​Interview: High as Sugar

As Brighton Fringe gears up for 2016, Broadway Baby offers an insight into 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 was the energy and the people at Brighton Fringe Festival that I fell in love with

Name Tanner Efinger

Show High as Sugar

Tell us a bit about yourself

I moved to Oxford about 4 years ago after living in New York City and Los Angeles for 10 years. Since moving to the UK, I've joined and directed The Oxford Imps, co-founded The Oxfordshire Theatre Makers and performed in numerous productions throughout the UK including Magnificent Bastards’ Shit-faced Showtime that premiered at Brighton Fringe last year.

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

High as Sugar is inspired by the real life of the late Warhol Superstar and trans icon, Holly Woodlawn. It is set in 1969 and 1970 and explores the underground world of New York City’s counter culture. Woodlawn's story is inspiring, reinforcing individuality and survival, while living on a knife's edge of drugs, sex and booze. You can definitely expect to fall in love with our character. Sugar is loud, ballsy (no pun intended), and fun.

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

The city's love of bold theatre and thriving LGBT community makes Brighton an obvious choice for our performance. Having performed in the Fringe last year, I experienced a kinship with the festival that I knew I wanted to have again. I've performed in the Edinburgh Fringe for the past three summers, but it was the energy and the people at Brighton Fringe Festival that I fell in love with.

What makes your show different?

There are many things that make this show different but perhaps the most exciting one is the relationship between the audience and Sugar. I don't want to give anything away but there is a shift when the audience understand that they are more important to Sugar than they perhaps originally anticipated. There is a relationship, a connection that hopefully they will carry with them after they leave the theatre.

Who would enjoy seeing your show?

You're going to enjoy this show if you like a good character. Sugar is funny, raw and honest. I won't say there isn't spectacle but you're not going to be getting pyrotechnics with this one. You'll like this show for its loud and over the top humour but also for its subtle and quiet moments. If you're a conservative, homophobic, xenophobic, dickhead, you won't enjoy this show.

What has been the best advice you have been given?

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who say yes and those who say no. Those who say yes are rewarded by the adventures they have and those who say no are rewarded by the safety they attain: Keith Johnstone, IMPRO

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

If you want a raucous good time and some big laugh out loud moments, check out Shit-faced Showtime or Shit-faced Shakespeare. As I drunkenly yelled out on numerous occasions, 'This isn't ART, it's ENTERTAINMENT'. The sober performers are genuinely talented and the shit-faced performers are genuinely shit-faced.

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

I think they will enjoy the character most of all. I want them to feel a part of her world. To view her at first, perhaps, as 'the other' to realise later that she is actually all of us.

High as Sugar is appearing in at The Warren: Studio 2, 3-5 June, 18:45

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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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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