Ticket Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/between-us
Hello! Tell us about Between Us?
Between Us is a witty play about falling in love and falling apart..
How did you come up with the name of your show that you’re taking to the fringe?
Rachel: My husband takes credit for that. We were bouncing around ideas involving numbers – two people, one relationship, two become one etc – and he just said it. We love it because it’s both positive (a connection between us) and negative (an obstacle between us).
Tell us all about your show!
Between Us is the inside story of one couple’s relationship. We ask the audience for something interesting about someone they know called Rachel or Alex. We use that as inspiration for one of the characters we play, and the story grows from that point of inspiration. We like finding the humour and warmth in modern relationships, and then we explore what happens when things get tough. The bottom line is it’s hard for two people to share one life! We love using improvisation to explore relationships because it’s so fresh and responsive. The show is often funny, but it’s a piece of drama first.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
Rachel: I can’t wait to see Garry Starr Conquers Troy. When we were at Buxton Fringe 2018, he was on in the same space just before us and he seemed like a fun guy, so I went to see Garry Starr Performs Everything at Edinburgh 2018. And whaddya know, it was the best thing I saw at the fringe! I was retrospectively starstruck!
Alex: Last year I went up for five days with a meticulous, breakneck schedule and saw nearly ten shows a day, so this year I’m planning to be a bit more spontaneous. That said, I’ll definitely find time to watch Love Don’t Live Here Glenny Moore – I’ve been a fan of Glenn’s for years and his shows are always hysterical.
Have you done the fringe before? What are the key pieces of advice you have been given or would give to new groups or people performing at the fringe?
Rachel: This will be my fifth year performing improv at the fringe. My top tip for an improv troupe is to treat every day like a brand new day. If you weren’t happy with yesterday’s show, forget it. If you thought you smashed it yesterday, be proud of yourselves, but forget it. It’s very demanding to create something completely new every single day, and you have to give yourself the mental space you need to do that. Show up at your call time with nothing else going on in your head, just the mindset that today is the day you’re gonna have fun. I really learned that lesson the year I was seven months pregnant and expecting our house move from London to Sheffield to go through every day of the run. It didn’t.
Alex: It’s been nearly a decade since I did a run but I’ve guested in shows here and there. Even though it’s been a while, the nugget I’ll definitely take with me to this Edinburgh is take care of yourself and get a good night’s sleep!
What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
Rachel: I really enjoyed our last performance at Brighton Fringe when the audience endowed me – but not Alex – as a swinger. It was fun to have a go at living a lifestyle that I’m pretty sure I won’t ever really experience.
Alex: One of our shows at N16 in London last year ended with a big fight which took place in a car and then at the side of the motorway. It was a split-second choice to put us in a car, which really gave the scene this claustrophobic, intense energy out of nowhere. That’s something I love about improv – little choices, big impact.
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
Rachel: My character was reassuring Alex’s character about a work presentation. I told him not to worry, that he works best when he doesn’t plan too much in advance. There was a lovely pocket of improvisers in the audience who gave us a cheer for that. It’s my favourite because I had absolutely no intention of referring to improv, but the audience made it about improv, so it was kind of a mistake – one of those wonderful improv mistakes that you can’t plan and which bring so much joy.
Alex: Rachel’s character had just asked in a roundabout way whether we could get married, saying she knew I wasn’t the romantic type so she’d even bought a ring I could give to her if I wanted. My character turned her down and in the middle of our argument I called her out for being so delusional about the state of our relationship that she’d proposed to herself. The audience loved it.
What have been some of the most unique and different comedy shows you have seen this year and why?
Rachel: Alex’s comedy collective Sturike are doing some awesome premise-based improv every month at Little Chicago in Sheffield.
Alex: Sheffield-based duo Long Boi and the Noise perform a show which is half improv scenes and half party games with the audience. The games create this joyous energy which I think is the perfect state to enjoy the kind of improv they do – very fast-paced, witty, anarchic humour. It’s a unique format that totally suits their comedic style.
What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the fringe?
Rachel: Enjoying yourself at the fringe requires the same knack as doing improv. You have a rough framework of what you’re going to do, but you have to be willing to chuck all that out the window and go with what’s happening in the moment. In my experience, you can’t plan fun times at Edinburgh. It all happens by mistake.
What would be your top three items every performer must take to the fringe?
Rachel: Phone charger, eye mask and lunchbox.
Alex: Refillable water bottle, kindle/gameboy/ipod for when you really need to take a break and breakfast snack bars.
What’s the secret to successful flyering?
Rachel: Eye contact!
Alex: You might have an idea of your target audience, which is great, but put it out of your mind. Flyering is a numbers game and your assumptions about who is or isn’t likely to come can hold you back from putting a flyer in front of someone who might actually love to see your show.
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
Rachel: Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Alex: Head writer on Eastenders!
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
And finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Hilarious, compelling, heartbreaking.
Categories: Comedy, edinburgh fringe, Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019, Improv, Interview
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