Robyn Grant, artistic director of Fat Rascal Theatre and self-confessed foodie, spoke to us in the run up to their double show Fringe. Theo made me aware of Fat Rascal's work after catching their sell-out smash hit Vulvarine at last years fringe, they have blasted from strength to strength since. Their gender swapped version of Beauty and The Beast was utterly joyous and this year they are back, reprising Vulvarine alongside their new show: Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursuala The Sea Witch. Check out her interview below!
What’s special about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?
Take the biggest range of theatre, comedy, food, music, booze and adorable gift shops ever and throw them into a STUNNING historical city. Err hello, dreamy.
If you could go back to your first ever Fringe would you do anything different? Absolutely not. Every year we make new mistakes, see weirder stuff and get more horrendous hangovers. It’s just all part of the experience!
What was the best advice you got as an emerging company/performer/comedian? Try to see everyone else as allies rather than competition, it makes the whole process far more enjoyable. Oh and always bring spare pants.
What’s the worst gig you’ve ever done?
One of our shows, Vulvarine, stars a very cute but very naughty cat puppet. Last year whilst doing a Royal Mile performance a group of parents gathered their children round to come and watch the cat sing his song. Watching their faces change quickly to horror when the cat started bellowing about ‘licking his anus’ was pretty horrendous. Oh there was also the time we watched Emma Thompson leave the auditorium just before our show. That hurt. EMMA COME BACK.
If you weren’t in this business, what job would you be doing?
We’d probs all be modelling.
What’s your best memory of the fringe?
A few years ago Allie and I got so drunk we scaled the side of Arthurs Seat in an off-path extravaganza with nothing but two cheese strings and a tangerine on our person. I also bumped into Richard from Pointless four times in one day.
Any special food recommendations up in Edinburgh?
Oh god we are absolute demons with the food up there. We even nearly set up our own awards last year called ‘The Fatties’. I think we have more to say about the food than the theatre, is that horrendous? Ha! These are our choices from last year:
Best Brunch - Kilimanjaro
Best Food Truck - Cargo Spud
Best Takeaway - Burrito n Shake
Best Coffee - Black Medicine
Best Ramen - Maki & Ramen
Value For Money - We Do Dumplings
Best Snack Shop - Edinburgh Uni Shop
Best Burgers - Brgr
Best Dining Experience - The Chihuahua Cafe
Best Pub - Dagda
Is there anyone performing this year you’re desperate to see? Who is it... ?
Tom Lenk’s solo show! He was the highlight of our Fringe last year in ‘Tilda Swinton answers and ad on Craigs List’ and we cannot wait for more.
How did this current show come about?
With ‘Unfortunate' we’re massive Disney fans passionate about creating funny, female lead musical theatre. After the success of our gender swapped ‘Beauty and the Beast’ parody, the character of Ursula was one we really wanted to explore and what with the story of The Little Mermaid being about the value of a young woman’s voice it seemed like a really obvious option for us! ‘Vulvarine’ was created in response to the huge outpouring of male lead superhero films and musicals; time for a good bit of British girl power to take on the lycra.
Why should someone come see your show?
So Unfortunate is a musical parody about the untold story of Ursula the sea witch. She’s one of Disney’s most iconic characters and certainly the only one of her kind; a plus size, nasty, sexy and confident woman who is willing to go after what she wants no matter the cost. She deserves a better ending and we’re here to give it to her. Think of the show like Wicked’s fatter, naughtier, purpler sister. As for Vulvarine it’s a feminist superhero musical back for it’s second year after a sell-out UK tour. Super fun, fast and funky with a banging 80’s vibe and quick naughty humour.
You can catch both of Fat Rascal's shows Vulvarine and Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch between 31st of July to the 26th of August. Tickets down below, we can't wait!
Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch
(18:55 - Underbelly, Bristro Square)
(22:30 - Gilded Baloon Patter Hoose)
Follow them on various social things!
Twitter/Instagram/Facebook - @WeAreFatRascal
Website - www. fatrascaltheatre.com