Funny At The Fringe – INTERVIEW – Come Dine With Mr. Shakespeare

It is festival season and that means that in the next month there is so many great comedy festivals to look forward to! This month we are looking at some of the great shows that you can see at the Edinburgh Fringe. So take note because we are going to give you all the information you need for just a handful of some of the great shows happening this year! We have also been able to interview some of the acts that are heading up to the Fringe as well.

Ed Fringe 2019

Come Dine With Mr. Shakespeare

Location:  theSpace on North Bridge – Perth Theatre (Venue 36 )

Dates: Aug 20-24

Time: 15:05

Price: £9 concession £6


Ticket Link:


Hello! Tell us about Roo Theatre Company?

Roo Theatre Company was formed by Francesca Elise and Kit Nicols, after meeting at drama school and discovering a shared love for all things Shakespearean. We’ve worked together on shows including an all female version of Midsummer Night’s Dream, Top Girls and Power, and after reading the script for Come Dine with Mr Shakespeare we knew we had to do everything in our power to take it to Edinburgh!


How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the fringe?

Our writer, Julia Bolden, was inspired to write our Bard-meets-popular-culture extravaganza after appearing as a Come Dine with Me contestant in a Cambridge episode (first televised – January 2016).



Tell us all about your show!

Come Dine with Mr Shakespeare is when reality TV meets the stage! Four familiar Shakespearean characters battle it out to win a thosand gold crowns, with the lovesick Duke Orsino (Twelfth Night), youngest daughter Cordelia (King Lear), lecherous Petruchio (Taming of the Shew) and nefarious Lady Macbeth (Macbeth) battling it out to be crowned champion dinner host. Each of the character’s uses lines from the four plays, and we throw in a loveable 21st century narrator to keep everyone on their toes. What could go wrong – right?!



What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?

There’s so much to see! Some of the things we have bookmarked so far are 10 Things I hate about Taming of the Shrew, My Love lies Frozen in the Ice, and 2Elfth Night. Aside from that we all want to take the opportunity to see as much as we can, from theatre to comedy and everything in between!



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.

This is our first trip up to Edinburgh for the Fringe, so we are complete newbies…I’m sure we’ll have lots of advice after we’ve popped our EdFringe cherry! We’ve been given lots of help and useful tips so far from veteran Fringe performers – I think the best is just to make the most of the time there and enjoy it – to remember that while it’s important to work hard so the show does the best it can, it’s also good to take time to make the most of the whole experience.



What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?

This is a brand new, never seen before comedy, so we haven’t yet had our first show. We have a couple of previews coming up in both London and Cambridge, then we’re straight up to Edinburgh. For anyone who won’t be at the Fringe this year we’d love to see you at either!



Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?

Actually it’s one from this show – “Flibbertigibbet – a rebel’s whore!”. Its a mash up of two lines from King Lear and Macbeth…but it just rolls off the tongue so well!



Tell is about the writing process for this show?

Julia Bolden, the wonderful writer of Come Dine with Mr Shakespeare first got the idea after appearing as a contestant on the Channel 4 show herself. After Roo Theatre Company came on board, Julia, the director Rachael, and the cast came together for a series of workshops, where we worked on different scenes to get the best out of every minute. It was a super collaborative process, meaning Julia was able to go away and make edits after every meeting!



Be honest how many Come Dine With Me’s were watched for research? And how many did you watch for a guilty pleasure?

It was obviously very important that all our cast and crew knew exactly what the show is all about, so everyone had some homework to do! I’m not sure how many we’ve seen collectively, but we’ve definitely done some thorough research…



The show has had a lot of unique and interesting characters are there any particular that inspired a character in your show?

There’s so many great characters on Come Dine with Me it’s difficult to pick out any in particular! Let’s just say you’ll definitely see some of the stereotypical contestants in our dinner guests!


Do you have your very own Dave Lamb style narrator as well?

We do indeed! The amazing Kevin Ryan is playing our narrator, also known as Bill Shakespeare himself. Plenty of Dave Lamb style terrible puns and innuendos from him!


What have been some of the most unique and different comedy shows you have seen this year and why?

How to mend the world (with a student play) by Drunken Brainstorm is definitely up there on the list – and will be at Edinburgh this year!



What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the fringe?

As first time fringers we’re not yet sure what to expect, but we’re all excited to make the most of our time there – see plenty of shows, meet lots of creative people and try new things.



What would be your top three items every performer must take to the fringe?

Money, a warm jacket, and a sense of adventure!



What’s the secret to successful flyering?

To be friendly, have a chat with people, be able to answer any questions, and not to look to desperate to fill seats.



Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?

First thought was Shakespeare himself, though he might be just slightly put out at the new setting for some of his most famous characters!



If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?

You can find us on Twitter – @CompanyRoo and #DinewithShakey. You can also find us on Facebook where we have all our upcoming previews… We’ll be sharing lots of pics and fun throughout the fringe!



And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?

Tough, but I’d say ‘Shakespearean reality TV’. Sums it up and something for everyone!

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