Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
I’m Trynity Silk, I am one of eight good friends who run a collaborative and interactive theatre company based in London called Say It Again, Sorry?
How would you describe your show?
“The Importance of Being.. Earnest?” is a hilarious, interactive rendition of Oscar Wilde’s classic. The play descends into chaos after the actors start dropping like flies. Audience members have to step into the spotlight, tread the boards and save the show. It’s an incredibly fun show, every night is different.
Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?
There’s nothing in the world like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Being able to showcase our work at the world’s largest arts festival is a huge honour. We were fortunate to spend a week at EdFringe last year with our show and it ended up selling out as well as nabbing the Derek Award for Best Comedy. We were really chuffed to get another opportunity with The Pleasance Theatre to return this year. We cannot wait to experience the fringe at its full capacity.
What differentiates it from other festivals?
Edinburgh is like nothing else in the world. No one is refused the opportunity to take part in the festival, as long as you can find a venue to host you, you can put on a show. (And everything becomes a venue during EdFringe!) It attracts millions of people every year, it is just the most vibrant and thrumming world, overflowing with creativity and fascinating expression.
What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?
I’ve always been drawn to and adored the stage and comedic theatre is definitely a preference. Creating work from scratch and being a part of all areas of the development of a show and then to have the satisfaction of bringing that story to life on stage, performing is just wonderful. I am so fortunate to have had some truly inspirational mentors in my life; my mom, an incredible artist who has never stopped making art no matter what the obstacles, amazing teachers who recognised and encouraged my deep desire to express myself through performance – Melissa Wood, Tamar Meskin and Professor Mervyn McMurtry.
How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career?
I grew up in Zimbabwe and then South Africa, having always been drawn to performance, I involved myself in as much as I could growing up. A big influence artistically was the early 90s British comedy that featured on the limited TV channels available in my youth. Shows like BlackAdder, Fawlty Towers, Alo Alo, Monty Python etc.
What is your earliest childhood art memory?
Watching a touring puppet show at my preschool and being completely captivated. I remember feeling mind blown at the fact that just two people could play so many different characters and have me totally absorbed.
If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?
I’d love to be performing more, and also having the ability to put most of my focus into our theatre company. It’d be wonderful to gather enough funding to be making our own work full time.
Did Covid-19 change the way you create work? Do you approach shows with a different mentality now?
The pandemic was tough, it definitely paused what felt like a rocket fuelled trajectory right before it hit. However, it also gave us an opportunity to test the show out more thoroughly as well as spend some time redeveloping the script. We’ve definitely had to rethink our “spit handshake” finale! Apart from that and being mindful of guidelines, we are still all about involving the audience as much as we possibly can in our work.
Describe the last year in 5 words or less?
The great return to art.
Do you subscribe to the idea that art should be exempt from ‘cancel culture’?
I don’t think ‘cancel culture’ is healthy in any form. Cutting people off from social and material support based on being offended by something you disagree with is not a healthy way of dealing with our differences. We are all individual complex human beings who add value to the world even when mistakes are made and even when our values, morals and beliefs are different. If we deny people the chance to have conversations about or express their views, we miss out on the opportunity to find common ground, to champion kindness without prejudice and to be empathetic.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?
Find people to work with who uplift you and who are invested in making something special.
Be prepared to work really hard and without the guarantee of making any money.
Know that it will be the most unforgettable experience of your life.
Make sure you plan your flyering shifts so that you have time off to rest and enjoy your time at the Fringe.
Network as much as possible with people going up to the Fringe, it’s a great way to connect with awesome people in the industry. (Attend networking events leading up to it)
When and where can people see your show?
Pleasance Beyond, 3rd to 28th August at 1.30pm
And where can people find, follow and like you online?
The Importance of Being…Earnest?, Pleasance Courtyard (Beyond), 1.30, 3-28 August (no day off). Tickets are available via: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/importance-being-earnest-1#overview