Edinburgh Fringe: Nicola Wren (Replay)

Replay. When a fiercely independent, workaholic police officer finds herself on the street where her brother once lived, she is propelled back to her vibrant childhood and forced to confront a tremendous loss. Replay is an intimate, funny and moving new monologue, written by Nicola Wren (501 Things I Do in My Bedroom) and brought to you by Edinburgh Fringe favourites DugOut Theatre (Swansong, The Sunset Five and Inheritance Blues).

AAA caught up with Nicola for a chat in between shows

How has your Fringe been so far? 

Exciting, exhausting and productive.

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

Replay is the story of a police officer confronting the childhood loss of her beloved older brother. It’s a story about acceptance, forgiveness and learning to embrace memories rather than ignore them.

What’s the audience reaction been so far?

We’ve been so lucky with audiences because they’ve all been very attentive and, from what I can tell from speaking to people after the show, they are often very moved and uplifted, which is what I wanted. Of course, I can’t promise that it’s everyone’s cup of tea, but generally the response has been incredibly positive.

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

I say that I’m not going to read them, but of course I do. I’m very fortunate to never have had a really scathing review, the worst for me is usually just a really average one and I do have to work hard not to let that bother me. Nobody likes to think of themselves as average, do they? But I’ve learnt this Fringe to take the audience response as the clearest and fairest review. As long as the play is speaking to, and affecting, the audience in a positive way, then my job is done. I’m not going to lie on my death bed thinking about a 3 star review from some paper, or a 5 star review at that, I’ll be thinking about the people who came up to say something after the show and who felt they benefitted from seeing it.

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

It’s a well-made, thoughtful production of a story that is moving, uplifting and really fun in places. I think at this point, though, fringe-goers should absolutely rely on word of mouth, so don’t trust me, ask someone you know who’s seen it or read a review and see if it sounds up your street.

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

Nassim, Education, Education, Education, Jack Rooke: Happy Hour, Trygve vs a Baby, Goodbear and Richard Carpenter is Close to You have been my big highlights.

What’s on your hit list to see?

Mental at Assembly Roxy, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything at Summerhall, Salt at Summerhall, The Believers Are But Brothers at Summerhall and Adam at the Traverse.

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

See shows that I haven’t been able to see because they clash, enjoy a few drinks and go out for a lovely meal.

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

I can’t say I’ve ever known the Fringe to be smaller as I only started coming here two years ago. The size of it is incredible, and that is certainly daunting and relentless when you’re performing here, but, if it wasn’t this big, I may not have been able to put my first show on here two years ago, so I’m not going to complain.

Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

Under the Stairs for something a bit sophisticated, Hula Café for something healthy (but also the most amazing cake) and Red Fort for curry.

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

A belly dance performed to a pre-recorded poem read by Alan Rickman. Loved it.

Sell your show in no more than ten words…

Heart-warming, poignant and uplifting story told in intimate setting.

Replay, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 2.15pm, until 28 August, www.edfringe.com

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