Edinburgh Fringe: Jeffrey Jay Fowler (Fag/Stag) interview

One story, two unreliable narrators. Heartfelt, funny and direct from multi award-winning seasons at Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe, Fag/Stag asks what it means to have your best mate when you’re stuck being your worst self. Written and performed by two of Australia’s sharpest young writers Jeffrey Jay Fowler and Chris Isaacs, Fag/Stag is a truthful and comic insight into the mind of the modern man.

AAA caught up with Jeffrey for a chat in between shows.

How has your Fringe been so far?

We’re having an excellent time. The audiences are so nice, the food is plentiful and the shows we’ve seen have been really tight.

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

Fag/Stag is a slick storytelling show that illuminates the secret thoughts of two men as they stumble toward the wedding of their ex best friend. We’ve performed it around Australia and been lucky enough to win awards in Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide and now we’re stoked to be doing our Edinburgh debut.

What’s the audience reaction been so far?

The audiences here are excellent. We’re getting great houses both in size and response. People have been so lovely coming to chat to us after the show too.

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

We haven’t had any negative reviews, hopefully we won’t, but I can’t deny that negative reviews would be hard to cope with. We did get an audience review by a young gay man who said the play made him feel sad to be gay, and I’d love to chat with him about that. The play deals with a lot of the issues common to gay men exploring their limits and it’s always tricky representing minority characters on stage, so yeah… that’s the only bit of feedback that I’d love to turn into the beginning of a conversation.

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

We’ve worked and reworked the show over a couple of years and we’re bringing the best version yet to Edinburgh. We really believe it’s a play that challenges and entertains people.

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

The B*easts – a beautifully performed one woman show, totally gripping. How To Win Against History – fun and sharp celebration of being the same as everyone else. BRUCE – award winning sponge puppet fun. The Great Ridolphi – a cryptic magic trick about finding your own father.

What’s on your hit list to see?

I’m seeing Adam this week and Wild Bore.

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

Coming from Perth, Australia, means that I don’t get to see such beautiful old buildings and to enjoy history as much as I can here, so really I’ve just been spending my days walking around wondering about the past.

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

This is only the second time I have been here, and it’s the first I’ve performed, so it’s hard to say. However, it is an incredible festival with a wealth of talent on display.

Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

I went to Café Rouge and ate some delicious creamy food and had a few too many red wines and watched the sun set; I would recommend such indulgence to anyone who’s as good as me at not looking at their bank account until Fringe is over.

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

A guy doing his own form of martial arts in the Meadows as I walked home. I wasn’t sure if he was an artist or if he was high.

Sell your show in no more than ten words…

Award winning bromance for anyone who ever felt lost (18+).

Fag/Stag, Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61), 4pm, until August 27, www.edfringe.com

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