Edinburgh Fringe: Elissa Churchill (NewsRevue), interview

Guinness World Record-breaking, Fringe First-winning, Perrier finalist, news-based song and sketch show. In need of a cathartic dose of comic exasperation? Book now for the longest-running live comedy show in the world. Flawlessly delivered by a four-strong, tooth-achingly talented cast expertly accompanied by an on-stage musical director. All in the spirit of free expression with brand new material each year. Expect to hear about the demise of democracy, Brexit and, of course, the unavoidable Trump!

AAA caught up with NewsRevue’s Elissa Churchill for a chat.

How has your Fringe been so far?

Fringe 2017 has been pretty action-packed so far! It’s four weeks of mayhem, running from show to show, performing your own show, constant bumping into friends – it’s pretty non-stop!

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

I’m in NewsRevue at the Pleasance Courtyard, which is an hour of extremely fast-paced satirical sketch comedy and songs. We try to cover all the big news stories of the past year, and with the current political climate being what it is, that means we’ve got a lot to fit into a single hour!

What’s the audience reaction been so far?

We’ve been really lucky in that we’ve been playing to pretty much sold out audiences, and even luckier that they all appear to be enjoying it! We’ve even had a few standing ovations, which, as we’ve taken a bit of a risk this year with some of our material, is a massive relief!

Do you read your reviews? Do negative ones bother you?

I do read them, because they’re a huge part of the publicity for your show at the Fringe – even if you don’t agree with everything’s that written in them! I think it’s important to know what everyone else will be reading about your show, whether good or bad. A negative review is obviously not going to make you feel great, especially when you’ve put a lot of hard work into your show, but you just have to remember it’s only the opinion of one person, and that person could have been having a bad day that day – you never know! And you definitely forget all about it when you take your bow to a sea of smiling faces!

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

I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a show that is as fast-paced and high energy as ours. We cover a huge range of styles, we dance, we sing – we’re working really hard in that hour. And with the state of the world as it is, you have to laugh, haven’t you!?

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

We are Ian is a very fun hour, you’ve definitely got to hand it to those girls for being able to do it every night! I would also recommend Kieran Boyd, Naz Osmanoglu, and Alfie Brown. A very funny bunch.

What’s on your hit list to see?

I’m really excited to see Joseph Morpurgo’s show, I’ve seen his last two and his inventiveness is so exciting to watch. I’ve also heard a lot of buzz around Jordan Brookes’ show, so I’m rushing to get tickets before he sells out.

What do you like to do in Edinburgh on your day off?

I love to go to the zoo and feed the lorikeets.

Do you agree with those who say the Fringe has become too big?

Definitely not – I think the beauty of the Edinburgh Fringe as it is now is that there is so much choice. You can see things you wouldn’t normally see, it’s an utter voyage of discovery – the more we embrace it, the better!

Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

It’s not exactly a restaurant, but I can guarantee you will have the best fish & chips of your life in the Marchmont Takeaway on Marchmont Road. Also, the best sushi at Koyama.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in Edinburgh this year? 

Definitely Betty Grumble’s show – she describes herself as a ‘sex clown’, and it is the strangest thing I have ever seen in the best possible way. I also left with a piece of artwork that I will treasure forever…

Sell your show in no more than ten words…

2017 – worse than 2016? Let’s all laugh at it together.

NewsRevue, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 6.30pm, until 28 August, www.edfringe.com

Picture: Alex Brenner

Leave a Comment