It is festival season and that means that in the next month there is so many great 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.
Location: Greenside @ Nicolson Square – Lime Studio (Venue 209 )
Dates: Aug 8th, 10th, 12th
Price: £7 Concession £5
Ticket Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/butchered
Hello! Tell us about yourself?
Hello! We are Expial Atrocious theatre company and we specialise in absurdist theatre and abstract methods of storytelling. Co-founded by Nic Lawton and Ez Holland one rainy day in the back of a Wetherspoons in Worcester, Expial Atrocious is determined to make theatre that excites, intrigues and brings forward powerful messages to audiences of all kinds.
How did you come up with the name of your show that you’re taking to the fringe?
This is actually a pretty funny story. At the start of the year, we were planning a completely different show. About a month into our devising process, we had to change our idea and started brainstorming on something new. These brainstorming sessions mainly consisted of writing with multi-coloured pens on numerous whiteboards for six hours at a time. We knew we wanted to look at old/traditional phrases that have dropped out of fashion, and Ez (co-founder) suggested ‘bags o’ mystery’, as the only person who knows what goes into a sausage is the maker. And thus, our new show was born. From here, we looked at how to make sausages, contacted local butchers and looked into how we could link the idea of butchery to the struggles of an emerging artist in our current society. Nic (co-founder) suggested ‘BUTCHERED’, and the rest is history.
Tell us all about your show!
A sausage-maker and their apprentice walk into a kitchen, but this is no joke. After working in a basement kitchen for as long as they can remember, Master Sausage is content with their life. They work hard and cannot imagine doing anything else. They can’t do anything else. But when a fresh-faced apprentice arrives, babbling streams of consciousness, artistic passions and a harsh reality are brought with them. With their daily routine disrupted, the Master is forced to look their life in the eye and climb into the belly of the beast. With tensions rising, sinister questions start to rear their heads.
What does it mean to be happy? Is there more to life than this? What’s in those sausages anyway?‘BUTCHERED’ is a new, blood-thirsty absurdist drama about challenging tradition, escaping the mundane and doing what has to be done.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
We are looking forward to meeting a lot of the artists and companies we had the pleasure of networking with last year at the digital EdFringe. We can’t wait to see Reboot Company’s ‘Candy’, F-Bomb Theatre’s ‘The Beatles Were A Boyband’ and Flabbergast Theatre’s ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’. They all look stunning in dramatically different ways, but we’re also very excited to go to the Fringe to see something new!
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?
Yes! We performed digitally at last year’s EdFringe with our pre-recorded absurdist drama, ‘Hear. Speak. See.’. Filmed in first-person POV, our show received 4-star reviews (from WestEndBF and Fringe Biscuit) which spurred us to keep making weird and wonderful work. One piece of advice we would give to artists considering coming to the Fringe is that digital theatre IS an option. It may be overlooked by some, but utilising the online platform in a creative way can result in some of the most interesting and gorgeous theatrical stories. It’s a way to immerse your audience and put them at the heart of the action.
For in-person shows, we think that being open and talking to as many people as you can is the best way forward. You never know who you’ll meet and what collaborations you might have in the pipeline when you leave! In terms of performing, be confident. Show people what you’ve made and be proud of yourself that you made a show and you’re at Edinburgh Fringe!
What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
In terms of shows we’ve seen, one of our favourites we’ve seen recently is Threedumb Theatre’s ‘Dog/Actor’. We saw it at the Rondo Theatre in Bath and was blown away by Stephen Smith’s incredible physicality. And who doesn’t love a bit of Berkoff? We’re also huge fans of Le Navet Bete who we saw perform their version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the end of last year. It was witty, colourful and made us say “We want to be them!”
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
Ez’s favourite one liner would have to be “and now you make sausages” from ‘BUTCHERED’. It’s such a ludicrous line taken out of context but is so poignant in the show. It hits us as performers extremely hard. The reality of doing what you HAVE to do before you can do what you WANT to do. One of Nic’s favourite one liner’s is from ‘The Addams Family Musical’ when she played Morticia, and after pulling the heads off of several yellow roses, she hands the stems to Lurch and says “put these in water.” A classic.
What three items are essential for a successful Fringe?
Spreadsheets, water and an open mind. It’s good to be prepared, stay hydrated and also be optimistic and open to new types of performance. Who knows, you might see something that will change your life or even just your perspective on something. Try something different, because you might just find your new favourite show!
What have been some of the most unique and different comedy shows you have seen this year and why?
One of our favourite comedians is… a puppet. Randy Feltface is one of the best story-led comedians we’ve seen, and we quote his shows in almost every rehearsal. His online recording of ‘Randy writes a novel’ is hysterical and poignant, and his way with words is unlike any other performer/comedian we’ve come across. It’s odd yet fascinating to see the theatrical techniques of puppetry being used for comedic purposes. He’s one of the most captivating storytellers we’ve seen in recent years, and we can’t wait to see him at EdFringe.
What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the fringe?
We are really excited to meet up with different artists throughout Fringe this year! (We’ve also been told about a little place called Banshee’s Labyrinth that we are VERY excited to go to!) As much as it can be stressful to take a show up to Edinburgh, we think you have to try and have as much fun as possible! It really is a brilliant opportunity and we look forward to socialising with people from all over the world.
Best thing about performing at the fringe?
The networking. This year is our in-person debut as we participated in last year’s Fringe online with our digital drama ‘Hear. Speak. See.’ We were overwhelmed by the support we received from artists from all around the world, and we’re still in contact with many of them now. (Shoutout to the Fringe Babes – you know who you are!) From networking and reaching out to other creatives, we’ve discovered shows that we adore and people we want to collaborate with in the future.
The most challenging thing about performing at the fringe?
In all honesty, the financial side of the Fringe is a huge challenge. For emerging theatre artists and companies, one of the hardest parts of planning a production is the funding. Once you have that, it’s more straightforward, but getting it can sometimes be the hardest part. It’s frustrating when you have this urge to create anything, (and everything!) but money holds you back from getting great work out to audiences. We feel very lucky to be attending Fringe this year and hopefully each year to come!
What would be your top three items every performer must take to the fringe?
A notebook, a bucket of coffee and extra pants.
A) You’ll want to write down the contact details of everyone and make notes on cool things you saw in performances, B) You’ll want to be awake and alert for as much of the Fringe as possible and,
C) Better to be safe than sorry.
What’s the secret to successful flyering?
From what we’ve heard, there is no right way to go about it. Each audience will be different, so make sure you have your elevator pitch down to a fine art and treat each person as a potential audience member. And a piece of advice we heard from the Fringe Society – you won’t need as many flyers as you think you do!
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
This is such a fantastic but intimidating question. If we could have anyone sit in our audience, it would have to be Bo Burnham – purely for his theatrical genius, his unique relationship to his audience and the way he is affected by them as a performer. Also, his sound design is something we are stunned by! But if we’re going for a ‘living or dead’ scenario, we’d give Alfred Jarry front row seats and tell him how much his absurdist work has inspired contemporary theatre companies and artists.
If people want to find out more about you, where can they follow you on social media?
We’re on everything! Come say hi!Facebook: /expial.atrociousInstagram: @expial.atrocious
SoundCloud: Expial Atrocious
Watch ‘Hear. Speak. See.’ on SceneSaver: www.scenesaver.co.uk/production/hear-speak-see/
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
In the words of an audience member who reviewed us last year, it would have to be “Fringe theatre defined.”