Rebecca Johnson and Robert Bathurst, Love, Loss & Chianti credit Alex Harvey-Brown (1).jpg

Edinburgh Fringe 2022 
Interview

Robert Bathurst 
Performer 
Love, Loss and Chiant 
Assembly Rooms - Music Hall
Aug 3-9, 11-22, 24-28, 12:55 /  Tickets
June 29, 2022

Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet, Downton Abbey, Toast of London) stars alongside Rebecca Johnson (The Trip, The Flood) in this heart-breaking and hilarious double-bill of love and loss, written by Costa Book of The Year Award-winner Christopher Reid and directed by Jason Morell.

 

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

 

Fine, thanks for having me.

 

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

 

My show had a false start,  opening in March 2020,  so coming to Edinburgh with it now feels like a deep breath of oxygen. Or nitrous oxide.

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

 

I love the nerves, I embrace them, I - yes, I’ll be bricking it.

 

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

 

The ruthless flyer gangs for Love, Loss & Chianti have three different opening lines about me depending on the perceived vintage of their target punter. If older, it’s "From Downton Abbey" - " the middle aged get “From Cold Feet"- and "youngies get "From Toast Of London -". We’re yet to try "From Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie".

Can you tell me a little bit about Love, Loss and Chianti, what can we expect?

 

The finest language and the most startling cartoon animation. It’s written by a celebrated poet and drawn by a genius artist. Rebecca Johnson and I perform; two pieces, deeply connected,  at different times searingly emotional and harshly farcical.

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?

 

Here’s a secret: I’ve been preparing, trying out, and developing this show for ten years. The language and the animation is set but it’s always flexible.

Rebecca Johnson and Robert Bathurst, Love, Loss & Chianti credit Alex Harvey-Brown (2).jpg

"It’s always been my ambition for the audience to leave “Love, Loss & Chianti” without being having been constantly aware they’re listening to verse."

Have you always had a passion for theatre?

 

Ever since going to the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin when I was five.

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

 

It’s given me the gift of language with which to approach grief, an excitement about performing great verse and the yearning for a long lunch.

 

What one word best describes your show?

 

Surprising.

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

 

Loads. My show is at lunchtime so I don’t need to get to bed til 2am.

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

 

The audience are paying; make sure Row Z can hear and feels included.

Do you have a favourite theatre quote?

 

“Roll Up! Roll Up!”

 

And finally, what do you hope your audiences will take away from Love, Loss and Chianti?

 

It’s always been my ambition for the audience to leave “Love, Loss & Chianti” without being having been constantly aware they’re listening to verse. Also, with our use of cartoon animation I like it when people say “how the hell d’you do that?”