This summer we are very lucky to see some of life return to normal and one of the things that is coming back with a bang this year is Camden Fringe! We have spoke to a number of acts that you can go and see on the actual stage, so if you have missed comedy and theatre then this is a great time for you! If you are planning on going to the festival though please pre-book your tickets to avoid disappointment. Today we are talking to Michael about Musical Comedy Lil Saffron: Ragu to Riches
Date: 6th, 7th, 8th August
Location: The Hen & Chickens Theatre
Hello! Tell us about yourself and the show Lil Saffron: Ragu to Riches that you are bringing to Camden fringe?
“Lil Saffron: Ragu to Riches” is a musical comedy about a rapping pasta chef named Lil Saffron and his quest to feed the world! It’s an action-adventure smorgasbord featuring pasta grannies, talking cows, romance, and an evil villain named Donald McRonald. It’s lots of big dumb fun and is full of funny pasta related raps.
How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the Camden fringe?
The name was originally “Lil Saffron and the Pasta Grannies”, because the whole show was inspired by this youtube series I got obsessed with called “The Pasta Grannies”, that is about these old women in Italy who make very specific types of pasta found only in their region. However, at some point during the edit process we decided we had to lose the pasta grannies, so after that it became a matter of finding something that combined food with a classic hip hop theme or album title. After an insanely long WhatsApp thread we settled on “Ragu to Riches” and never looked back.
Tell us a little bit about your style of show?
It’s a hip hop musical comedy with big absurd characters and lots of pasta puns. Also plenty of innuendo. It’s silly and dumb but has a lot of heart. The style is dope, with a hint of fresh basil.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
So many! Track 96 Hip Hop and Hotel Michelle for starters, also Anjali Singh’s “A Matter of Time”. There’s so much on this year it’s great.
Have you done the fringe before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
Yes I have done it and one of my faves was Mimi Bauer’s Mermaid show. How often do you get to see a good friend dress as a mermaid for an hour? Bareback Kings show in 2019 was also very very good.
How has the last year in lockdown been for you?
Very very not fun (as it has for many people). What is one to do when they can no longer go out and do improv five nights a week? For me, it was channeling that creative energy into pasta raps. I’ve been very lucky to have kept both my health and my employment during this time, but it’s been a really difficult time for the comedy community in general and any support we can get is so appreciated!
Have you managed to do many online shows?
I did loads of online shows at the start of lockdown and then kind of gave up on them. It was difficult for me because I feed so much off of the energy of a live audience, and it just wasn’t the same on zoom. That said, there are some people who are doing really amazing things online. In general, I’ve been very impressed with the growth of the global improv community and the ingenuity of people to keep delivering engaging shows!
And now you are returning to the stage!!! How exciting! What are you looking forward to the most?
AUDIENCES! I live for their approval. There’s nothing like getting in a groove onstage and having the audience right there with you. The bond between performer and audience is sacred, like that between spaghetti and ragu. One cannot survive without the other.
What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year?
Do it! You miss 100% of the pastas you don’t make!
What is the best thing about performing at the Camden fringe?
There’s a real buzz about the festival this year, with loads of acts and lots of wild energy from people being indoors and coming up with crazy ideas for shows.
What are your three favourite things about Camden?
I love Camden because when I walk the streets it makes me feel like I’m walking around Berkeley in the Bay Area where I come from. And by that I mean it smells like weed.
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
“Oat milk ain’t milk. It’s just flavored water. Oats ain’t got no titties!”
I loved it cuz it was hilarious and the audience approved of it with their laughter
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
If Abandoman came to my show I would split in two.
The iconic image of the Camden Fringe is the Pigeon – if you could call this years pigeon a name to represent its style what would it be and why?
Frank. Because this year’s pigeon is, frankly, a pigeon.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
All my stuff is here: https://linktr.ee/michaeljkunze
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
CUZ IT’S GOOD!
Seriously, we are very excited about this show and you should be too!