​Interview: Birthday in Suburbia

As Brighton Fringe gears up for 2016, Broadway Baby offers a preview of 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.

It twists an unpredictable path. As soon as you think you know where you are, you realise that you are actually somewhere else.

Name Ally Cologna

Show Birthday in Suburbia

Tell us a bit about yourself

I trained at The Jacques Lecoq School and have been acting, teaching and directing ever since. I have a passion for devised theatre - I love entering a rehearsal period not really knowing what the outcome will be; so much is dependent on the other people you are collaborating with.

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

We were inspired by the classic film Its a Wonderful Life. We loved its life affirming message, it is as relevant today as it ever was. The show is highly visual, funny and touching. It twists an unpredictable path. As soon as you think you know where you are, you realise that you are actually somewhere else.

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

Brighton has a thriving cultural scene and the Fringe is a perfect opportunity to showcase and celebrate work that is not in the mainstream. Its how new work can be discovered. Great venues and great opportunities.

What makes your show different?

We bring together a very international cast and a very eclectic group of actors. We have enjoyed our collaboration with well known deaf actor Dawn Jani Birley and how that encourages us to think more visually about our work and the whole act of communication, which is a strong theme in the show. Birthday in Suburbia is hard to define and that is what really makes it different.

Who would enjoy seeing your show?

Anyone with a taste for visual, unpredictable storytelling who is in the mood to both laugh and cry.

What has been the best advice you have been given?

Trust your instinct.

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

I would suggest Aphrodite in Flippers by Bold and Saucy TC at The Warren. An exciting collection of female theatre makers.

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

They will recognise themselves, friends, family, their own lives and they will leave the show full of love and appreciation for all they have.

Birthday in Suburbia is appearing at The Warren: Main House, 13-15 May 20:00

Since you’re here…

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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.
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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.
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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.
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