Edinburgh Fringe 2022 
Interview

Linus Karp
How to Live a Jellicle Life: Life Lessons from the 2019 Hit Movie Musical CATS
VENUE 16 - Greenside @ Riddles Court - Thistle Theatre
Aug 15-20, 22-27 /  Tickets
May 20, 2022

A show that provides a jellicle discussion about the jellicle aspects of the jellicle cats in CATS and how you can apply them to your life in order to make it truly jellicle. No previous knowledge about CATS required.

 

NOTE: London Previews take place July 29th & August 5th at Two Brewers.

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

 

Thank you! It’s been a rollercoaster. I am so grateful to have been able to work on and perform the jellicle show as much as I have as that’s given me something fun and joyful to put my energy into when I needed it the most.

 

What have been the worst habits you have had to break?

 

Probably not to doubt myself as much - never listen to the voice that says you can’t do it!

 

How does it feel to be able to bring your new show How To Live a Jellicle Life to Greenside at Riddles Court during Edinburgh Fringe?

 

Very exciting and oh so jellicle! I created the show for Edinburgh Fringe 2020 - so to finally get to bring it “home” two years later feels great. I love the fringe and Greenside have been so positive to the show from the very beginning - it’s about time it’s happening!

 

The reaction you’ve gotten for Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked was incredible, did you imagine you would get this type of reaction for your work?

 

Yes and no. I’ve never found a script as fascinating and enjoyable as “Awkward Conversations…”, so I did believe that if I was just able to present it in a good way it would have an impact on people - and I’m so glad it did. You can never predict how an audience will react - especially with a show as weird as this - so it was overwhelming and very special when people responded so well to it.

 

What was the best/strangest comment you got for this show?

 

Having people whose work I’ve admired for a long time saying wonderful things about it is of course very special. But the lasting impact - how people would message me or speak to me even years after they’ve seen it saying how the show and the performance stayed with them is the most incredible thing.

 

The weirdest reaction was definitely after one of the Edinburgh shows when an audience member started talking about how he didn’t actually think bestiality was that strange a thing…I disagreed.

 

Can you tell me how How To Live a Jellicle Life came about, what inspired your new show?

 

It’s a silly, queer show all about how to live more jellicly! I became obsessed with Cats after seeing the film - I couldn’t think of anything else. Creating a show about it was the only natural thing to do. As I made it throughout lockdown I also wanted to create something that was just silly fun and pure escapism. I was also keen on making something that was very queer, but still joyful, as I do feel like so often queer stories are tragedies, and whilst those stories need to be told, queer joy is also important!

jellicle.jpg

What was it about the cinematic masterpiece that is CATS (2019), and what valuable and life changing lessons did you personally take from this film?

 

The most fascinating thing about Cats is how it’s simultaneously amazing and terrible. There is so much to love and praise about the film, but it’s also full of questionable decisions, a poorly written script and some weird special effects - in such a unique mix. There will never be anything quite like it. The main thing to take away from it is to let yourself enjoy it. Life is so much better when you allow yourself to have fun, and Cats is a ridiculous amount of fun if you choose to enjoy it for what it is.

 

When writing and performing in a show how flexible do you allow yourself with a show once it’s running?

 

I’ve been touring the jellicle show across 21 venues this year and I kept making changes and adding things all the way up to the final show. I want the shows I create to feel fresh and alive -  once you’ve stopped discovering or exploring the material you’re done with it.

 

What is the strangest fact about the CATS movie that you’ve discovered?

 

My favourite one might be that they changed Rumpleteazer’s (one of the twin cats) accent to Irish from cockney in post production - supposedly because the scene felt too twincestous.

 

Where did your passion for theatre and acting come from?

 

I grew up in the Swedish forest without any real connection to theatres or actors, despite that I’ve known since a young age that acting is what I’m going to do. I may not know where it came from - but it’s the jellicle path that’s been set out for me.

 

Will animals be a recurring theme of Awkward Productions?

 

Haha! The first show was about bestiality and then the second about sexy cats - people have started to worry about me. I’m currently working on the next show and there’s currently not a single animal in the script! (though there’s still time…)

"We all travel to Edinburgh with big hopes and dreams, but so much of a show’s success is out of your hands..."

Is there any advice, tips or suggestions you would offer a fellow playwright or performer making their Edfringe debut?

 

Make sure you have supportive people around you and make sure you get enough sleep. We all travel to Edinburgh with big hopes and dreams, but so much of a show’s success is out of your hands - do your best but also enjoy the experience for what it is!

 

And finally, what do you want your fringe audiences to take away from How To Live a Jellicle Life?

 

I want them to laugh and to leave with a life that is more jellicle than the one they had when they entered the auditorium.