Interview with Long Lane Theatre Company

Andy and Eve from Long Lane Theatre Company take some time to talk to Voice about The Giant Killers, inspirations, and to give advice to young people.

Interview with Long Lane Theatre Company

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

A: I'm Andy

E: and I'm Eve.

A: We met working on The Mousetrap in the West End, we got on so well that we decided to both set up a theatre company together and get married. We live in west London with our little dog. Eve is very pretty and very smart and I'm punching above my weight.

E: It's true, he is.

How would you describe your show?

E: It's a proper play with four actors. It's got a right good beginning, middle and end. It's a true story. It's set in the 1870s when football was only played by the upper classes, then you had this team from a poor town in Lancashire go and join the FA cup and take on these rich folk. They go head to head. It's rich versus poor, the rulers against the ruled. Our play focuses on the four people who set up the mill workers team and the journey they go on. It's a real underdog story.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

A: I love the fringe. Bit of promoting, then do our show at 2:30, get a beer by four and then watch something completely different every evening. I love work and I love holidays and the fringe feels like a combination of the two.

E: And it's the best place to launch a show, we want the fringe to be the start of this play's journey.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

E: There's just more. More producers, more shows, more variety, more opportunity, more everything.

A: Eve did the Adelaide Fringe and said that was much more relaxed though.

E: Oh yeah in Edinburgh people are worried about their shows over running because they get fines, in Australia you over run and you tell the next performer and they're like "No dramas mate, I'll just cut ten minutes out of mine".

Do you think the Fringe has changed over the years? If so, how? Are these changes positive or negative?

A: People say it's got bigger and more student-y but now I know my way around Edinburgh it actually feels smaller.

E: It's just so inclusive and so it should be. Good work finds an audience. There is a line in our play that goes "all you have to do to make something exclusive is exclude people." And I'm glad the fringe hasn't fallen in to that trap.

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

A: My aunt works at Pitlochry Theatre so I used to go and watch all the plays each summer. I've always loved stories, telling them or making them up and watching those plays as a kid made it very accessible. I was casually like "yeah I'll probably just be an actor when I'm older" it's only now I am one that I know how hard it is.

E: I just wanted to be Goldie Hawn.

If you didn't have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

E: Who knows? I've been fired from nearly every job that isn't related to acting.

A: Coaching football.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

E: A professional wine taster. Or a dog hugger.

A: My job (an actor) but more successful would be nice.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

A: Watching a play called when I was four called 'The Singing Kettle' at Pitlochry theatre. I grew up in England and couldn't understand their accents. At various points we had to shout out "mince and tattys" And I had no idea what mince and tattys were. Then the fire alarm went off and I wouldn't leave because I couldn't find my bounty bar.

E: I went to watch Cats.

A: That's nice.

E: It wasn't. Have you seen Cats?

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?

E: No, not really. I kind of feel it's an artist's job to share their own experiences. If they do that rather than focus on the outside world then there is far more chance of it being honest and unique.

A; The story we are telling happened nearly a hundred and fifty years ago, it has a lot to say about society but the story comes first and then people will take different things from it depending on what they themselves bring to it.

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

E: The amazing thing is we've wanted to tell this story for ages. It's about inequality and social injustice. And the closer we've got to doing it, that's felt more relevant. It feels like we're living in an age of anger where there is a rage building up and it's going to come out one way or another and that's what our play is about.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

E: Dazed and confused.

A: I can't top that.

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

E: Ken Loach, Ken Loach, Ken Loach.

A: Ooh good answer. Dave Johns who played the lead in his last film (I, Daniel Blake) is at The Fringe this year. I can't wait to see his show. I'd have to go for Marlon Brando though – you know you'd either be in the presence of pure genius or pure madness and both would be exciting.

Why would a performer opt to do either a ticketed event or participate in the free fringe? What are the benefits and limitations of both?

A: For us, we are taking up a team of people and building a show – with a ticketed event you can work out best and worst case scenarios in terms of budgeting. If I was a one man band stand-up comedian with a bit more flexibility I'd definitely go for the free fringe.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

E: Get us much advice as you can from people that have done it before.

A: Second that, the first thing we did was meet with a producer, Denise Silvey, who brings a lot to the fringe. All of her little instructions were invaluable, so many things we hadn't thought of.

When and where can people see your show?

A: We are on every day at 2.30pm at The Rose Theatre (Gilded Balloon). We are in the studio, please come and see us..

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

E: Best place is Twitter. We are @LongLaneTheatre or if you want to read more about us our website is www.longlanetc.com


The Giant Killers is performing at The Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre at 14:30 on 2nd - 28th August. For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.

Author

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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