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Edinburgh Fringe 2022 
Interview

Joe Sellman-Leava
Writer / Performer 
Fanboy
Fringe First Award Winner - WORLD PREMIERE 
Pleasance Dome (10 Dome)

Aug 3-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-29, 12:15 /  Tickets
June 29, 2022

Fringe-first award winner Joe Sellman-Leava (Labels, Monster) explores our relationship with our past and future selves, in this love-hate letter to pop culture and nostalgia. Expect epic storytelling, razor-sharp impressions and a dose of theatrical magic in this world premiere!

 

Hi Joe, thank you for talking to The New Current, how have you been keeping during these strange times?

 

Hello, and thanks so much for chatting to me! Ups and downs, like a lot of people, but very thankful to be out in the world again.

 

How does it feel to heading to Edinburgh Fringe after everything that has happened?

Exciting…and a bit terrifying too! I’m really looking forward to performing something new, watching shows and having pints with people I’ve not seen for ages.

 

Will there be any nerves ahead of your first show at The Pleasance?

 

Absolutely! Coming back to making theatre again, and especially performing, has felt strange. But I think I’m shaking off the rust. And nerves, in small doses, will be useful.

 

Have you got your The Royal Mile sales patter down for August or are you still tweaking it?

 

It’s getting there! Once the show’s more polished and has done a few previews, I’ll feel more able to distill it down a bit more.

 

Can you tell me a little bit about Fanboy, what can we expect?

 

Fanboy explores nostalgia, fandom, and our relationship with our past selves. It’s about the joy of getting lost in things you really love, as well as the darker side of fandom, and the cost of nostalgia.

 

When you preview a show how much does it change before a major festival and do you still allow yourself some flexibility once a run has started?

 

I think the main thing I learn in previews is about the relationship with the audience. This is always crucial of course, but particularly in solo work. It can often mean small shifts, but ones which make a huge difference overall. In terms of flexibility once a run has started, I’m always looking for things to fine-tune, but these are usually subtler shifts (you have to let go at some point!)

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"In terms of making theatre, it’s been rediscovering the unique the joy of being in a room, collaborating with people."

Have you always had a passion for theatre?

 

I was put in a play at school by a teacher, and nearly asked if I could drop out. But I went ahead and ended up really enjoying it. I wouldn’t say I was truly passionate about it til later though – in my late teens.

 

What has been the most interesting thing you have discovered about yourself and the theatre you want to create after making this show?

 

Well, I still like performing - it had been such a long gap, I really wasn’t sure if I would! In terms of making theatre, it’s been rediscovering the unique the joy of being in a room, collaborating with people. I don’t know what I’ll make next, but new collaborations are going to be a huge part, I’m sure.

 

What one word best describes your show?

 

Nostalgic.

 

In-between your show how do hope to get a chance to see other shows at the fringe?

 

Absolutely. I’ll be living with other performers and can’t wait to see their shows. And once Fanboy is up and running, I’ll be seeing as many other shows as I can.

 

What has been the best piece of advice you have been given?

 

Persevere.

 

Do you have a favourite theatre quote?

 

Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

 

And finally, what do you hope your audiences will take away from Fanboy?

 

Hope.