Fringe Q&A: Kenny Emson, Rust

‘Rule number eleven: we don’t talk about them. They don’t exist here’. Nadia and Daniel have a secret. In fact they have quite a few. They’ve just signed on the line for a studio flat. Under a pseudonym, naturally – Mr and Mrs White. After years of school pick-ups, TV takeaways, and the drudgery of married life, this is their chance to wipe the slate clean. But as much as they try and redefine the rules, and themselves, the outside world is closing in.

Sexy and funny, Rust pushes the boundaries of trust, love and lust to the limit. AAA caught up with Rust’s writer Kenny Emson.

Is this your first time at the Fringe?

I’ve been up a couple of times for fun and twice for work. I love the Fringe. It provides such a wonderful opportunity to see such a broad range of work. My first year up there I ended up staying in a flat with a visual artist and dancer as part of an Arts Council scheme, and we all took each other to see the kind of shows we love and of our different disciplines. To me that sums up the Fringe!

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

Rust is a play about a couple having an affair. They rent a flat to meet up in once a week. It’s a love story exploring modern relationships and societal pressures. There’s also a lot of pillows (spoiler – there is an amazing pillow fight worth the entry money alone!), hopefully a lot of humour and the two cast members Claire and Jon are amazing. Come. See it!

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

The show has been in development for a couple of years now. It had a very small run as part of the Bush Theatre’s This Place We Know season where they put work in found spaces while the theatre was being refurbished. Since then, the wonderful people at HighTide have come onboard as a co-producer and the show has grown from a 50-minute play to a 70-minute one. This has meant we could explore the characters further and push the concept of what it is to only be able to see the person you love one day a week. The show is opening at The Bush for a 4-week run before we head up to Edinburgh and then we have a small break before coming back to the HighTide Festival in Aldeburgh.

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

It’s funny and touching and the actors are absolute dreams to work with. Come. I promise you’ll have an entertaining hour and a bit!

Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend? What’s on your hit-list to see?

Pops by Charlotte Josephine (also part of HighTide’s programme) will be amazing. And I always try and see the Paines Plough stuff as they are fab. Then it’s late night comedy and beers!

What are you planning to do on your days off?

Eat. Drink. Be merry. In that exact order. (And I’m a writer so every day is a day off that I’m up there!)
Sell your show in no more than ten words…
Sexy and boundary-pushing, Rust probes the notion of modern relationships.

Rust, by Kenny Emson, HighTide and Bush Theatre, at Assembly Roxy – Downstairs, 12:40pm, Jul 31 Aug 1-11, 13-25. For tickets go to

Leave a Comment