Imogen, Actress

By Eve Marx

I met with her after her show, Julius Caesar (with Pirates!). She regularly works with two different companies in Scotland and told us how it feels to be at the heart of the madness in this special month.

“The Fringe is grunge and glittery”

 

Eve Marx, Illustrator

Was this your first Fringe show?

Second, actually. I was in a similar space last year and we did the Tempest with some sort of ‘steampunk’ aesthetic turn to it. I think I really enjoy Shakespeare, and learning it, although I’m not sure I could direct it. It’s quite hard to learn, but once you get it, it’s so much fun to play; there’s a certain modernity to it and so much to read between the lines, it’s like another language.

Would you rather stay in Edinburgh to be an actress?

I’d rather stay in Scotland, yes. I don’t necessarily feel like moving to London, for example. I think Scotland just feels like home. Of course there’s things I don’t enjoy about it, but I lived in England for four years and didn’t mind it but it always come back to it you know? I’d love to travel but I can’t see myself live anywhere else.

My family is there but I also like the people, the highlands are something and it’s culturally pretty important. I think there’s so much tradition to pass on, for example encouraging people to speak gaelic – including myself!

Is the next step theatre in gaelic?

Actually maybe! I’ve already arranged a few classes for me to take. I think people around here have a genuine interest in it. There’s a café called Cearcall (circle in gaelic) who organize chats in the language, depending on your level which for me is a much more effective way to learn a language. It is a spoken language, that’s how it developed, and that’s why it’s important to me: I think it relates easily to the art of being a performer.

You could do MacBeth?

I would love to do Macbeth. I wouldn’t even mind who I would play.

What is is like to be part of a company?

It’s hard work. We basically started rehearsals in June. Nowadays most of the work we do everyday is moving the set around, flyering too. Because we do the Free Fringe, pretty much everything is on us! But the good thing about it is that what we make from it partly goes to PBH (the Free Fringe company) but most of it we keep, as opposed to the paid shows where you would have to pay for a venue, to be in the book… it’s very expensive.

If you could direct any show for the Fringe, what would it be about?

Oh that’s a good one, that would be so great. My ideas are a bit vague at the moment but I’d love to do something in nature. I’d like to do something kind of movement based, quite aerial, but then incorporate a story into it as well.

Maybe I like the kind of creepier stuff as well! Kind of the Woman in Black, that’s sort of weirdness. But I’d always feel the need to be an actor, I feel so good and so much more confident in that role and at the end of the day, it’s still about creating something.

And people do! How good is it that Edinburgh actually welcomes thousands of people from around the world for three weeks to see theatre, out of everything?

Definitely! I mean, Fringe is a crash course. Especially if you’re in a small company, you learn so much by dabbling in everything. How to sell yourself, how to pitch, then you’re handling costumes, it’s intense. It’s the best way to learn how to collaborate, work as a team and be diverse, be adaptable as well because it’s not always easy.

There’s an element of craziness with Free Fringe, people will do things more ‘out of the box’ that they wouldn’t do for the ‘real’ Fringe. It’s out there, there’s no real boundaries. So sometimes it’s actually a choice for people, because there’s more freedom to it.

How would you describe the Fringe, since you’re at the heart of it?

It’s quite an ‘anything goes’ type of vibe. When it comes to theatre, the rest of the year, you take your evening out and pay for a ticket so you have big expectations for the show you’re about to see but I feel like people go to the Fringe ready to see different things. There’s an understanding that everyone is doing their best but that’s how I’d describe it, grunge and glittery. If you’re involved in it, it’s exhausting but you stick together and it feels incredible.