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 Naima Sjoholm
There’s A Dead Body In My Living Room
Date: 26th, 27th & 28th August
Time: 5:30pm and 3:30pm (on 27th)
Location: Etcetera Theatre
Ticket Link: https://camden.ssboxoffice.com/events/theres-a-dead-body-in-my-living-room/
Hello! Tell us about yourself?
Hello! My name is Naima and I am a Swedish and German actor, writer and director from Sweden. I graduated from East 15 Acting School in 2021 with a BA in acting. At East 15 I produced the International Festival of Original Work where I also directed and acted in several plays. Prior to my training I acted since I was 5 years old in school plays and musicals. I also took acting courses outside of school to get more experience. After having graduated from high school, I got a scholarship to write, produce, direct and act in my first full length play. “Limbo” was performed in Stockholm in 2018.
Outside of acting I enjoy singing and the 20s dance Lindy Hop, as well as photography and swimming.
How did you come up with the name of your show that you’re taking to the Camden fringe?
I have always liked titles that explain what happens in the show but still give curiosity to what will happen next. Since the show is a comedy/murder mystery, I thought that the name “There’s a Dead Body in my Living Room” would be funny because of its absurd situation and bluntness while also giving interest to why there’s a dead body and how the situation will be solved.
Tell us a little bit about your style of show?
The show is a dark comedic murder mystery which is experimenting with mixing styles and contrasts such as making a normally tragic and terrifying story into a comedy. With this play I also want to raise awareness for mental illnesses since I believe that it is still not being taken seriously enough in today’s society. I specifically want to highlight what an emotionally abusive relationship can do to a person’s mental health and the common denial that comes with it. This gives a more serious element to the otherwise comedic show.
The director Belle Bao wants to take the audience on a journey through Steph’s various “perfect” memories and fantasy world by using sound and lighting to express her vision. She has always been focused on exploring a funny, comical, multidisciplinary, and exciting way of storytelling.
What will your set be about?
What would you do if you came home one day after a long day and found a dead body on your living room floor? Would you freak out and be scared, perfectly calm, or angry?
Steph finds herself in this exact situation and goes through all these emotions, but she is mainly frustrated that someone has ruined her day like this!
There’s a Dead Body in my Living Room is a newly written dark comedic murder mystery about Steph trying to figure out who has killed the man in her living room so that she can go back to her normal, happy life as soon as possible. As she starts to investigate, she takes us through her relationship and memories, and it becomes more and more obvious that her life isn’t as perfect as she wants it to be.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
These are three of the plays that I have had my eyes on:
‘Lost and Found’ seems very interesting to me because I can relate very much to the theme of searching for your own identity when moving to a different country. It also seems to be twisted into a comedy which I clearly like a lot!
‘Hot Cross Buns’ caught my eye because it looks so completely absurd and weird that it has to be good.
Lastly, I think ’What Makes a Body Terrifying?’ will be very good and interesting because I always like physical theatre and the story of mythical sea people seems very exciting.
What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year?
My biggest advice would be to start planning as early as you possibly can. I started putting together a plan in early December, but there were times where I have felt, and still feel, behind on things. I was prepared on that there would be a lot to do but not on that there would be so many different roles to cover.
As a producer you must take care of marketing, funding, scheduling, cast, crew, graphic design, photography and many more things. So, it’s very important to have as much as possible scheduled, so you don’t get too overwhelmed. For example, you could make a list of all the things you need and then you can slowly either find people to do these things for you (like a marketing officer and graphic designer) or ask people who have more experience in certain fields for help. Making lists and deadlines early really helped me in the process but I also feel like I should have asked for more help from different people much earlier. You don’t have to do everything yourself!
What are your favourite things about London?
I come from Stockholm, which is a beautiful city, but the cultural life just isn’t the same. We only have about 5 theatres in the city whereas in London you have more than I can count. I think it’s amazing how you so easily can find plays, musicals, galleries, museums and much more and that there is something in every genre and taste, there is always something for everyone.
What are your three favourite things about Camden?
First, it’s the life. There are always people around and not just any kind of people, they are always unique and have something special and interesting about them.
Second, as I said my favourite thing about London is the culture and I think a lot of London’s culture is concentrated in Camden. In such a small area there are so many theatres, pubs, bars and pop-up shops. There is always something new happening, whether there is a new show at one of the theatres or a new market stall in the Camden Market.
Lastly and most importantly, I feel like everyone can be themselves in Camden. Just looking at the way people dress you can see that they are truly expressing themselves without anyone judging. There are people in Camden that come from all over the world and have different sexualities and religious beliefs which shows that discrimination is not acceptable there.
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
“There’s no such thing as an Austrian Mountain Cow” was said during a play that I directed for the International Festival of Original Work at East 15. The writer also later decided that this should be the title of the play. I really like the line for the same reason as I like the title of “There’s a Dead Body in my Living Room”. I think its confusing message makes it very funny but there is also a hidden message in the line. The play was about the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic and the line is a hint to how people denied that the virus wasn’t real even though it so clearly was and still is today. Just as Austrian Mountain Cows are very much real and very difficult to deny.
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
I think that would be Phoebe Waller-Bridge. I saw a recording of her performance of her famous one woman show Fleabag and I was amazed with her comical timing and physicality as well as her presence on stage which is so important to keep an audience engaged in a one person play. I would love to learn even just a part of that from her.
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 first name that popped to my mind was Mr. Darling from Peter Pan. The pigeon just really reminds me of that scene when Mr. Darling is trying to get ready for a fancy evening out but gets stopped by his kids distracting him all the time.
If people want to find out more about you, where can they follow you on social media?
Play social media
Personal social media
And finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
What happened here?