Edinburgh Fringe: Lydia Larson and Alan Mahon (Brutal Cessation), interview

‘I have fantasies… I lead you to a table… and I hurt you.’ A relationship. A relationship rotting. Purgatory. Is having no reason to stay a reason to leave? At what point does the abuser become the abused? And why aren’t we more afraid of women? Two actors, one couple, swapping roles. A savage new play by Milly Thomas (Clique BBC3, Clickbait and A First World Problem, Theatre503) exploring violence in relationships, our expectations of gender and what happens when we’re no longer in love but refuse to let go.

AAA caught up with Lydia Larson and Alan Mahon for a chat.

How has your Fringe been so far?

Delightful. Lydia has had the pleasure of Alan’s company for an entire week and Alan has had lovely potatoes from Spud every day (he’s Irish).

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

It’s a cracking two-hander about the brutality of intimate relationships.

What’s the audience reaction been so far?

Our stage manager Anna, Alan’s mother, our producer Michelle and Manu from Twitter have all told us it was great.

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

Alan doesn’t, Lydia does. So Alan tends to get told what they say… The negatives one bother us but not as much as a disappointing pizza.

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

Alan occasionally forgets to wear his show pants so you could be in for a treat (if you have really good eyesight).

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

No. Just come to ours. But if you’re gonna insist on seeing other shows, check out Milly Thomas’ other play Dust at Underbelly; Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons and Love+ at Summerhall; Jess and Joe Forever at The Traverse; Workshy at Summerhall.

What’s on your hit list to see?

Eurohouse, Johnny White, Frogman, Adam, Salt, Rob Cawsey and Lands.

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

Lydia likes sofas. Alan’s an Edinburgh virgin so he plans to tour the city on his day off but will realistically join Lydia on the sofa.

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

Size has never been an issue for us.

Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

There’s a lovely wee old man pub not too far from Assembly where we go to wind down after the show where no Fringe folk hang out which can be a lovely break so for that reason – no we can’t recommend anywhere. Absolutely not!

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

A man walking his ferrets.

Sell your show in no more than ten words…

Watermelon, kitchen roll, DRAMA, watermelon, tea towel, watermelon, ART, Watermelon.

Brutal Cessation, Assembly George Square Theatre (Venue 8), 4.20pm, until 28 August, www.edfringe.com

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