Edinburgh Festival Spotlight: Get Ugly

Edinburgh Festival Spotlight: Get Ugly

To find out more about Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.

Next up in our Spotlight feature is Get Ugly, which plays Edinburgh Festival from 2 – 28 August 2017. I caught up with writer and actor Tamar Broadbent:

Describe your show in three words.

Loads. Of. Fun.

Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?

I definitely brought reckless optimism and a dearth of waterproof footwear before. The first year I went to the Fringe, I was playing a ‘star’ in an adaptation of Peter Pan (yes… not THE star. ‘A’ star.), but I fell in love with Edinburgh and, since I became a comedian, I have loved coming back with musical comedy solo shows. A particular highlight was All By My Selfie in 2014, which featured my ‘Tube Ride of Shame’ song. Also, Almost Epic which contained ‘Patrick’, and was later heard on BBC Radio 4’s Fresh From the Fringe.

Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while at the Fringe?

Jenny Collier. Firstly, she’s a brilliant comedian but also because she’s my friend and we are sharing a bed. #thriftycomics

How do you feel to be performing at Underbelly Med Quad?

My favourite kind of shows are vibrant, big, and beautiful, and I always love the programme at the Underbelly – it is varied and exciting and they have all the things I want to see. I am chuffed to be performing there – when I think of Edinburgh I visualise the big purple cow (as well as Arthur’s Seat and a phone screen that reads ‘5am’), and I can’t wait to be a part of the family and have a purple colour scheme on my flyer.

Who or what are your inspirations?

I am inspired by Luisa Omielan, Amy Schumer, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler – all hilarious women whose work I admire. I am inspired by acts I meet on the stand-up circuit. I am inspired by my talented friends. I am inspired by people who have sailed alone across the Pacific and stuff like that, (and often remind myself that there’s no point getting nervous about performing because at least I can’t fall off a boat and maybe meet a shark).

I am mainly inspired by my Mum. I always test jokes on her and if she laughs, I know I’m onto a winner. If she says, ‘that couldn’t possibly have taken you an hour? What on earth are you doing with your life?’… I crawl back to my notebook with a cup of tea and try harder.

What is your secret to surviving the intense, fast pace of the fringe?

Sleep, comfortable trainers and making time for chats with good friends. I also make a big portion of chilli every week and literally just eat that with some vegetables. One square meal a day. It’s worked very well at keeping me alive… apart from the one time I put sunflower oil in the pan and it burst into flames and set the fire alarm off and the fire brigade arrived and asked me why I was cooking chilli in a wok. I almost died that day. Of shame.

What are the future plans for your show?

I toured the show to Australia earlier this year, and I definitely want to go back in 2018. I’d love to tour Get Ugly to new cities as well, make more music videos and maybe even make a musical TV series one day!

What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?

Jacuzzi at the Free Association. The FA are a long-form, Chicago-style improv organisation and their Jacuzzi shows are always sensational. It’s hard to explain the format so you’ll have to take my word for it and check it out – they are also performing at the fringe. I’m taking part in a couple of shows which is exciting!

Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show/ theatre company/ production?

Get Ugly is about re-discovering your awesome-ness after a break up, and adjusting to the weird and wonderful features of newly single life. There are songs about odd Tinder dates, feeling self-conscious in the gym, freaking out about STDs after one night stands… and many more. The show is honest, energetic and there’ll even be some COLOURED LIGHTING. Can’t wait – pop in and say hi if you’re at the Fringe this year!


Writer: Tamar Broadbent

Producer: Jimmy Jewell

Cast: Tamar Broadbent

Image courtesy of Rebecca Pitt

Get Ugly plays Underbelly Med Quad as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 from 2 – 28 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.