To find out more about Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.
Next up in our Spotlight feature is Gutted, which plays Edinburgh Festival from 2 – 13 August 2017. I caught up with writer and actor Liz Richardson:
Describe your show in three words.
Love. Laughter. Loos.
Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?
I have performed at Edinburgh before but in a stand-up routine and only for a few days, so I wouldn’t say I got the full ‘works’ but then again, we’re only doing two weeks with Gutted this time so who knows if I’ll ever do the gruelling four-week stint. That said, my experience and also just visiting the festival frequently, has always been buzzy and a lot of fun. It is nerve-racking and daunting and then when some days there only three audience members in you wonder why you’re doing it! But I mainly feel excited as I feel we have been waiting to take Gutted to new dizzy heights and put it out there for more people to experience.
Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while at the Fringe?
There are two shows I really want to see in particular but both are around the same time as Gutted! I am hoping to catch them when we finish: comedienne Lou Conran with I Love Lou C and Mind The Gap’s Mia: Daughters of Fortune.
How do you feel to be performing at Pleasance Dome?
Very excited and honoured – I always love the Pleasance shows. Jack Dome is a great little space so we’re hoping to pack ’em in!
Who or what are your inspirations?
I recently watched the tribute series to Victoria Wood, ‘Our Friend Victoria’ – the attitude she had to life and comedy, work and creating is inspiring and she reminded me how it is achievable if you put the hours in and believe you have something to offer. Reading Steve Coogan‘s autobiography recently also encouraged me that us northerners can make our mark!
When I lived in London I met the wonderful Doon Mackichan and she encouraged me to create comedy whilst still procreating! Everything Doon has appeared in is my ultimate aim in life to perform in haha! I also give credit to Gutted’s co-creator Tara Robinson and HOME Theatre as they made me realise that I am and can be a theatre-maker and not just label myself as an actress.
And finally, without sounding too much like a BAFTA speech (I wish) I am indebted to my husband for the faith he has always had in me and the opportunity he has given me to pursue my career and I also strive to make our daughter proud of her mum too.
What is your secret to surviving the intense, fast pace of the fringe?
Alka Seltzer; exercise; zzzzzz; growing thick skin.
What are the future plans for your show?
Following our run in Edinburgh, we’ll be doing a few hospital showings in Scotland (to continue our UK tour we did in hospitals last year). We then hope to tour in early 2018 around UK theatres and then, who knows?!
I would love for it to go abroad, would love for it to be published… and then we did have some people say it should be on TV- so, if you’re out there Mr TV producer..!
What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?
I recently saw Ben Power‘s production Spring Reign at The Lowry – it was poignant, moving, chilling and thought-provoking and the theme about the war in Syria was dealt with very sensitively.
Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show/ theatre company/ production?
We have been extremely fortunate with Gutted to have a huge amount of outside support – starting with HOME Theatre in Manchester who took us under their wing and offered us space, time, advice and encouragement.
We then went on to secure sponsorship from the charity IA who support patients living with ileostomies and internal pouches (some of the themes within the show). IA had faith in the show from the start and have been a huge financial support as well as offering the publicity to help us reach audiences who are sufferers of Crohn’s or Colitis or are friends or family of those living with the illness. Without the support of IA and the Wellcome Trust, the hospital tour wouldn’t have happened, and from the outset that was something I was really excited about being a possibility.
Writer: Liz Richardson & Tara Robinson
Director: Tara Robinson
Producer: Jake Orr and Leo Burtin for Making Room
Design: Jim Dawson (video); Karen Lauke (sound); Sarah McColgan (lighting)
Cast: Liz Richardson
Image courtesy of Chris Payne
Gutted plays Pleasance Dome as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 from 2 – 13 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.