Camden Fringe Festival 2021

Camden Fringe 2021 – INTERVIEW – Meat Cute, The Hen and Chickens Theatre

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 theatre company Patch Plays abut their show – Meat Cute

Date: 15th – 17th August
Time: 7:30pm
Location: The Hen & Chickens Theatre


Hello! Tell us about yourself and the show that you are bringing to Camden fringe? 

Anastasia: We’re Patch Plays – a new theatre company dedicated to telling entertaining stories connected to animal welfare and the environment. Our show ‘Meat Cute’ is a one woman comedy that follows 23 year old Lena as she tries to convert her tinder dates to veganism. We started up last August during the lockdown because we missed theatre so much and needed to get creative! Here we are now, on the other side finally and we can’t wait for the Camden Fringe. 

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

Anastasia:Meat Cute’ is a play on the classic rom com set up, the ‘Meet Cute’, where two people meet each other in some adorable circumstance and then obviously, fall in love. ‘Meat Cute’ also sees a young woman, Lena, go on many dates in the hope to find romance, but with another agenda – to veganise the men who sit opposite her at their ‘romantic’ dinners. The writer, Bibi Lucille, has actually successfully veganised men who she’s previously dated, but no one is based off of her previous suitors in the play – you’d hope not at least! I’m still waiting to learn her secret, my ex’s just go on to date vegan women after me, but don’t go vegan themselves, which I find interesting to say the least. Everyone’s activism takes different paths?

Tell us a little bit about your style of show?

Anastasia: The show is a one woman piece that’s a heightened, farcical comedy about a young woman as she tries to navigate her early twenties, stumbling upon very questionable dates along the way. Bibi plays about 15 characters in one hour, so it’s very physical, uses lots of different vibrant props and costumes to aid with the multi rolling as well as atmospheric soundscapes and one pink fluffy wheelchair (which we had a lot of fun with in rehearsals) . We hope it makes people laugh and think about the subject matter too in a relaxed and natural way. I suppose Bridget Jones meets Peta in ‘Meat Cute’?  

What will your set be about?

Anastasia: Activism, finding love, loneliness as a young woman living in the city and trying to find herself! Responsibility in standing up for what you believe in and most importantly, lots of outrageously bright costumes.

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

Anastasia: We also are looking forward to seeing the other ‘Meet Cute’ as it shares our title, in a way, with one letter difference. What are the chances of sharing a show title with another company? We think it’s great fun

 + Shout out to my friend Olivia Denton whose in ‘4 Sisters’ by Kitty Evans and Safia Lamrani at the Hope Theatre on the 16-19th August! We can’t wait to watch it. So great to have friends performing at the Fringe.

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

Anastasia: This is our first time at Camden but Bibi Lucille (writer and performer) and I have both performed at Edinburgh before – accidentally at the same time actually in 2018. It was an amazing experience. I saw a show called’ Infinita’ by acclaimed German mask company Familie Flöz. I was completely blown away by its ingenuity  – all characters were played by 4 grown men, they went from playing toddlers in a cot to pensioners in a retiring home – it was incredibly moving, about the cycle of life, had no dialogue and just movement and was one of the best pieces of theatre I’ve ever seen. 

Bibi: This is my first time performing at Camden so I’m very excited. I loved performing at the Edinburgh Fringe though – a grand total of three times! From sharing beds, to sleeping on floors, to staying out all night watching puppetry in a tent… I’ve always loved the fringe atmosphere and can’t seem to stay away. A favourite show of mine was Will Penswick’s stand up comedy; I’ve always loved a good stand up and his originality and arrogant charm constantly had me crying with laughter. 

How has the last year in lockdown been for you?

It’s been difficult. But I’m also so grateful that in the downtime that lockdown provided, my friend Maria Majewska (who is stage managing and sound designing the show) and I decided to start our theatre company, Patch Plays. We were just sat in Hyde Park last summer and thought, why not give it a go. I think there’s something to be said of one door closing and one opening…when theatres were shut last summer we were desperate to be creative again so just decided to get lots of actors and creatives together to do a scratch night outdoors – it was amazing and then one of the plays was ‘Meat Cute’, and here we are now! So the theatre company being born was a nice surprise and the silver lining of it all. I’m hoping there’s not another lockdown for a while though, I’ve only started to re-adjust to socialising again…

Have you managed to do many online shows?

Anastasia: I directed a zoom play last year as my final show at was very difficult I won’t lie. Directing the actress, Domnica Sandu, over zoom was a joy, she was so receptive and very subtle and it really worked out, we just approached it as though it were a film. So directing wasn’t much different over zoom than it would be in a rehearsal room – but Domnica had to set up her own filming and lighting and it was a lot for one person to do, she was a star. But for now, I’m looking forward to live rehearsal rooms again! 

Bibi: In lockdown last year, I was cast in Shirley Day’s ‘Hens’ for the ‘Around the Globe in 80 plays’ festival. It was all rehearsed and recorded via zoom, which was definitely a challenge for directors and actors alike but was a brilliant experience and kept us all busy and creatively satisfied during such a difficult time!

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

Bibi: Everything!! I’m looking forward to everything. The atmosphere, the audience, even watching Annie struggle to set up the lights. Theatre has always felt like home for me and there’s an instant familiarity and excitement I feel the second I step into a theatre. 

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

Book in EARLY – venues go so very quickly, lots of paperwork too.  But also, just go for it, it’s so fun to plan and produce and a great chance to get your work out there. 

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

This is our first year bringing a show to the Camden Fringe! We are all local Londoners so can’t wait to be a part of this amazing festival – we’re looking forward to seeing all our friends down the road in their shows too – it almost feels like an extension of university. We also love the fact that you never know who’s going to pop into your show – we hope friends and strangers do, the more the merrier.

What are your three favourite things about Camden?

  1. All the theatres – there’s so many!
  2. Lots of delicious vegan food stalls so we won’t go hungry during the festival 
  3. The buzzing atmosphere

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

Bibi: ‘Suddenly I was backed up against a stuffed warthog and realised I was in too deep.’ – Meat Cute. 

This has to be my favourite line because, out of context, it’s probably the most random thing I’ve ever had to say in a play. 

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?

Anastasia: Sarah Pascoe – she’s a vegan feminist queen, what more is there to say? 

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?

Bibi: Beyonce – named after the Queen herself. 

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

Follow meatcute2021 on instagram, twitter and facebook and visit our theatre companies social media also on patchplays2020 on all social media platforms 

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

Laugh, live, go vegan?

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