After an amazing response last year we have once again resurrected our Brighton Bites mini-interviews. These short and snappy Q&As offer an, occasionally witty – often hilarious, insight into the acts strutting, sailing, surfing (insert preferred form of transport here) in to join the line-up of England’s largest arts festival, Brighton Fringe. 2018 was a record-breaking year for the Fringe with over 575,000 people attending the festival; and with 2019 promising to be more inclusive than ever, our Bites aim to give you a taste of what’s in store across the 4,500+ events and performances that are on offer.
Next up, Two Foolish tell us about their show Remind Me Again Why I Need A Man which they’ll be performing at Sweet Werks 1.
Describe your show in one sentence?
An ageing dominatrix is visited by purple-suited Death and has one hour to persuade him to change his mind.
Why Brighton Fringe?
This is our third visit and we’ve loved it every time. We always get looked after brilliantly by Sweet Venues – we feel like we’re their favourite batty uncle and aunt.
Everything about Brighton Fringe is exciting – it’s like being part of an enormous unpredictable creative community. We always try to catch the weird shows – the ones where you literally have no idea what to expect. And the late-night Sweet Venue shows that just seem to be about sex…
How did the show get to where it is today?
Two Foolish Productions started as a dare. A friend had to drop out of a show at the Edinburgh Fringe and asked Chris, a professional musician, if he had a music show he could do.
Chris had always wanted to write a play so, with nothing other than a venue and a set of dates, he asked Karen if she would be interested. Based simply on the premise that Chris looked vaguely like Bruce Willis (from a distance, with the light behind him) and had the voice of Jimmy Somerville, he wrote the show Get Fit With Bruce Willis, or how Jimmy Somerville Saved My Life. It was such a life-changing experience that we decided to put it on at Brighton the next year, and we were hooked.
This is the third show and the first where Karen has been centre stage. We wanted to create a show that reflected the lives of women past their 50s who’d been consistently let down by men – without making it a man-bashing show.
So Karen becomes an ageing dominatrix and Chris becomes Death, looking for rebranding opportunities in Remind Me Again Why I Need A Man. It’s not ‘death’, it’s a ‘negative lifestyle outcome’.
What do you think sets your show apart from all the other festival offerings?
This is comedy-drama with a heart. Remind Me Again deals with big issues – death, disappointment, the meaning of life – in a way that will still put a smile on your face at the end. And you don’t get many 50-something women in a basque and a leather mini-skirt on stage these days.
Chris is an award-winning screenwriter (Global Motion Picture Awards Best Screenplay 2018) so you can be sure the writing is high quality. And his purple suit is amazing.
And who wouldn’t want to feature the music of Annie Lennox?
What show do you not want to miss at this year’s Brighton Fringe (apart from your own!)?
Wow… so many… but what we always find is that it’s the insider knowledge that we love. Someone at Sweet Venues will give us the nod about a show that will tickle our fancy and we’re off.
I think that Gloria Holes presents: The Clinic is a must-see, though.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, or would give, for performing at a fringe festival?
Start your press release earlier than you think you ought. Enjoy yourself. Go to something you don’t think you’ll like. Go to more things that you think you’ll like. Be kind to other performers, they might just have been performing to an audience of two.
With the theme of this year’s festival being ‘DARE to Discover’, we’d like you to tell us a TRUTH – something about you or the show that fans may not know.
Chris has a job as a music examiner and for a crucial month during the rehearsal period he was in Malaysia – so most of the rehearsals took place on a Skype call between Huddersfield and Kuala Lumpur!
Remind Me Again Why I Need A Man runs at Brighton Fringe from 27 May – 2 June 2019. Brighton Fringe continues until 2 June 2019; www.brightonfringe.org
Nicole Craft | Image: Chrissie Caulfield