Edinburgh Festival Spotlight: Swan Bake

Edinburgh Festival Spotlight: Swan Bake

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

Next up in our Spotlight feature is Swan Bake, which plays Edinburgh Festival until 28 August 2017. I caught up with writer and director Samson Hawkins:

Describe your show in three words.

Unique, terrifying, funny.

Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?

I have been as an actor before on student productions, and then I was assistant on 5 Guys Chillin’ last year. It was a good education of working in a big productions which we had to sell a lot of tickets for. Putting plays on in Edinburgh is really different to presenting work in the rest of the country. There are so many small things that it is really hard to learn without going. Advertising, exit flyering, comping.

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

Dust by Milly Thomas looks like a really interesting piece of theatre. Kneehigh have a show on which Emma Rice has directed so I’ll be going to that. Bin Ladin the one man show is something I thought of as a joke once, and it’s actually on this year, which is something.

How do you feel to be performing at C Venues?

It’s a brand new venue at C Royale so everyone is learning on the job. Our Studio is great, it’s so small, so intense, the show looks great in such a confined space underground, it’s pretty scary.

Who or what are your inspirations?

Nothing quite gives me a rush like a really good play. I come out of the auditorium with this huge rush. The Incredibly Downhill Journey of Little Tommy was a revelation at Summerhall a few years ago and it really opened my eyes to what theatre can be.

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

Find things funny. So far, we have had a car accident, one of our puppets has been covered in blood, we ruined our studio with talc and it turns out you can’t tap dance on our floor. But stressing about these things doesn’t help, you just need to laugh about how stressful it is, and then try and fix the problem. There is no need to get angry, it never solves anything. Stay chill, and all will be okay.

What are the future plans for your show?

I want to have a transfer to London. It’s set in London and based around my time there and I want it to go home. After that, I’m looking forward to making more work with the company.

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

I did see a 5 minute preview of Quantumly Entangled With A Blobfish, which is at Just The Tonic, and it is hilarious, it’s a free show so I’m probably going to go many times.

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

Second Sons make theatre for people who don’t like theatre. We try and bridge the gap between comedy audiences and theatre audience. We also have puppets, dance, and fantastic sound track and it is actually a really big production in a tiny space. I can’t promise you will enjoy it, but you wont be bored.


Writer/ Director: Samson Hawkins

Producer: Second Sons

Design: Emma Lynch; Matt Kirk (sound); Gregory Jordan (lighting)

Cast: Kate Dolan; Shannon Giles; Alex Stevens

Swan Bake plays CVenues as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 until 28 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.