To find out more about Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.
Next up in our Spotlight feature is Replay, which plays Edinburgh Festival from 2 – 28 August 2017. I caught up with writer and actor Nicola Wren:
Describe your show in three words.
Uplifting, moving, honest
Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?
This will be my second Edinburgh Fringe performance experience and I couldn’t be more excited about it. The first time I came to the fringe was in 2015 with my debut play, which I also wrote and performed, 501 Things I Do In My Bedroom. That was my first experience of the Fringe altogether and I learnt so much and met so many brilliant writers and performers, including DugOut Theatre who I’ve collaborated with on my new play, Replay.
Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while at the Fringe?
I’m particularly looking forward to Trgve Wakenshaw’s new show, Trgve vs A Baby, Muriel Comedy’s debut show Bad Master and my old favourites, Goodbear. There are also some really exciting young companies up including Mad Like Roar with Alan, We Think You Should Get a Dog and Theatre with Legs’ Edinburgh debut, DIGS.
How do you feel to be performing at Pleasance Courtyard?
Very excited. The Pleasance Courtyard is one of the most exciting places to be during the Fringe and I’m chuffed that I’ve been allowed to this year.
Who or what are your inspirations?
I’m fortunate to have lots of friends who are doing similar things to me and being able to talk to them, share ideas and experiences is invaluable. There are a lot of moments when I feel like I must be the only one struggling to keep momentum going, and that it seems to be so easy for everyone else, but as soon as I talk to other creatives, no matter what level they’re at, I remember very quickly that everyone has had to work very hard to get where they are and is often having a similar experience.
Everyone has periods of disappointment and periods of utter joy. I’m learning to hold onto the good moments and make sure to celebrate every success, however small, and to remember to just keep working hard and challenging myself because it really does pay off – usually in smaller, more frequent successes than one big one.
What is your secret to surviving the intense, fast pace of the fringe?
I can’t say I have a secret per say, I just try to enjoy it and embrace the madness. There are so many fantastic opportunities, so much to learn and so much fun to be had, there is no point taking it all too seriously.
That being said, looking after yourself is definitely is important. Last time, I found that making sure I had time to myself after my show was very helpful. Watching another show straight after mine was pretty knackering, and I was probably an awful audience member too. So, this year, I’ll try to pop back to the flat for a bit of quiet time and then head back out again when possible.
Exercise and vocal warm ups are always on the to-do list, and eating well, but mostly, just seeing every day as an opportunity to meet brilliant people and make new and genuine friends. Having old friends and family to visit is really comforting and gives you a fresh perspective on how much great stuff there is to do and see too. I think I’ll just listen to my body and rest when I need to and have fun when I can.
What are the future plans for your show?
The aim for Replay after the fringe is to do a run in London, with the possibility of touring in the Spring of 2018. I’m really proud of this play and, assuming it doesn’t totally crash and burn at the fringe, I’d like to be performing it for a long time to come.
What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?
Please may I have two? Lucy McCormick’s Triple Threat at the Soho Theatre and Nina Raine’s Consent at the National Theatre. The two couldn’t be more different but both were incredibly smart, very moving and I’m so pleased I caught them when I did.
Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show/ theatre company/ production?
Replay marks my first collaboration with Edinburgh favourites, DugOut Theatre, and is directed by their brilliant Artistic Director, George Chilcott. Though the play is, in form, very different to past DugOut shows, the heart of it is very much there and it’s an exciting new direction for the company to be moving in. I’m also very excited because the script for Replay is being published by Methuen Drama and will be available to buy at the Fringe.
Writer: Nicola Wren
Director: George Chilcott
Producer: Milly Smith with DugOut Theatre
Cast: Nicola Wren
Image courtesy of Jamie Knighton
Replay plays Pleasance Courtyard as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 from 2 – 28 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.