To find out more about Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.
Next up in our Spotlight feature is City Love, which plays Edinburgh Festival until 27 August 2017. I caught up with actor Sam Blake:
Describe your show in three words.
Hilarious, honest, heartbreaking.
Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?
Yes, this is our first time at Edinburgh Fringe but we are feeling really prepared for it. We’ve had a lot of friends who’ve been before so we’ve quizzed them on all the do’s and don’ts. As a company we decided to take a show to Edinburgh in January so we’ve had a long time do our research!
Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while at the Fringe?
We love supporting our friends and other companies like us performing at the Fringe for the first time, its always exciting to see new writing and work.
How do you feel to be performing at Bourbon Bar?
We are proud to be a part of the PBH Free Fringe and our venue is a really cool and upcoming bar/nightclub. The space feels really modern and it really matches the tone of the play.
Who or what are your inspirations?
We are inspired by new work that is truthful, honest and makes us feel real emotions. We are always seeing work at the Royal Court and the National Theatre.
What is your secret to surviving the intense, fast pace of the fringe?
This is our first year but we’ve decided to perform 6 days a week so we can spend every Monday resting and enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds of Edinburgh.
It’s important to rest and eat good food!
What are the future plans for your show?
We are currently looking at plans for a London transfer. City Love is set in London, so it only feels appropriate to do a run in its home city.
What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?
People, Places, Things at Wyndham Theatre. It was the only time I’ve ever sat with an audience who were with a character and story every step of the way. Denise Gough is an incredible, truthful actress who carried the weight of that story in a way I’ve never seen before onstage.
Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show/ theatre company/ production?
City Love is a play for every twenty to thirty year old who has ever lived in a city. We don’t want to give too much away but it’s a story of two city workers who are juggling rent and bills in a busy city. A chance encounter on the night bus turns their mundane lives into an epic love story!
We created Illuminate Productions as a way of producing work that makes audiences feel like they are a part of the stories they see on stage. Our characters interact and talk directly to our audience, removing the idea that the audience sit in the dark quietly whilst the actors perform to the blinding lights. We have stripped back production values and we do not hide our props and transitions. The story is simple, honest and truthful and we want to mirror this by the way it is performed. As a performer we see every reaction and thought across the audiences faces. However it is these very reactions that we feed off to bring the story alive. We are open with the audience and we want them to be open with us.
We are looking forward to meeting new people in Edinburgh and making friends. Please do come and say hi or even message us to meet for a coffee, we are always interested in hearing about peoples projects and work.
Writer: Simon Vinnicombe
Producer: Illuminate Productions
Cast: Sam Blake; Elizabeth Lloyd-Raynes
City Love plays Bourbon Bar as part of the PBS Free Fringe 2017 until 27 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.