Interview with Kat Kleve and Lizzy Connolly, creators of TINK

"Make sure you enjoy the whole experience because otherwise - what's the point! It's challenging and fulfilling in equal measures so strap yourself in and make sure you're ready for the ride!"

Interview with Kat Kleve and Lizzy Connolly, creators of TINK

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hello! We’re Kat Kleve and Lizzy Connolly, creators of TINK! Lizzy is directing the piece and Kat is performing the show which will be playing at Underbelly Bristo Square from the 2nd-20th August!

How would you describe your show?

Lizzy: It’s funny, it’s very exposing and vulnerable, it feels so private but somehow universal. The songs are catchy and the meanings are real. It's all about how we start big, bold and loud as little kids and slowly start to dim our lights as we grow older. It’s made with real love, so we hope you catch feelings for Tink! The hearts of many women’s experiences and conversations are alive in her!

What is your favourite part of your show?

Kat: I love the beginning when Tink is totally uninhibited and unfiltered as a 5-year-old. There's something really freeing and fun about tapping into that element of ourselves which we don't often present as an adult in day-to-day life! And then there are some really special moments towards the end where the audience are right there with you and you all come out feeling like you've been on a whole emotional journey together!

If your show had a theme song, what would it be and why?

Kat: There would be so many different moments in the show but one that encapsulates the whole message would probably be Rainbow by Meghan Trainor! The lyrics are about how colourful and bright you are and how everyone can see it clearly apart from you.

What is one thing you hope audiences will take away from your show?

Kat: You know when you're in a bit of a dull place in life and you need something to spark that fire inside of you again - well this is what this show brings and we hope audiences will come away feeling inspired, excited, motivated to take control of their own journey! 

If you could add a surprise celebrity cameo to your show, who would it be and why?

Lizzy: I think Mindy Kaling, she originally wrote The Mindy Project and more recently Never Have I Ever. The jokes she writes for women and herself aren’t self-deprecating, it sounds ridiculous, but she is a woman that is clearly super pro women! So, I would love her to step into the role of Tink’s best friend Chloe.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Lizzy: Ahhh, it's just the maddest, most creative place to be where you're surrounded by people who are so passionate about what they do, there's so much talent and people are so supportive. It's totally vibrant and full of comradery! 

What differentiates it from other festivals?

Kat: It puts fringe festivals on the map and greats travel from around the world to try out their stuff and hone their craft. It is a hot pot of artists, some starting out and some at the top of their game all working on their pieces side by side! 

What is one thing you would change about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

The cost! It's expensive to take a show up there, we don't know how so many people manage to do it year after year! 

How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career?

Kat:I feel very lucky to have been brought up in a family of musicians, my dad runs his own orchestra called The Bristol Ensemble and my brother now plays violin in the Oslo Philharmonic. My grandma and auntie both taught me violin and piano and music growing up, so I've been surrounded by it - with no escape! - from a very young age. I also went to a state secondary school where they had a specialist performing arts department, which has now sadly closed down, but I think that impacted hugely on me that everyone at my school was always really encouraging and supportive.

What is your favourite thing about performing for a live audience?

Kat: You just get a different type of energy performing in front of a live audience – there's nothing like it! When an audience are right there with you laughing and crying it feels like you've shared an experience together!!

What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you while performing?

Kat: During our first run of Tink I was playing the guitar one night and at the peak of one of the songs my guitar pick somehow got caught and fell into the hole of the guitar and there was no way of getting it back! So I had to spend the rest of the show without it and the moral of the story being - when you're doing a one woman actor-muso show - bring a spare pick.

What's the most challenging or unconventional venue you've ever performed in, and how did it impact the overall experience?

Kat: There have been a few unconventional spaces! I did the West End Revival of Brief Encounter a few years ago which was actually in a cinema on Haymarket where the original film was first screened. It was really cool and quirky but wasn't set up to be a theatre so there were no wings or backstage area so we couldn't leave the stage for the whole show and the dressing rooms were up about a million flights of stairs! Got some great leg muscles from that job though... silver linings!

Is there a piece of feedback you've received from an audience member or critic after a performance that’s stuck with you?

Kat:The reactions to our first run of TINK at Tobacco Factory Theatres was incredible, both from reviewers and audience members. It meant even more because having co-created the piece with Lizzy, we had no idea how it was going to go down, so when people actually loved it, we were both like - Wait, what?! How has this happened?!

What is your favourite thing to do in Edinburgh when you're not performing? How do you relax and look after your mental health?

Kat: I think it's good to just do something completely different. Listen to some music, go for a walk, go shopping (if you have any money left from the fringe!), see friends, go to the cinema, just taking yourself away from the environment for a couple of hours each day because it's full on, you always feel like you should be doing something to do with your show or watching other shows, which is important, but also equally important to get some balance and space!

Is there a show you’re excited to see when you’re up there?

Lizzy:I would say Kathy and Stella solve a murder - Francesca moody’s choices are always a vibe and this is funny and musical so right up our street! Comedian Catherine Cohen is a firm favourite of ours can’t wait to see her new show, she is always relatable, honest and funny. AND she does funny songs so again right up our street!!!! 

What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone thinking about taking a show up to Edinburgh? If you’ve never been before, what would you say has been (potentially) the most useful?

Kat:I'd say try and get some funding in place and a team around you to share the workload. The admin is a lot and sometimes can distract from being able to focus as much as you'd like on the creative side of things. Make sure you enjoy the whole experience because otherwise - what's the point! It's challenging and fulfilling in equal measures so strap yourself in and make sure you're ready for the ride!


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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