Fringe Q&A: Sadie Clark, Algorithms

Brooke has it all: the job, the flat, the girlfriend… but what happens when things go tits up just before your 30th birthday? A bisexual Bridget Jones for the online generation, this tragicomic one-woman play and its lovably hapless heroine is for anyone who’s wondered why they feel so lonely when connecting with others is meant to be easier than ever. Developed on the Soho Theatre Writer’s Lab and longlisted for the Tony Craze Award 2018.

AAA caught up with Algorithms’ writer and performer Sadie Clark.

Is this your first time at the Fringe?

No, I’ve been up twice with shows, but never with something I was writing/performing/co-producing myself. It’s certainly a very different experience when you’re not just going up as an actor in someone else’s show.

Tell us a bit about the show you’re in this year?

It’s a tragicomic one-woman play that follows Brooke, the algorithm writer for an online dating site as she searches for love, happiness and connection in a world defined more and more by online interactions. You’ll probably relate to it if you’ve ever wasted hours on social media wondering what you were doing with your life, or ever wished your Mum would stop asking you why you were using WhatsApp so late on a work night… There are lots of proper laugh-out-loud moments, you might shed the odd tear and I can promise some seriously funky dancing at points.

How much work has gone into getting it ready for Edinburgh?

A lot! I’ve been writing the show since January 2018. I started working on it on the Soho Theatre Writers’ Lab and it was long-listed for their Tony Craze award in October 2018. My director Madelaine Moore came on board in September 2018 and did a lot to help me redraft the script along with my dramaturg Jules Haworth. In December I performed a work in progress of the show at Soho Theatre and have been redeveloping it this year with support from the Arts Council. Part of the redevelopment has involved interviewing women who work in tech to make that element of the script more authentic. Over the last couple of months I’ve previewed the show in Nottingham and Peterborough, and will have further previews in London and Norwich before it goes to Edinburgh.

Are you nervous ahead of your opening night?

I’m mostly excited now actually. I love the show and the more previews I do the more I’m beginning to relax into the joy of performing it. I’ve been dreaming of doing my own show in Edinburgh for years so it’s a great feeling to know I’m finally doing it this summer. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m also pretty nervous too though.

There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?

It’s fun, it’s joyful, it’s (according to one audience member) painfully relatable, and we have a SECRET WEAPON for our jubilantly triumphant ending that’s not to be missed!

Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend?

I really enjoyed Collapsible by Margaret Perry and My Father the Tantric Masseur by Roann McCloskey, both of which I saw at Vaults earlier this year, and both of which are really brilliant one woman shows for different reasons. They are heading to Assembly and Underbelly respectively.

What’s on your hit-list to see?

Oh so many things already! Bible John, Burgerz, Dressed, How to Catch a D*ck (I saw London Hughes’ last show up at the Fringe two years ago and it was brilliant), Tricky Second Album (In Bed With My Brother’s second show after their hit We are Ian), The Burning and Tokyo Rose are just a few on my hit-list. I feel so lucky I have a whole month to see stuff.

What are you planning to do on your days off?

I only have one day off in the festival… I’m planning to eat delicious food and take it easy. Oh and I’m hoping to catch The Roaring Girls’ show Beach Body Ready which clashes with my show normally and looks fab.

Sell your show in no more than ten words….

A tragic-comic, millennial, bisexual Bridget Jones for the online generation.

Algorithms, Sadie Clark & Laura Elmes Productions, Pleasance Courtyard (Baby Grand) from 31st July (not 13th) at 12:45. For tickets go to www.edfringe.com

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