This month I will be talking to different acts that are taking part in the Brighton Fringe Festival. Today I speak to the show Your Flaws The Musical
Location: Laughing Horse @ The Quadrant
Date: May 28th and 29th
Ticket Price: £7 Concessions £5
Hello! Tell us about your act ?
Darkly hilarious and oddly uplifting, Your Flaws: The Musical creates a brand new musical on the spot, inspired by an audience member’s self-confessed flaw.
It’s performed by classically trained opera soprano and international improv star Emma Wessleus, jazz piano savant Patrick Clopon, and myself, who has spent more than three decades being deeply flawed.
How did you come up with the name of your show that you are taking to the Brighton fringe?
I have a terrible memory so I always make sure shows have a name that’s memorably funny or just a blunt description that someone like me can remember. In this case, Your Flaws: The Musical!
(I also have a deep love for the campy ‘UNEXPECTED THING: The Musical’ trope.)
Tell us a little bit about your style of show?
As ridiculous, playful, heartfelt and haphazard as humans are. We ask the audience for a real short-coming, which doesn’t have to be huge (maybe you drink too much coffee or you never finish new projects) but it does have to be real. So it’s only fair that Emma, Patrick and I bring the same level of honesty and good humour to it. We’re real people up there and we extend that connected-improv approach to the audience.
Following the same principle the music is a super-cool chemical reaction of our distinct personalities. We each bring a very different approach to music alongside some niche interests (ask Emma about early medieval harmonies) and the interplay is like watching a friendship between wierdos translated into sound.
What can people expect from your Brighton Fringe performance?
A lot of laughs, some heartfelt connections and potentially a counter-point synthesis of Oscar Peterson, Andrew Lippa and MF DOOM fandom.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
I saw Fran Kissling in Leicester and she absolutely had me cackling so definitely her.
I had a great time at the Bad Luck Cabaret last year so I’ll be back there.
Michelle are a really funny improv group who are just a joy to see.
And mostly, in true Fringe Spirit, I intend to walk into whatever half-interesting show is happening near me and be surprised.
How are the rehearsals going?
Great. Not least of which because we rehearse in my house so I don’t have to get dressed for them.
Have you done the fringe before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
I’ve been to the Fringe with a bunch of shows for closing in on a decade now. CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation has been at Brighton every year since 2015 and the audiences are always wonderful. Crime Scene Impro has a lot of audience interaction and the best shows happen when the audience goes all in on interrogation: either with really insightful questions or really daft puns they’ve been sitting on for twenty minutes
What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Brighton Fringe next year?
Think very carefully about audience footfall and specifically the type of audience who will want to see your show. Absolutely never underestimate the power of seeing a poster for a show, in a place you already are, which starts when you’re not doing anything else. “May as well” sells more tickets than “I have to see this.”
What is the best thing about performing at the Brighton fringe?
It’s a very pleasently chilled festival. Even with chaotic turn over times and the usual rushes of producing a show, it’s hard to be stressed in Brighton.
What are your three favourite things about Brighton?
The ocean, The Quadrant, the public piano greeting you in the half-open-air train station.
Leafleting and promotion through the streets of Brighton is a huge part of the festival – what are your tips for flyering?
Be excited about your show and find what works for you. I’m a massive introvert who hates to bother people, so I find it easier and more productive for me personally to set up a big sign and loudly promote like an old circus barker: folks who want to know more can come to me.
Offer a clear hook cause there’s a lot of shows and a lot of “comedy”. Any thing funny or strongly visual will really help. Do I want to see “science horror comedy”? Maybe. Sure. I at least want to know what that is.
Tell us about your average day on a festival show run?
In Brighton I usually get up at 10am, check sales and do a bit of admin before going out to exercise and swim in the ocean. I deliberately try to book shows in the early afternoon so apart from a bit of promoting and putting out tech fires, I’m usually done by 5pm and able to bounce between beer gardens and shows with friends until 2am.
Performing by the sea as well, that surely makes the fringe all that much more fun?
Pre-show swims are where it’s at. If you get in your head about anything artistically or logistically, you can’t get a better destress than the Atlantic.
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
You. The person reading this right now. You know why.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
You can find out all about the show @yourflawsshow and me personally @leeapsey
And Finally finish this sentence – ‘you should see our show at Brighton Fringe because….
we turn concerns into comedy catharsis through the greatest medium ever created: Musical mother lovin’ Theatre.