Camden Fringe Festival 2021

Camden Fringe 2021 – INTERVIEW – Paperboy, The Lion and Unicorn

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 the show Paperboy.

Date: 5th -7th August
Time: 8:30pm
Location: Lion & Unicorn Theatre

Hello! Tell us about the show Paperboy that you are bringing to Camden Fringe? 

‘Paperboy’ is a ridiculous, thought-provoking comedy exploring the dark sides of lad culture and toxic masculinity, and looking at when conversation goes from just a bit of banter to something more serious. It revolves around two self-proclaimed “journalists”, Matt and Matthew, and their long-suffering assistant, Phoebe, and uses silly jokes to ask whether the boys’ cheeky chat is really as harmless as they think. It’s a big giggle, but it definitely has its serious moments.

How did you come up with the name of your show that you’re taking to the Camden Fringe?

Paperboy’ refers both to the fact that Matt and Matthew’s characters in the show write their own newspaper, and that they constantly call one another “boy” (in the most annoying possible way). There’s also meaning in the fact that paper is very fragile, and that maybe these boys might be a little more fragile than they seem…

Tell us a little bit about your style of show?

The show is a very silly, satirical comedy, built around a heightened version of “lad banter” that jumps between childish, cringe and just plain crude (but really, is there anything more cutting-edge than a dick joke?!).

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

In terms of comedy, we’re looking forward to seeing Charlie Dinkin, and on the theatre side of things, we’re particularly excited to see ‘Bunker’ by Harpy Productions and ‘Sisters of Charity’ by Free School Lunch Theatre.

Have you done the Fringe before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?

This will be Happy Happy Productions’ first time at the Camden Fringe! That being said, we’re so excited to join the Fringe’s history of shows tackling issues of sexism – 2019 was such a strong year for productions examining gender and women’s issues, so we are thrilled to play a part in continuing that trend. 

How has the last year in lockdown been for you?

The last year in lockdown has been strange in so many ways – not least because it means that as the show’s writer and producer, I’ve managed to work with our director for over a year on the show, and we’re still yet to meet in person! As a big ol’ introvert, though, it’s also been a great excuse to hide away from the world and write dumb jokes, so that isn’t such a bad thing.

Have you managed to do many online shows?

‘Paperboy’ actually took its first steps as an online read-through (produced by the wonderful On Point Productions), which was a pivotal moment in its origin story. Our director, Amy Tickner, has also been taking full advantage of the potential of online shows in her role as the Artistic Director of Act II Festival, which has produced huge amounts of amazing work over the past year – you should definitely check them out.

And now you are returning to the stage!!! How exciting! What are you looking forward to the most?

All of it! For real, though, we’re most excited for the thrill of seeing an audience file into the theatre, with both them and us not really knowing what to expect. Also, anyone involved in making live comedy has missed the sound of a crowd laughing at something silly you wrote or said, so that’ll be very nice.

What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year?

The Camden Fringe is a great chance to make something that really excites you, so focus on what you will enjoy making rather than second-guessing what other people will enjoy watching – in the end, your passion will be enough incentive for people to come and see it. Beyond that, get organised early, and if you don’t know how to do something, just ask! There’s no point in struggling and pretending you know what you’re doing – making any show is always going to be a learning experience.

What is the best thing about performing at the Camden Fringe?

Performing at the Camden Fringe feels like becoming part of a wonderfully supportive and creative community; already, we’ve connected with the teams on so many of other shows, and we can’t wait to meet more. We’re also excited to put on a show that reflects our humour and style, on our own terms – the creative freedom is so special.

What are your three favourite things about Camden?

The constant buzz of energy, the diversity of characters and personalities, and Japanese food from the Market.

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

One of our favourite lines in ‘Paperboy’ sums up one of the lead characters, Matt, pretty well: “A woman in a bar actually told me that I “reminded her of Steve Carrell in The Office”. I mean, who doesn’t want to be like Steve Carrell? Great actor.”

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?

Anyone with a loud laugh (or William Shakespeare, just to see what he’d think).

The iconic image of the Camden Fringe is the Pigeon – if you could call this year’s pigeon a name to represent its style, what would it be and why?

This year’s Camden Fringe Pigeon is sporting a particularly fetching zig-zag pattern, so it’d have to be Ziggy.

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

We can be found across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with the handle @HappyHappyProd – follow us for show updates and other upcoming projects!

And finally, in three words: why should people come and see the show? 

Cringe-y, crude catharsis.

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