Edinburgh Fringe 2022 
Interview

Mona Ulriche Schanche 2.jpg
Anna Marie   
Simonsen 
Naughty
ZOO Playground - Playground 1
Aug 5-13, 17:45 /  Tickets
July 22, 2022

‘You look 15, but I like that. I like women that look young’. An electric, one-woman comedy exploring sexualisation of young girls and infantilisation of women. A power game between the patriarchy and a six-year-old girl in pink Crocs. Pushing the boundaries of the male gaze, Naughty confronts the disturbing image of innocence and youth as sexy. Naughty is powered by the Pleasance Fringe Futures, won the Funniest Moment award at Oslo Fringe in 2021.

Hi Anna Marie, thank you for talking with The New Current, how have you been keeping?

Hello!! I have just got back from a trip to Oslo, Norway, performing my solo show Naughty at Oslo Humorfest. I am getting ready for Edinburgh and over the moon excited!

How does it feel to be bringing your debut show Naughty to ZOO Playground this summer?

I am buzzing! I have been to the fringe with ZOO venues previously, but as a director of the show Forbruker in 2019. The show starred Frankie Thompson, and she actually directed Naughty. She is also in Edinburgh this year with her new show CAttS (was lucky to catch a preview of it and it’s bloody amazing!!)

Naughty won Funniest Moment Award at the 2021 Oslo Fringe, what has it meant to you to get this type of recognition for this piece?

Overwhelmingly exciting! I grew up in Oslo, and have just recently been able to bring my work there. Last year was the first ever Oslo Fringe too, and it’s such an important platform for emerging artists. I love fringe festivals!

Will there be any nerves ahead of your run?

Yes absolutely, but nerves are good! Everything has happened really quick in the past year. It feels like everyone around me knows what they are doing and I have no clue.

What makes the Fringe so special?

The atmosphere! Bumping into other artists while flyering and being inspired by watching lots of incredible shows. Performing at the fringe is a privilege and a massive learning curve - I’m super grateful!

Can you tell me a little bit about how Naughty came about, where did the inspiration for this show come from?

I scratched 10 minutes of the show in my last year of studying Drama & Theatre Arts at Goldsmiths University in 2019. I was meant to perform a work in progress in April 2020, but it was postponed for obvious reasons... Looking back I am actually really grateful that I got time to step back, rethink everything, do lots of research and work on how to pitch the show.

As wells your lived experience during your research for Naughty what where some of the strangest examples of the sexualisation of young girls you came across?

There are so many shocking stories out there, for example; The Sun newspaper articles counting down to celebrities' 16th birthdays. Really gross and wrong on so many levels.

Naughty by Anna Marie Simonsen.jpg

"As I am obsessed with the relationship between the audience and performers, I will probably clown around more."

Will you allow yourself much flexibility with this production once it is running or will you keep to what you’ve planned?

The show changes all the time due to the nature of clowning, and the performances are therefore never really the same. Every time I perform it in front of an audience I discover new things, and tend to always change and add stuff after every show.

What have been some of the biggest challenges you faced with this show and what have been the most valuable lesson you’ve taken away from Naughty?

 

The importance of live audiences! Clowning and audience go hand in hand, and the audience is such an important part of the whole process. Rehearsing on my own as a clown can often be a trap. It comes with a risk of getting stuck in repetition, and not being able to respond to the impulses when you later meet the audience.

Where did your passion for theatre and performance come from?

 

My parents put me in an after school theatre program at the age of 5 and I got hooked. I encountered clowning under the teaching of Goze Saner at Goldsmiths. I think I might have been doing bits of clowning before, but was never told what it was.

What types of theatre genres and themes are you hoping to explore with future productions?

 

I love creating art that makes people laugh, then later they realise what they are actually laughing at. I tend to create things where meaning is in between the lines and not too obvious. As I am obsessed with the relationship between the audience and performers, I will probably clown around more. I tend to start creating by using objects (like the jelly) and add themes on afterwards. Although, I do have few things I would like to address in future work, so will see what happens!

Do you have any advice, tips or suggestions you would offer anyone wanting to get into theatre?

 

It might seem like everyone around you knows what they are doing, but they probably don’t.

 

And finally, what do you want your fringe audiences to take away from Naughty?

 

I hope it makes them giggle, but also reflect.