Edinburgh Fringe 2022
Don't Say Macbeth
Come backstage for the world premiere of soon-to-be smash-hit Double Bubble: The Musical. That's right. It's Macbeth from the perspective of the three witches. Under rehearsed, under slept and under extreme duress, GOYA presents a musical catastrophe.
Hi Sam, thank you for taking the time to talk with The New Current. How does it feel to be heading to Edinburgh Fringe with TWO shows this year?
Hmmm… I’d say it’s 80/20 split between utterly joyful and mind-numbingly stressful. That said, we are super lucky to be working with an amazing cast and crew, and the shows are looking drop dead gorgeous.
You’re heading to The Pleasance with Sex with Friends and Zoo Venues with Don’t Say Macbeth, any nerves ahead of such an amazing festival run?
Always. But it’s what we signed up for. And besides, without the nerves it would be very difficult to justify the amount of ice cream and reality TV I am currently consuming.
Both shows have already been getting Top Picks of the Fringe, what has it meant to get this type of recognition?
So, exciting! This is our first trip to fringe as a company, and we are super excited that people are already so interested in our work.
Are you ready for the Royal Mile, do you have your sales patter down?
Hmmm…. Great question. We actually had a whole meeting about this yesterday (sometimes we just get bored and want to see each other).
Our current patter includes lines like:
‘If you like sex. Then you’ll love Sex with Friends.’
And for Don’t Say Macbeth:
‘Like Shakespeare? Like Musicals? You won’t after this…’
What do you think? If all else fails, we may just have to stage an orgy on the Royal Mile. With a title like Sex with Friends, I think it’s fair to say that the options are endless...
Can you tell me how Sex with Friends & Don’t Say Macbeth came about, what was the inspiration for these new shows?
Sex with Friends is a joyously queer celebration of the very thin line between friendship and sex. Unsurprisingly, I wrote it just after I started sleeping with my BFF. A decision which, at the time, felt like a great idea. Then things sort of started falling apart. I guess that’s what the show is about, the way we go from strangers to friends to lovers and then, painfully, back to strangers again.
We came up with Don’t Say Macbeth whilst getting hammered in a pub in Rotherhithe (don’t judge). Anyway, we were in hysterics thinking about a musical theatre show in which everything kept falling apart. Where all the songs had been nicked from other shows. Where all the performers had forgotten their lines. Where the set kept falling over. When we woke up the next morning, we decided (in between sips of Pepto-Bismol) we’d simply have to make it.
Did you have any apprehensions about creating two new shows for the fringe?
Apprehensions? Who is she? We don’t know her. Does she have Instagram?
"Our shows have gotten bigger and slicker, but we haven’t changed that much."
What where your biggest challenges you faced bringing these shows to life?
Probably our own crippling self-esteem issues. Oh, and money. Money is the worst…
What makes musical theatre so unique?
Honestly no idea, because on paper it really shouldn’t work. I mean, people just start singing for no reason like that is an entirely normal thing to do.
Still, sometimes it’s the things that shouldn’t work that do… like vodka (fermented potatoes) or contouring (the art of making your face dirty) or haggis (not even gonna start on that one). Plus, I don’t know anything that can make my spine tingle like an eleven o’clock number.
How did Goya Theatre come about, and what future theatre projects do you have planned…will there be more unique Shakespeare adaptations?
We founded GOYA whilst we were at uni. We wanted to make new queer music theatre. And that, by and large, is what we’ve done.
There are definitely more things in the works. Don’t shoot the Albatross, a new pop-music-dance monologue about queerness will be on in the last week of Edinburgh at ZOO venues (yes I know that’s a third show. We’re insane). Super excited for that. Plus, we’re already looking ahead to next year and beyond…
Good question about unique Shakespeare adaptions. Maybe this should be our new niche? We could do Taming of the Shrew with an actual shrew? Or maybe, As You Like It as a long form improvisation about customer service? Perhaps something really radical, like "Romeo and Juliet" where Juliet actually has an independent voice and maybe doesn’t kill herself for some boy she met ten minutes ago.
Has the approach you take to producing, creating and directing your shows changed much since your debut production?
That’s a good question. Our shows have gotten bigger and slicker, but we haven’t changed that much. Basically, we’re just the same. It’s me, writing things to try and entertain Lowri (who is on the phone bargaining with some theatre), Mrin (who is laughing hysterically whilst drafting an email), Tash (who is selling tickets like there’s no tomorrow), Math (who is bashing the piano so hard you’d think it insulted his mum) and Livi (who is probably drinking a negroni). That’s the vibe really.
Do you have any advice or tips for fellow theatre companies heading to the fringe this summer?
Oh, good god no. I’ve not said anything wise and/or helpful in years. I guess all I have to say to other companies is break a leg. Oh, and come say hi in the bar!
And finally, what do you want your fringe audiences to take away from Sex with Friends & Don’t Say Macbeth?
More than anything else. We want audiences to have a great time. We want them laugh, and maybe cry, and then laugh even harder. It’s been a rough few years, and I can’t wait to be rushing around Edinburgh again. There’s nowhere in the world like the Fringe and we can’t wait to see you there.