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 Sarah Louise-Aston
Date: 25th August
Location: Museum Of Comedy
Ticket Link: https://camden.ssboxoffice.com/events/jemima-smallbones/
Hello! Tell us about yourself?
I am an Actress, Comedienne and Writer living in Hertford just outside of North London. It’s me, husband Andy and our furbaby cat Twinkle. I have been performing for over 20 years, I got my first job at 22 with a children’s theatre company and I played all the kookie roles, wolf, wizard, grandma…I thought it was because I was ugly and questioned Casting Director Helen Lomas of the company (called Theatre for Youth)…about it, she explained I was cast as those roles because I had comedic timing and she compared me to a young Julie Walters…(I am not that young anymore though…Still carry that compliment with me…Proudly…) I have continued with comedy ever since…In all aspects, acting, standup and writing…
How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the Camden fringe?
I have always liked the name Jemima, it sounds like a fun name and I am fond of Jemima Puddle Duck (Beatrix Potter). Jemima’s surname ‘Smallbones’ was the surname of a girl I knew at secondary school. I found her name amusing at school but now I think it’s just awesome for a middle aged and outspoken female character. Hence Jemima Smallbones was born.
Tell us a little bit about your style of show?
It’s a comedy theatre show, one woman (me). It’s actually how I went on to do stand-up…I had a one woman show (theatre) called SOMETHING ABOUT SARA in my 20s but then my epilepsy and anxiety took over my life for a bit and I found it easier to deliver stand-up because if you make a mistake…It’s ok…It’s stand-up…You are performing as you…With theatre, you’re a character and you have to be true to that role.
I write in a deadpan style so hopefully that will come across in my performance of the show…
What will your set be about?
A one woman Comedy Theatre show about a middle aged housewife who has come into ”new” money through her husband’s fluttering and reminisces to the audience about the frustrations of NOT ever being a lesbian… ‘Think Shirley Valentine meets Birds of a Feather.’
I play Jemima with a slightly innocent but deadpan tone and engage with the audience playfully and sweetly but with a touch of mischievous behaviour.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
I love comedy and find other performers very inspiring – I REALLY love female comics and my friend and amazing comic Clare Harrison McCartney is performing…I really want to support her…
What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year?
Just do it…Those words are what I was told back in February. I oohed and aahed about it and then something hit me in April (a kind of epiphany) and I got my act together and registered my show…
What are your favourite things about London?
The fact you can be different and it’s ok…
What are your three favourite things about Camden?
I love Camden Lock and the way it makes me feel…Happy and chilled. My mum lives in Kentish Town and I have fond memories of walking down to Camden with her and my Step Dad singing Beatle songs and not caring who hears.I love the cafes…
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
“It’s better than having sex for the time BUT actually enjoying it.” This was a line from SOMETHING ABOUT SARA. Unfortunately I can’t remember what I was actually referring to but the line itself always got a great reaction. I said it on a date once. The date found it funny…At the time I was responding to the waitress when she asked how my meal was…
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, she was also part of my inspiration to do this show and I would love to work with her and be in one of her projects. She’s incredibly inspiring…I am a fan of Fleabag. It would be quite nice to have Steven Spielberg in the audience too…I am holding out for ET 2…I could be ET 2…Husband says I have a head like an alien…(I love his honesty…He is spot on)…
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?
I would call him POTTER. He is wearing a bow tie which makes me think of magicians and then that takes my mind to Harry Potter style esq…Hence the name Potter.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
@fairysaralou INSTAGRAM (my fairy standup content is on here).
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
truthful fun escapism