This month The Greater Manchester Fringe returns with a month long packed programme of events to tantalise and excite. To help you decide what to see, we’re running our Manc Mini Previews, asking performers to tell us about their productions.
Here Emily Parker-Barratt from Tea and Tonic Productions talks to us about Ballot Box
How would you describe your show in one sentence?
A comedy in which two housemates struggle with the politics of friendship and their place in Brexit Britain.
What appealed about appearing at Greater Manchester Fringe?
Our pure love of the city and its people. Keri Bastiman (Actress and Co-Founder of Tea & Tonic Productions) is a Manchester based actress and Emily Parker-Barratt (Actress, Writer and Co-Founder of Tea & Tonic Productions) is London based. As a company we feel really fortunate to have a base in the North and the South and when it comes to Manchester, we are attracted by the genuine sense of community, the vibrancy and the amazing talent that the city has to offer… we want to be a part of that!
How have you been preparing for the fringe?
Coffee, Yorkshire Tea multi-packs, too many croissants, horrific traffic jams on the M1 when trying to get to rehearsals… and a whole lot of pure determination and sleepless nights to make the show the proudest work we have done.
What do you think sets your show apart from all the other festival offerings?
Brexit and UK Politics is currently incredibly topical and therefore plenty amazing performances will be sharing our subject matter. However, ‘Ballot Box’ is unique in that our story focuses on the political arguments that took place in our living rooms, the friendships effected by political differences and the message that the only true tragedy that can result from political division, is the division of people. We use theatre and comedy to find common ground in a divided nation.
What’s the show that you don’t want to miss at this year’s Greater Manchester Fringe?
There are loads of shows we can’t wait to see! However, one that stands out for us is, In Stitches – Katharine Ferns. Katharine is reviewed as making you laugh when you want to cry and our show aims to do the exact same thing.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given for performing at a Fringe Festival?
If things go wrong technically, if hardly anybody is in your audience, if you can’t afford a proper set or special effects- it really doesn’t matter. The Fringe is about the content- the writing, the performance, the people. It’s the heart of why we do what we do.
Manchester is known for its music scene… If you were to select a song that best represents your show what is the song and why?
Things can only get better! The lyrics sum up the relationship between the two characters and the chaos of UK politics over the past twelve months.
Ballot Box runs at The Kings Arms in Salford from 7th – 8th July