DarkChat - Reviewing the Edinburgh Fringe since 2008

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So, what made you decide to return to Edinburgh after an absence of a few years?


We decided to return this year as having not attended for two years we were starting to get withdrawal symptons! No seriously we had always wanted to return this year and have been saving ever since we were last in Edinburgh.



And why choose "Peter Pan"?


It is one of my childhood memories of watching Peter Pan, Hook and various different versions. Its such a magical show that even as an adult i feel like i am 6 again. And from performing the show before and seeing the reaction of not just children but adults as well we thought it was a perfect fit for Edinburgh. Plus it helps Great Ormond Street Hospital which is a worth while cause to support.



In Stratford " Tread The Boards Theatre" was re-known for creating great theatre within a confined space. Does The Space On Niddry Street provide you with the opportunity is use more props eg will there be flying?


The Space on Niddry Street is of a similar layout to the Attic in Stratford, the only difference is that it is about twice as deep. We will be flying although I of course cannot give away any secrets! The set is multi functional and transforms from the Darling House straight to the Jolly Roger and anywhere in between.



This is billed as a children's show. Is it different creating a show for a young audience?


In many ways I think it is more fun! Creating this show has involved alot of devising and creative thinking which is great for the actors as they can play which is something that actors are encouraged to do when first training but often forget. But the same amount of preparation and time goes into creating a Childrens show as it would creating a production of Hamlet.



You put on "Peter Pan" in Stratford in last year. Will this production be the same?


There are various script changes, new casts, new costumes, new sets so it should be a very different show to last time. We have improved on many points that I did not have time to address previously which I think has created a more well rounded and enjoyable production.



How are preparations going?


Preparations are coming along nicely! We are now halfway through our preview week in Stratford-upon-Avon before we venture up to Edinburgh. Audiences have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and many of them are coming back to see us in Edinburgh which is a great compliment.



You tend to act & direct. Which do you prefer?


Hmmmm thats tricky!! Acting is my first love and I absolutely love it. But i have a real passion for directing as well. Its something I wasnt sure I would enjoy but I have as much enjoyment watching a show I directed as I do performing in them. It can often be challenging when trying to split your brain across both areas but have begun to adjust to it and now relish the challenge.



There are 3 different productions of "Peter Pan" at this year's festival. What do you think are the reasons for its continued success?


Because of the story. Peter Pan is every childs dream. Its got everything flying, fairies, pirates, mermaids and games. Plus great morals. Also think of the stunning characters on show not to mention Captain Hook. I think it makes all of us feel young and happy.



Is Captain Hook a dream role?


It certainly is. When Catherine the producer first approached me about directing the show I think my words were along the lines of 'If we do it I am playing Hook'. Even though we do not see him a huge amount he is iconic! I am however still holding out for the Doctor in Doctor Who - never had a ginger one yet!



You have made previous trips to the festival. With just a few days to go are you still getting the feeling of anticipation?


Very excited. Being in Edinburgh is such a buzz and many of the cast have never been before so I am as excited for them as well. There really is nothing like it



I believe performers get access to other shows at your venue. This seems a sensible way of reducing costs and supporting other performers. Is this is a benefit you intend to use?


It certainly is! It is also a great way of supporting other work. It feels like you are part of our team not just within TTB but the other companies too and its great to mix. Plus we are poor starving actors say the word FREE and we are there!!!



DARKCHAT reviewers need to plan ahead. Are you organized about that shows you see?


We have already decided on around 4-5 shows we definitely want to see and the others we tend to wait for flyers and have the shows pitched to us and then we often make a snap choice!!



Can you describe a normal day as a performer at the festival?


This year we are having to get up a bit earlier than normal due to an afternoon show. So our day will plan out something like this:

Get up and get the bacon butties on the go! Get the bus in from our accomodation and pitch up on the royal mile. The cast stay on the mile up until 15 minutes before we need to get in. Whilst we are on the mile we flyer like mad, make fools of ourselves, anything really to get attention! Whilst we are doing that other cast members can go off and watch shows, then come back and relieve the flyerers so they too can go watch more shows! We then perform our show in our slot, then head back home to freshen up then head back into town for shows until we can no longer stand up!



How do you plan to survive that month of mayhem?


Not entirely sure to be honest!! Drink lots of water, try to pace ourselves, dont blow all our money in the first week, spread it out over the month. Get sleep whenever possible! We say all this but I think we will be enveloped as we always are.



What are you most looking forward to at this year's festival?


We were chatting about this with the cast and quite worryingly we are all looking forward to the food! Chilling out at the space BBQ at surgeons hall. Pork baps at the underbelly, various local pubs and tea shops we know well. Its just a good job this is an energetic production!!!



Peter Pan plays daily (not 9th & 16th) at theSpace on Niddry St (Venue 9) ​


John-Robert Partridge

In 2010 we were bowled over by Tread The Boards theatre's version of "The Importance Of Being Earnest", winning 2 DARKCHAT awards.  


Since then we have followed their progress with countless trips to their residence at The Attic Theatre in Stratford Upon Avon. This year (armed with two 6 year olds) we will be heading to see their production of "Peter Pan". To find out what kind of food will get them through the festival we spoke to John-Robert Partridge.