Ex.

It’s about the complexities of relationships and the emotional journey we have to take when we have a difficult breakup. While we don't endorse actual harm, metaphorically "killing" our exes is a necessary part of moving forward and rebuilding our lives.

When our two characters, best friends Tina and Lola, are seen trying to ditch a dead body, it is a funny yet dark image. It is a metaphor for breaking free from an ex.

How do you manage balancing the funny with the dark?

I am fascinated with storytelling that not only entertains but also provokes thought. Life itself can sometimes be theatrical and absurd, and I find that dark comedy allows me to explore the intricacies of human emotions in a sharp and thought-provoking way.

I Killed My Ex has a serious tone and a touch of satire. By maintaining this tone, we see reactions exaggerated when emotions are pushed to extremes. It allows us to shine a spotlight on societal issues, challenge norms, and provoke reflection.

The dark comedy means we can break societal expectations placed on women and delve into the consequences of emotional trauma.

Tina and Lola are very different characters with very different personalities. Why did you write them this way?

Tina and Lola find themselves thrust into a situation that challenges their deepest fears and tests the foundation of their friendship.

Tina is the romantic idealist and Lola is the sharp-tongued sceptic. They’re like the angel and devil we have on each shoulder. Together they reflect our multifaceted nature as human beings. Sometimes we approach challenges with optimism and hope. Sometimes we adopt a more suspicious and critical view.

When it comes to navigating delicate situations, we all carry inside us a bit of Tina and a bit of Lola.

It’s fair to say at the play’s heart lies a beautiful friendship, not a brutal murder. What message about friendship are you hoping the audience will take away with them?

Friendship is a magical thing that empowers us, allowing us to embrace our quirks and imperfections without fear of judgement.

There's something truly special about the bond between female friends. It’s a beautiful mess of emotions and complexities, and something I'd love to see portrayed more often in the media.

And remember, with your bestie in tow, there's no challenge too big, no disaster too outrageous. There’s nothing you can’t overcome when you have friendship.

I Killed My Ex is on at The Space @ Niddry St (Studio), at 17:20 from 4th-19th August (no show on 13th). You can find out more and buy tickets here.

Related Listings

I Killed My Ex

I Killed My Ex

Enjoy a deliciously wild ride on a brand-new play by writer-director Emilie Biason and confess: some exes are better off dead. 

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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now