To find out more about Festival 47 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.
Next up in our Spotlight feature is Adele Is Younger Than Us, which plays Festival 47 on 15 July 2017 at 21:30. I caught up with production company Stiff and Kitsch:
Describe your show in three words.
Music, Comedy, NotAnAdeleTributeShow.
Tell us a bit more about your theatre company.
Stiff and Kitsch was formed on an unemployed whim in 2016. We met at LAMDA, where we both trying to be ‘serious’ and ‘proper’ actors, which went really well until we got out into the real world where we realised there wasn’t much demand for another middle class white girl doing Shakespeare, and that the Irish are inherently hard to take seriously.
The idea to form a comedy duo first came to us when we were both up at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015. We saw a bunch of musical comedy shows which we both loved, and thought ‘Why not do this ourselves?’. Ten thousand pounds of debt, a surplus of posters which were printed in the wrong size and a prescription of something to ‘calm my nerves’ from the doctors is why not. But we’re glad we did! Going forward I’m not sure what we’d like but I can tell you what Lloyds Bank would like; Their money. About six months ago.
Is this your first time at the King’s Head?
It certainly is our first time at the Kings Head (performing not watching) and we’re feeling very excited! This will be the ninth venue that we’re performed Adele Is Younger Than Us in and each one has its own feeling. There are always nerves though: Will people laugh? Will we remember the words? Will we sell any tickets? But seriously, will we sell any tickets…
Who else in the festival programme are you most excited about?
We’re excited to see Bury The Hatchet – full disclosure, our friend Sasha is writing and acting in it but regardless of that we’re sure it’s going to be great. It’s based on Lizzie Borden, the bloodthirsty parent-murderess and I’ve been promised music and multi-rolling and blood. (She hasn’t actually promised blood. but I think there should be, so I’m putting it in print). Also the costumes look amazing. Our show is great, but sadly does not call for 19th century corsetry and lace.
Who or what are your inspirations to continue making theatre?
We watch a lot of comedy! Is it because it makes us laugh and because we are eager to learn or because we have a lot (I’m talking, a lot) of free time on our hands? Who knows. Either way watching funny people be brilliant and funny definitely inspires us to keep writing.
We watch it all from British sitcoms like ‘The Office’ and ‘Gavin and Stacey’ to American shows like ‘Saturday Night Live’, ‘Parks and Recreation’ and ’30 Rock’. In our spare time, which is all the time, we started reading the biographies of some of our favourite actors and writers such as Amy Poeler, Tina Fey and Mindi Kaeling and discovered that before going on to have amazing careers they all started by creating their own work – and writing the parts they wanted to perform. So it seemed like a good plan.
When we go for runs (once or twice a year) we listen to other musical comedians such as Garfunkel and Oates, Tim Minchin and Bo Burnham, and ignoring our aching legs and loss of breath, it’s really great to listen to those at the top of their craft reminding us to keep going (both literally as we try and run, and metaphorically to achieve our dreams).
What are the future plans for your show?
We’re heading back up to the Edinburgh Fringe with Adele Is Younger Than Us and By All Accounts Two Normal Girls (our other show in this festival…seamless plug) so at the moment we’re just hoping to make it up in one piece, and survive it in one piece! Doing two shows at the festival is going to be manic, and no doubt involve a lot of Berocca and coffee, but will hopefully be a lot of fun.
After that we’re not sure – perhaps touring? We toured it over to Ireland, where Sally is from, at the start of the year and had a great time. On arrival Sally smashed the back window of her brothers car with the keyboard’s flight case. We also dragged James Taylor (our MD and composer) up a mountain in gale force winds and driving rain as he complained loudly that his shoes were ‘soaked through and probably ruined’. It was great.
What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?
We’ve done the rounds of comedy nights this year, trying out material for our new show, and seen some really great acts. There’s nothing like being in a small, stuffy, hygienically questionable, packed room – above a pub, in a basement or even out back in a shed, and coming across a hidden gem of a comic.
Admittedly there’s also nothing like the silence of being in a large, echoey, empty room as yourself or another act’s set totally bombs, to an audience of three, two of whom are also performing. Swings and roundabouts.
Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show?
Adele currently has nine Brits, 15 Grammys, 11 World Records, three Ivor Novellos, an Academy Award and three multi platinum selling albums.
Writers: Rhiannon Neads, Sally O’Leary
Director: Janine Harouni
Producer: Stiff and Kitsch
Composer/ Musical Director: James Taylor
Cast: Rhiannon Neads, Sally O’Leary, James Taylor
Adele Is Younger Than Us plays King’s Head Theatre as part of Festival 47 on 15 July 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.