Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022

Theatre At The Fringe – INTERVIEW –The Conversation

It is festival season and that means that in the next month there is so many great comedy festivals to look forward to! This month we are looking at some of the great shows that you can see at the Edinburgh Fringe. So take note because we are going to give you all the information you need for just a handful of some of the great shows happening this year!

The Conversation

Location:  theSpace on North Bridge – Perth Theatre (Venue 36)

Dates: Aug 15th, 17th, 19th, 22nd, 24th, 26th

Time: 14:10

Price: £ 9 / Concessions £6

Ticket Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/conversation

Hello! Tell us about yourself? 

We are students from University of Nottingham, members of the Nottingham New Theatre – England’s only fully student-run theatre. We are very excited to be bringing brand new  student-written shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! NNT is proud to present a story that  hopes to offer a community to other Asian internationals. Our team consists of theatre  practitioners from all different parts of Asia, from different backgrounds (from India, to  Indonesia and China) coming together to share a common experience. 

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

A conversation may seem mundane, but it reveals so much from different people on each  interaction, from the questions, body language and tone that are used. As international  students, the first conversation you have with locals is often the first impression of people or  even a glimpse of what is to come, so it tends to be very memorable. I think a lot of people  overlook how a mere conversation can bring up so many emotions. The title of the show was  inspired by the experiences of our team, with the countless questions and awkward  interactions, and so came the show…. THE Conversation. 

Tell us all about your show! 

A personal and unapologetic piece of work, written and directed by Syania Shaharuddin, it  explores the enduring disparities Asian international students face at their universities. “The  Conversation” is a devised piece encapsulating different stories from Asian internationals  from the University of Nottingham through interviews and workshops. It desperately tries to  communicate the dire loneliness and the yearning to find a home. “The Conversation” plays  out through the eyes of Christine, an Asian international student. What might seem to be a  normal conversation to break the ice between roommates, turns into a theatrical caricature like talk show. Audiences sit through an uncomfortable “conversation” that poses to be  genuine and naive. 

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

We are looking forward to many acts! But especially Apradhini Women Without Men, Able(ish), Mind Games, and The Last Words!

Have you done the fringe before? What are the key pieces of advice you have been  given or would give to new groups or people performing at the fringe. 

We are new to the Fringe! But if we were to give advice we would say when performing, just  try to have as much fun as you can, and when you are at the Fringe, engage with everyone,  from the production crew and performers of different shows, to the audience members. Also  enjoy everyone’s shows and pieces of art as well! 

What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why? 

From different members of our team: 

Since we are a group of international students, our favourite shows consist of shows from  different parts of the world. A few examples that we can give are “Main2” [an English/Malay show that touches on life after death through the Islamic goggles]. 

One of my favourite shows is called “It’s Not Rocket Science” and it was actually put on last  year at the Fringe by the Nottingham New Theatre as well. This show focuses on the topic of  feminism in the male-dominated industry of aerospace, and it draws its inspiration from real  life stories of females in this industry. In fact, during the show’s transition moments, they had  included audio recordings of interviews that they had with these female aerospace engineers  who were sharing their own sexist experiences in the industry. The entire play was extremely  well produced and directed, and even after leaving the theatre, I had continued to think  about the show for the next few weeks. It was truly quite incredible!  

The brilliant Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s BBC drama ‘Fleabag’ began as an equally brilliant one  woman show which premiered at the Fringe festival and is fantastically funny, incredibly raw  and honest and emotionally provoking! 

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

From one of our performers: 

A line I really love of mine from The Conversation is ‘ah docha mocha, mik maka maka’  which is actually simlish (gibberish) and you’ll have to come see the show to find out why  this line is so funny! 

What three items are essential for a successful Fringe? 

1. Respecting everyone’s boundaries and honing a safe space for everyone!
2. Be passionate about the message of your show! 
3. Trusting the process and having faith in your team! 

What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the fringe? 

We believe that one way to enjoy fringe is to explore as many shows as possible with an  open mind. Through this, as individuals who are passionate about the arts, we are able to  learn from other performers. Aside from that, we believe that actively engaging with other  performers through the process of rehearsals and preparing for the show will cultivate a  strong bond between artists, ensuring that we’re all actively supporting each other! Building a community, making new friends and learning new techniques would be how “The  Conversation” will be having fun at the fringe! 

The best thing about performing at the fringe? 

Since Edfringe is the biggest arts festival in the world, it’s susceptible to works that may  seem more abstract, controversial or experimental, so we believe that the audience at Edfringe would be diverse! Our show, The Conversation, is so incredibly important and  personal to each and every person involved in this show, and we do think that it is a piece  that will be appreciated and resonated with by many other people like us as well! It is  incredibly exciting to be able to share a performance and influence the conversations that  arise between audience members after watching interesting and compelling productions  about uncomfortable and often overlooked topics. We are also super thrilled to be able to  work with everyone in the Conversation team! 

The most challenging thing about performing at the fringe? 

Since we are first-timers, the most challenging thing would be dealing with the different  feedback we are getting! We understand that our show touches on heavy issues such as  micro-aggression or just sheer ignorance about different races, and therefore it is open to  very strong opinions! It will also be very nerve-racking as this is such a large event but we  are very excited for this challenge and we will work hard to be able to bring the script to life.  One of our performers explained that one of the most challenging things is coming to terms  with their character and trying to perform in a way that is comprehensible for everyone. Also, another performer said a challenge will be bringing such a high energy, extroverted  character to life each performance. 

What would be your top three items every performer must take to the fringe?

From each of our performers: 

Water, your phone and noise-cancelling earphones!

The top three items every performer should take to the fringe are… lots of water (make sure  your voice is doing good!), a programme of fringe events to make sure you don’t miss any  other fantastic shows you want to see, and a camera to capture all the fun! 

A disposable camera or video camera if you have one, paracetamol for hangover purposes  and an umbrella (you never know with British weather) and a bonus – a very open mind


What’s the secret to successful flyering? 

We believe that the secret is to stand out and engage with people as much as possible!  That’s why our plan is to give out some delicious Asian snacks along with our flyers and  have individuals pin on a map where they’re from! 

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member? 

Phoebe Waller-bridge!

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

Instagram: @theconversation.edin 

Twitter: @thconvo_edfr 

Facebook: The Conversation NNT 

Tiktok: @theconversation.nnt 

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

1. Important 

2. Uncomfortable 

3. Funny

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