Camden Fringe Festival 2021

Camden Fringe 2021 – INTERVIEW – XXS Com Dons, Etcetera Theatre and Camden Eye

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 Victoria and Jen about the show – XXS Com Dons

Date: 17th -18th at Etcetera Theatre , 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th August at the Camden Eye
Time: 11:30am and 7:30pm
Location: Etcetera Theatre , Camden Eye


Hello! Tell us about XXS Com Dons? 

Jen: We’re all new to performing, and met during lockdown doing an online comedy course. We enjoyed it so much we wanted to carry on as a group, and we decided that a Fringe show would be just the thing…

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

Victoria: Not having enough time to think of a decent title, to be honest. There was an in-joke in a group chat, we went with it, and now it has stuck. 

Jen: Yes, it’s just a silly joke between us – and we knew no-one else would choose something so ridiculous!

Tell us a little bit about your style of show?

Victoria: I’d describe it as your common or garden stand-up showcase event – featuring a host of new performers. A mixed line-up so hopefully there’s something there for most people.  

Jen: Mostly we’re comics telling stories with a compère to keep the crowd nice and warm!  

 What will your set be about?

Jen: Mine’s about always messing up, without fail.  Always.  Without fail.  One of our group will be taking the audience through the history of drumming.  Our evening shows will also have some special guests joining us.

Victoria: Oh, cheap ginger jokes at my own expense. Tales of growing up in the Midlands. Angst about getting older. The usual.

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

Victoria: I’m hoping to get to see BAMEstation, and the irrepressible Sikisa.

Jen: Ooo yes, definitely BAMEstation and Sikisa.  I also want to see Luke McQueen.

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

Victoria: Never… 

Jen: No, never, so we’re very excited and a bit, well, nervous!

 

How has the last year in lockdown been for you?

Victoria: I don’t think I’ve had it too badly to be honest. The positive side has been getting really stuck into comedy – there has been so much great stuff out there and it has been more accessible for lots of people. I hope the streaming side of things stays.

Jen: There’s been so much time to think, hasn’t there?  I’ve definitely been learning to accept some of the things I like least about myself.  And if not accept, at least tell jokes about them.

Have you managed to do many online shows?

Jen: Yes and we’re planning to do at least one online show that people can join us for ahead of our Fringe shows. 

Victoria: Yes, and now I know that getting pesto in your eye really stings so I’m not doing that bit on stage.  

Jen: Once the madness of preparing for the Fringe is out the way, I’d really love to be running a regular online new material show.

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

Victoria: Meeting the performers in real life! 

Jen: It’s really exciting to be on the verge of meeting everyone and actually having that buzz of performing together in person.  To be honest, I’m really looking forward to the drinks after the shows when we can chill and get to know each other without the computer screens in the way!

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

Victoria: Maybe start planning earlier than we did. But don’t be put off by the logistics, the organisers are really helpful and the venues need you!

Jen: Oh yes, plan plan plan and have someone like Victoria to work with, bounce ideas off and to share the load!

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

Victoria: I’ll have to tell you in September…  

Jen: I lived in London for a long time, and played a lot in Camden during that time so I’m really excited to be bringing a show here.  Camden has always had my heart.

What are your three favourite things about Camden?

Victoria: The energy, the variety and the Pale Ale.  

Jen: The people, the people, the people.  In that order.

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

Jen: I misheard some homework from our comedy course, and rather than write some one-liners, I thought we had to produce a minute of visual comedy without words.  I went first in the line-up and I have never laughed so nervously at one-liners as every single person that went after me told jokes.  The video, which is deliberately disastrous, is on my Instagram.  I never checked with anyone whether they understood it was supposed to be bad.  Anyway, I’m owning it.  It’s there for people to see. 

Victoria: I don’t really have one-liners as such. I do like to play with language but it’s never as snappy as a pun.

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?

Victoria: The woman who shouted out “you’re beautiful” from the back of my debut gig, so I can say thank you. 

Jen: Ugh, I really want to drop in some big names but I think I’d just crumble if I thought they were there.  All of The Muppets?  Yeah.  Although, Miss Piggy would probably steal the show and I’m not sure any of our jokes are for Elmo’s ears.

Victoria: Yes we’re definitely post-watershed…

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?

Victoria: I had a whole bit in a previous show about how much I hate pigeons, so I might not be the best person to ask.  

Jen: Bert.

Victoria: Definitely nicer than the names I call them.

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

Victoria: Twitter is @dr_vjbarker and Instagram is @britishrain.

Jen: You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @itsjenlarner.  In fact, you should definitely come find us there as that’s where all our show promo, including our line ups with special guests, will be!

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

Victoria: Cheap. Cheerful –

Jen: Will buy pints.

Victoria: Wait, we’ll what? 

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