To find out more about Festival 47 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.
Next up in our Spotlight feature is By All Accounts Two Normal Girls, which plays Festival 47 from 15 July 2017 at 14:00. I caught up with production company Stiff and Kitsch:
Describe your show in three words.
Not. Yet. Written.
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?
Yes, this is our first time, we are very exciting to be coming with two shows, our award winning Adele Is Younger Than Us, and for the very first time our new show, By All Accounts Two Normal Girls. We are excited that the Festival 47 audience will be the first to see it, apart from our housemates and potentially the neighbours downstairs. Is there an opposite for the words ‘noise complaint’?
Who else in the festival programme are you most excited about?
We saw Britney in Edinburgh last year and it was great, so really looking forward to seeing their new show, John.
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?
This is the first outing for By All Accounts Two Normal Girls, so who knows! We have committed to the Edinburgh Fringe as well so the main aim at the minute is to work and develop towards that. We are heading up with two shows which will be a little crazy we imagine, but Sally has promised to limit it to four pints of beer a day so hopefully we will get through it!!
As well as the live shows, we are hoping to start recording some the songs and getting them out online and we are even talking about making some music videos. Think big productions, think troops of dancers, think Kayne. Now think the opposite of that, as we imagine most video will be shot in Rhiannon’s tiny flat or by trespassing in someone’s garden.
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?
The title and concept for the show came from a real review which we had last year, where a much cooler man deemed us ‘by all accounts two normal girls’. Other rave reviews include: the girls seem ‘comfortable’, it was a ‘pleasant’ night, and our personal favourite: ‘English actress and Cork women’. I guess being from Cork is a full time occupation. This was the same show where Rhiannon was complimented on her wig. She was not wearing a wig.
Writers: Rhiannon Neads, Sally O’Leary
Director: Janine Harouni
Producer: Stiff and Kitsch
Composer: James Taylor
Cast: Rhiannon Neads, Sally O’Leary, James Taylor
By All Accounts Two Normal Girls plays King’s Head Theatre as part of Festival 47 from 15 – 16 July 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.