Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022

Theatre At The Fringe – INTERVIEW – Take it Away, Cheryl

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! We have also been able to interview some of the acts that are heading up to the Fringe as well.

Take it Away, Cheryl

Location:   Greenside @ Infirmary Street – Mint Studio (Venue 236)

Dates: Aug 5th-13th

Time: 17:20

Price: £10 Concession £5

Ticket Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/take-it-away-cheryl

Hello! Tell us about yourself? 

I am a writer, actor, and amateur kimchi grilled cheese connaisseur from State College, Pennsylvania, living in New York City. 

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

“Take it Away” is a double meaning: the first is a hint at existing expectations on femininity that make it like a performance, and the second is something I’ll never reveal… unless you come see the show. 

Tell us all about your show!

Carnival kissing booth: sometime, someplace. Cheryl is equipped to deal with anything… and good thing, since folks have stopped coming for kisses and started coming to tell her about some pretty heavy problems. When Cheryl makes an error with catastrophic consequences, she must go to hell and back in order to save those she loves once and for all. 

The show was originally developed and produced in 2019 at NYU Tisch School of the Arts under the mentorship of Obie Award winner Heather Christian. 

When I first began writing this show, it was messy, instinctual, full of strange edges (and perhaps in some ways it still is), born out of an unnameable feeling, a strange day where I sat down and played a game with myself on the page, writing what I knew to be true, but interrupting myself with an unexpected event every time I got closer to that truth. I wrote it from a pain so deep, a question, something I hadn’t named. All I knew is that young men in my small, central Pennsylvanian town kept dying, often from untreated mental illness, and that I saw the women in my town bending themselves in half trying to hold everyone and everything together.

I thought at the time that because it was a messy thing it didn’t hold much merit. After a few performances though, women of all ages came up to me to express that they saw themselves in Cheryl. Whether they were matriarchs who had been caring for their families for years and years, sex workers who had had so many secrets whispered to them late at night, or young women facing the confusing and daunting reality of the emotional labor expected of them by their partners, they all had a similar gut feeling of recognition, both during her moments of hilarity and moments of pain. Through this process, I have realized that everyone can recognize this character and has their own story about her. It is my sincere hope to hear those stories at the Fringe (over a pint, yes?).

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

I am certifiably circus obsessed – Our show takes place at a carnival, and my great grandfather had his own traveling circus troupe – so I can’t wait to be awed by some truly spectacular circus. 

I also couldn’t be more excited to meet other folks putting on irreverent, darkly comedic shows touching on emotional labor and womanhood – let’s connect, I can’t wait to see what you’ve created. 

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. 

I performed in the fringe at 17 in a Liz Swados show, but this is the first time I’ll be taking my own work. I reached out for some advice over Twitter, and by far the best I’ve heard so far was from Aidan Sadler, who dropped my new Fringe (and life) mantra: Schedule Your Naps. 

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

I will always seize an opportunity to brag about my brilliant friends! Most recently Emmy Weissman created a hilarious show about Girl Scout culture, friendship between women, and queer love called Motherf*cking Girl Scouts. Keep an eye out for this one. 

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

“Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?”

What three items are essential for a successful Fringe? 

Three items that have yet to let me down in any situation are a double shot of espresso, a great conversation starter, and a sense of humor. 

What have been some of the most unique and different comedy shows you have seen this year and why?

The greatest farce I have seen this year is in the American politics section of the New York Times. 

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

To laugh, early, hard and often. 

The best thing about performing at the fringe?

No one knows who the hell I am so if I make a massive mess of it, it is no big deal. 

The most challenging thing about performing at the fringe?

No one knows who the hell I am, so if I make a massive mess of it, it is a very big deal. 

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

A sense of curiosity, a show they have too much fun performing, and a fabulous support system.

What’s the secret to successful flyering? 

Desperation, most likely. 

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?

Why, you, of course!

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

IG: @takeitawaycheryl 

Twitter: @takeitawayplay

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

Won’t be bored. 

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