Interview: Beth Granville Goes To The Fringe

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Beth Granville is a comedy writer and performer from Cardiff whose new show Foiled is going to the Edinburgh Fringe this August. 

Staged in a real working hair salon on Clerk Street, Foiled is an immersive production that invites you for a sneak peek into the secret world of styling. Our young reporter TheTallulahReview chatted to Beth about the inspiration for the show, her writing process and what she’s most looking forward to seeing at the fringe.

1. What gave you the idea for the play in the first place? Did you get the venue first or the idea?

The venue first! Five years ago Dirty Protest Theatre company invited me to write a site specific short play and gave me the hair dressers setting to write for. There piece was so well received I have kept going back to it over the years and developed it and tried it out in various formats as I love the characters and the world so much. A couple of years ago I brought David on to co-write a full live version with me and as it worked so well in the salon last time we thought we’d try it out again only this time at the Edinburgh Fringe!

2.     How did you get into comedy?

I have always adored comedy,. I’ve always looked for the comedy in situations and spent years writing sketches and ideas down for fun and never did anything with them . Then a friend of mine convinced me to take a couple of my sketches to the stage as a warm up act for his sketch group’s Edinburgh previews in 2008 in Barry Memorial hall – I had a blast and I’ve been doing comedy in some capacity ever since!

3.     Who are your comic/writing inspirations?

There are so many!! But Rik Mayall, Julia Davies, all the Pythons … I could literally go on for hours!

4.     Do you think being from Cardiff/Wales influences your work at all?

Certainly. When you’re writing you draw on what you know and your experiences so having grown up and spent most of my life in Cardiff the influences from this will be apparent. The hair salon in our fringe show Foiled is set on City Road in Cardiff and there are plenty of local references in for people in the know to enjoy.

foiled

5.     Describe your writing process. What helps you write? Do you have a writing routine? Do you work better writing on your own or with someone?

I write alone sometimes, but I find collaboration much more enjoyable and for comedy it’s a great way of seeing if an idea or line is funny to at least one other person pretty instantly. Myself and my writing partner David Charles (co-writer on Foiled) tend to go away somewhere with no distractions and lots of chocolate digestives when we are beginning a project, then we allocate time each week, around day jobs to work together. Sometimes we’ll have a great session and sometimes we spend the entire day talking boys and politics, it’s pretty unpredictable, the creative process!

6.     What advice would you give to young people who would like to be a writer/performer like yourself?

Get your work out into the world as soon as you can. Have work read at writers’ groups or perform it/have it performed. It is great to start getting feedback on your work as soon as possible, the longer you keep it hidden away while you try and perfect it the scarier this becomes. For trying out new comedy material, there’s a lovely and friendly night in Chapter run by excellent comic, Clint Edwards called The Drones – it’s great place to start off and indeed revisit when you’re all slick and brilliant!

7.     What’s been your career highlights so far?

I have been incredibly lucky to have done some excellent Welsh comedy like Stella and Gavin and Stacey which was a joy. Getting to perform my sketch show last year everyday in Edinburgh was wonderful so I can’t wait to do the same with Foiled this year!

8.     Are you looking forward to seeing any other shows at the Fringe?

Yes, loads! To name a few … two plays I won’t be missing are, Cardiff based theatre company Difficult stage’s Alix in Wundergarten and Fabric. I’m also looking forward to seeing Jake Yapp, Robin Morgan and Nish Kumar.

9.     What’s your plan after the Fringe?

Recover!

Image Credit: Alex Brenner

Related Articles & Info:

 

Review: Edinburgh Previews – Saturday Night Forever & Alix In Wundergarten @ Chapter

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