Quick Q&A: Delusions and Grandeur

Where and when: The Hen and Chickens Theatre Bar, as part of Camden Fringe on August 17th and 18th at 6pm and August 20th and 21st at 3pm.

What it’s all about… A classically trained cellist, an improv trained comedian, and a seasoned performer, Karen Hall fuses her artforms together into a must-see, one-woman show contemplating perfectionism, expectations, mastery, and failure. After years in the pit, the symphony, and the background in some of the biggest venues in the United States, Karen and her cello take centre stage for this idiot meets artistry, clown-fused recital you don’t want to miss.

You’ll like it if… You enjoy classical cello music, you’ve ever wondered if what you’re doing in life is worth it, and you don’t mind a little audience interaction.

You should see it because… Karen gives you complete permission to see and be seen as she skilfully guides you into spaces of pathos, mastery, and insanity. Plus how many opportunities are there in life to see a one-woman clown cello show?

Anything else we should know…: Karen has been featured on the TV show Glee, Emmy nominated soundtracks, and has played on stages from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl – all with/for other people. This is her first tour under her own name after over a decade of success in the Los Angeles music industry.

Where to follow:
Instagram: @inforthelonghall

Ticket link: https://camden.ssboxoffice.com/events/delusions-and-grandeur/

Quick Q&A: The Trial

Where and when: Pleasance Courtyard (Beyond) at 15:00, 5th-14th August

What it’s all about… Young Pleasance’s show this year is a new stage adaptation of Kafka’s novel The Trial. Whilst staying true to his original vision, we have set the plot within a highly contemporary world: Joseph K is a 21-year-old Art History student who has come from Eastern Europe to study in London in 2020. At his surprise 21st birthday party, things go disastrously wrong. Joseph has been ‘arrested’ and is in a coma in a teaching hospital; there we discover that he is the sole patient on a secret government medical trial and we follow his unconscious mind through a labyrinth of dead ends, misunderstandings and bizarre dream-like situations. Guilt follows and surrounds him, but the truth eventually unfolds as Joseph begins to come to terms with who he is, as reality and fantasy collide. The thirty-strong, young cast play over 60 roles, leading the audience through a fast-paced, visually stunning exploration of Joseph’s life, and mind. The expressionist production wraps around naturalistic performances, which we hope will result in a uniquely funny, sometimes absurd and ultimately moving story of self-discovery and growing up.

You’ll like it if… We think this piece will be very relevant to any older teenager or young adult, as the story follows 17-21-year-olds, discovering university for the first time and working out who they are or want to be. However, we always aim to appeal to a very wide audience. Young Pleasance has built up a level of trust with our audiences over a long period and they know that they will always be entertained with a combination of the dramatic, thought-provoking and comic, offering some of the highest production values on the fringe.

You should see it because… It is for anyone who wants to see a visually interesting, fast-paced, layered theatre production! We truly aim to keep our audience gripped through our adventurous, imaginative story-telling, and to have them questioning and keep them guessing as the story unfolds. We also hope that the struggles of our protagonist, the resolutions we propose, and the strong visual images within the piece will resonate long after someone has left the theatre.

Anything else we should know…: It is Young Pleasance’s 25th year at the Fringe this summer (!) and we are very excited to be taking up The Trial as a celebration of this. We also can’t wait to be heading back to Edinburgh after everyone’s time away – we look forward to spending our August back in Pleasance Courtyard.

Where to follow:
Twitter: @YoungPleasance
Instagram: @YoungPleasance
Facebook: @YoungPleasance

Ticket link: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/trial#overview

Quick Q&A: Sandcastles

Where and when: Assembly Rooms, 4th-27th August, 12.50-1.50pm

What it’s all about… Sandcastles by Steve McMahon moves back and forth in time and memory to depict the tumultuous lifelong friendship of millennials Hannah and Beth. Beth is moving to New York. Hannah should be happy for her. When Beth goes missing Hannah can’t reconcile how she reacted with the fact that Beth might be gone. Sandcastles is an exploration of grief, millennial angst, friendship and growing up; a bold piece of storytelling that will stay with you for a long time. Assembly ART Award (2022) winning piece from fringe favourites Brite Theater (Deliverance, (Can This Be) Home, Richard III (a one-person show)).

You’ll like it if… You like bold new writing with a focus on female characters.

You should see it because… We won the Assembly Festival ART Award 2022 for this show.

Where to follow:
Twitter: @stevemcmahon13, @BriteTheater
Instagram: @britetheater
Facebook: @britetheater

Ticket link: https://assemblyfestival.com/whats-on/sandcastles

Quick Q&A: Oedipus Electronica

Where and when: Pleasance Courtyard (Forth) at 15:30, 3rd-26th August

What it’s all about… Oedipus Electronica is about the loss of a child, and the transformation that can occur through creativity. The myth is told through Jocasta’s eyes. Jocasta is a writer struggling to process the news that she will never be a mother. She exorcises her demons through writing a savage, contemporary adaptation of the Oedipus myth.

You’ll like it if… you want to see a SHOW. It’s a full-on, powerhouse production for audiences who want to be shaken to the core and taken on a rollercoaster ride through ecstasy and devastation. Black audiences who want to see themselves represented, female audiences who want to see their wants and desires expressed unapologetically. Audiences who will relish seeing sex, drugs and live Electronica on stage.

You should see it because… Anyone who knows what it is to struggle (i.e. to be human) and likes their theatre strong.

Anything else we should know…: The audience will take away the redemptive power of creativity. The show is full of triggers, flashing lights, smoke and swearing. You’ve been warned!

Where to follow:
Twitter: @pecho_mama
Instagram: @pecho_mama
Facebook: @pechomama

Ticket link: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/oedipus-electronica#overview

Quick Q&A: No Place Like Home

Where and when: Pleasance Dome (10Dome) at 14:55, 3rd-28th August

What it’s all about… No Place Like Home is an award-winning solo show about gay club culture and the places we can call home. Mixing spoken word poetry, dance, music and video art, the show focuses on a fateful encounter between two men on a night out in gay bar, exploring the difficulty of trying to find home in a place many use for escape. Though tragic, the show is full of love, joy and sharp, witty humour that will challenge your perspectives on queer space you might not even know you had.

You’ll like it if… you like Whitney Houston, The Wizard of Oz and stories with big queer feels – this award-winning solo show is for you! It’s a brilliant night out, with all the feels that’ll make you laugh, cry and want to dance with somebody who loves you.

You should see it because… We want people, queer or otherwise, to leave with the knowledge that if you can embrace every part of you, even the parts you think are unacceptable, you’ll always be at home, wherever you are.

Anything else we should know…: The show was the Winner of the Les Enfants Terribles Award 2022 – where we were praised for the unique mix of four disciplines, spoken word poetry, original music, dance and video art. This extraordinary fusion is the creation of Alex Roberts, Cameron Carver, Jac Cooper and Virgnie Taylor, with Lighting Design from Amy Daniels. The design contains hundreds of sound, music and light cues that combine together to beautifully capture the cathartic experience of a night out in a gay bar in the city.

Where to follow:
Twitter: @alexrobertsco
Instagram: @alexrobertsco

Ticket link: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/no-place-home#overview