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 speak to Tom Simpson about Dear Ted…
Date: 7th / 14th August
Time: 1:30pm / 11:30am
Price: £8 Concession £5
Location: Etcetera Theatre
Ticket Link: https://camden.ssboxoffice.com/events/dear-ted/
Hello! Tell us about yourself?
Hello! My name is Tom Simpson and I am a twenty four year old actor and theatre maker from Worcestershire. I generally enjoy all things nature, though I am definitely a fair weather gardener and golfer! I have a deep care for our pale blue dot of a world and hope to include it as subject matter in future work of mine.
How did you come up with the name of your show that you’re taking to the Camden fringe?
One of the unique selling points of my play is the honest accounts of my great, great Uncle’s war life that are performed verbatim through the letters that he wrote home to his brother, Ted. Therefore, focussing the name around the importance of the letters was crucial and Dear Ted… seemed the most explicit way to show that.
Tell us a little bit about your style of show?
Dear Ted… is a one man play that, coupled with writing of my own, features genuine letter extracts written by my great, great Uncle to his brother Ted during WW1, which are performed verbatim by yours truly. You can expect a minimal, versatile set and wartime song!
What will your play be about?
The play follows my great, great Uncle Fred’s journey as he makes the transition from coal mine to the front line. Desperate for adventure and hopeful for a greater destiny, he will jump at any opportunity that presents itself. So when Great Britain declares war on Germany in 1914, naïve colliery horse driver Fred will get his adventure, but at what cost?
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
I’ll admit that normally when I go to see theatre, I see mostly mainstream shows where you usually know what you’re getting. However, the great thing about the fringe, for me, is having the freedom to take a risk on shows I might not normally consider seeing in order to broaden my mind. So I will try to see as much as I can!
What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year?
Start talking to a venue as soon as possible in order to get the times and dates you want with them, especially if you only have a limited amount of dates you can make yourself. You don’t want to miss out because you were lazy!
What are your favourite things about London?
I like how, despite the amount of times I’ve been there, I am constantly finding new and exciting places to explore. The city seems beautifully endless!
What are your three favourite things about Camden?
Shopping at the various markets, the independent food outlets, and the entertainment. You are never far away from any of it!
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
It’s not so much a one liner as it is a pun but how’s this one that featured in an earlier version of this play? “They say it’s not the boots that don’t fit the feet but the feet that don’t fit the boots. Well, I don’t know what they’re talking a-boot”. That is my humour unfortunately…
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
For this show, the spirit of my great, great Uncle Fred. I would like him to see me keeping his memory alive.
The iconic image of the Camden Fringe is the Pigeon – if you could call this year’s pigeon a name to represent its style what would it be and why?
The pigeon has a top hat, cane and bow tie this year so I would have to name it “Dapper”, as the word is often associated with someone well dressed and that Pigeon is very well dressed!
If people want to find out more about you, where can they follow you on social media?
Dear Ted… has a facebook page called “Dear Ted”. My actor facebook page is “Tom Simpson Actor/Musician”.
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Poignant, relevant, new.