How would you describe your show in one sentence?
My Champion Heartache is about some of the surprising undertones of pet-ownership that go beyond the predictable. It’s humorous and includes extracts of real conversation about pets and a special moment with a tortoise.
Is this your first visit to Sprint, if so what interesting tales have you been told about what to expect?
We presented our show Would Be Nice Though… in Sprint 2013 but that was a very different experience (we performed it in an office down the road from the theatre so we didn’t get to see much of that year’s festival). For Sprint 2014 Holly did her solo show Blow and this year we are really looking forward to being together in the performance space. We like small, intimate spaces with enthusiastic audiences and so we think CPT is the right place for Odd Comic.
How has the show developed on the way to Camden?
In 2014 we were awarded Arts Council Grants for the Arts funding to develop a project about pets. This journey has been epic: in two years we’ve talked to hospital patients about their pets, presented an art exhibition on a heath for dogs and their owners, broadcasted pet-related soundscapes on local radio, created an immersive environment and a ‘bring-your-pet’ event in an art gallery and shared a pond with a dog. This show is where our research has bought us.
How have you been preparing for Sprint?
Our first job was to find out if Rosie the tortoise was available to do the show. It’s been a while since she last performed and she’s completely forgotten her lines but she is delighted to be appearing at Camden People’s Theatre. Camden theatre people are her kind of people. We are rehearsing at Norwich Arts Centre and re-connecting with the show since our last run in June 2014.
What do you think sets your show apart from all the other festival offerings?
We are pretty sure that the other shows do not include a live tortoise… Also, if you see our show you’ll never look at one of those little black bags of dog poo in the same way.
What’s the show that you don’t want to miss at this year’s Sprint (apart from your own!)?
We don’t want to miss Egg by Theodora van der Beek. It entices us with its apparent surrealism.
If your show was an item being sold on Camden Market, what would it be?
A floor-length faux-fur coat with some tit-bits in every pocket.
My Champion Heartache plays at The Sprint Festival on Thursday 3and 4March2016
Image: Holly Rumble