It is August which only means one thing – it is Camden Fringe time! Over the next few weeks we are chatting to acts that are performing at the festival and finding all about their show and what they would call this years iconic Camden Fringe Pigeon! Today we find out about Rob or Rose?
Date: 1st & 2nd August
Location: Lion & Unicorn
Ticket Link: https://camden.ssboxoffice.com/events/rob-or-rose/
Hello! Tell us about yourself?
Hello! I’m Henry Charnock, the writer of ¿Rob or Rose?. I’m also playing Rob in the show alongside my good friend Eleanor Homer who plays Rose. We recently graduated from drama school together and this will be our first time performing at the Camden Fringe – or any fringe actually. This will also be the first time a full-length version of something I’ve written will be performed which is very exciting!
How did you come up with the name of your show that you’re taking to the Camden fringe?
The name ¿Rob or Rose? is a little nod to the concept of ouroboros, which is an ancient symbol depicting a snake eating its own tail. It’s typically used to represent the eternal cycle of life, death and rebirth – which links into a lot of the play’s themes, as well as its time loop-style structure.
The little question marks are also supposed tie into that visually (as well as making the name stand out a bit more).
Tell us a little bit about your style of show?
So, I used to be hugely into music and I would read about it all the time … It used to drive me crazy that any band I liked would be asked to describe their new album and, without fail, they would all go, “oh, it’s the heaviest music we’ve ever done but it’s also so melodic.” Every time I’d be sat there asking “okay, but how can it genuinely be both?” (Spoiler alert, it always meant the band were getting less heavy).
Anyway, here I am being asked about my play, and I’m going to be doing essentially the same thing …
It’s a serious drama, for sure – but it’s also got a lot of comedic bits in it … basically, there’s a philosophical element of the show which sounds like it would be super serious, but it’s rooted in absurdism which, I think, really lends itself to finding the comedy in life.
What will your set be about?
The play is ostensibly about two friends who are sat, waiting for something to happen. On a deeper level though, it’s about more than that: how willingly naïve we are in our search for love and companionship; the absurdity of life and trying to find meaning in chaos; then there’s all sorts like a bit on Joe Rogan, on watersports and then, really, one of the whitest raps you’ll ever hear. It’s got the lot!
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
Our good friend Rebecca Rayne is putting on a show called We’ve Seen Enough at the Canal Café which is going to be amazing. You have to see that one if you get the chance. She’s hilarious!
Then, at the Hope Theatre there’s a show called Blue Balloons Pink by Juvenile Behaviour Theatre which is super cool.
I also want to see Cherry by Maygan Forbes!
It is your first time doing the Fringe – how do you feel about it?
It is! It’s both our first times doing any fringe! We’re both extremely excited. I wanted to write something more intelligent or witty to answer this, but that’s it. We’re just excited!
What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year?
It’ll seem like it’s an overwhelming amount of work to do to get the show together and, don’t get me wrong, it is hard work, but it’s so much more doable than it is in your head – and it’s so rewarding too!
If you have even the tiniest interest, go for it! Take a chance on yourself!
What are your favourite things about London?
I fall in and out of love with London all the time, but what I never get tired of how pretty much whatever you want is within reach. Want to see a professional basketball game? Cool. London’s got it. Want to see an art exhibition that’s all tennis balls? That’s a pretty specific request but, don’t worry, because London’s got it. A restaurant where every dish has chocolate in it? Surely that doesn’t exist anywhere – oh no, wait, London’s got it.
That’s a hard quality to find anywhere.
What are your three favourite things about Camden?
I’m going to pick such niche stuff but …
Lost Boys Pizza (It’s a vampire-themed pizzeria with black pizza dough. What are you waiting for? Check it out.)
I don’t know if they’re still there, but my girlfriend and I bought these crazy little monster sculptures from the market a few months ago. They’re called Demorriors and you have to go check them out just to see the display!
And finally, I had a friend who used to live in Camden who had this crazy job where he was interviewing all these huge rappers. One time, 6LACK needed a rooftop for a photoshoot so they just climbed up on my friend’s roof and did it there. That’s crazy to me. But, I guess that’s Camden for you.
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
I don’t know if it really counts as a one-liner but, during the various lockdowns these last few years, I was doing a one-man show in people’s gardens called Bard in the Yard. There was quite a lot of audience interaction in it, and I always loved this bit where I would get someone in the audience to be the Juliet to my Romeo. I would ask them to “look like they were in love” and no matter what they did, I would roast them for it. That always got a big reaction from everyone which was fun.
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
I was trying to think of some clever industry person that would somehow lead to a billion career opportunities for Ellie and me but, to be honest, my dream audience member is anyone who’s excited by new writing and isn’t going to heckle us!
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?
Iggy Azalea – because that bird looks FANCY.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
The play’s on Twitter at @RoborRose
But I’ve got a lot of irons in a lot of fires, so give me a follow at @Henrrry too! On Instagram, I’m @henrrrycharnock.
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Otherwise I’ll cry?