The world's biggest arts festival, Edinburgh Fringe 2018, is right around the corner. Theatre editor Daniel Perks catches up with actor Colette Redgrave, who are bringing Picasso's Women to The Fruitmarket Gallery this year:

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 is open! For its 71st year, the world’s biggest arts festival descends upon the Scottish capital, bringing with it a series of productions that innovate, imagine and leap into the unknown. Fringe veterans and first timers share stage space, flyer side by side and plaster their posters all over the city to try and entice us in to witness their moments of magic.

Here at Miro Magazine, we are incredibly excited by the biggest offering that Edinburgh has ever seen. Throughout the festival, we will be profiling some of the shows playing this year, as well as reviewing, listing and round up every performance. This is our way of getting to know the theatre companies and performers that are hoping to sell out and share their success.

Next up in our Spotlight feature is Picasso’s Women, which plays at Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 13 – 26 August 2018. We caught up with actor Colette Redgrave:

Describe Picasso’s Women in three words.

‘Daring. Engaging. Thought-provoking. Enigmatic.’

Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?

‘Yes, I have been involved in choreography before for a production of Quadrophenia, but I have never personally performed at the Fringe. I am incredibly excited about the buzz surrounding the show, many people have supported the production development though crowdfunding and the more people we speak to, the more are excited by the concept and subject matter. It should be great and The Fruitmarket is right next to everyone walking out of the station up to the Mile … they won’t miss it! We have posters going up on Waverley Bridge and Market Street, which in all honesty to have your face on posters in Edinburgh is an odd feeling.’

Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while in Edinburgh?

‘The more people we talk to, the more come out the wood work as heading up to Edinburgh with shows of their own! I will be making time to see a small piece of free work about Baroness Caroline Nairne called The Scottish Songtress, being married to a Scotsman myself it seems appropriate! I am also keen to head along to some of the free events being lead by the Fringe Festival organisers on matters such as equality in theatre and Q&A sessions on touring the production to other venues UK and worldwide next year.’

Who are your inspirations?

‘Two major things for me have kept me going. My Grandmother died in January 2016 and I decided to honour her by creating a piece of theatre that she would have appreciated. Her small inheritance gave me enough cash injection to get the project off the ground, to create a publicity video to run a Crowdfunding campaign, this in turn presented itself to the Arts Council of England, who supported us and gradually one thing has lead to another. Without that nucleus of thought, idea and tiny amount of money, I don’t think I would have been able to build upon it.

‘The other thing that keeps me going is the fact that life has thrown me many curveballs along the way, they have delayed my theatre and acting opportunities, but have taught me huge life experience, which I now have at my disposal when considering roles and creative work to perform. I am ready now, more than I ever have been to embrace all opportunities that come my way, self-made or otherwise!

‘Being a ‘Redgrave’ I think there is an assumption that you will just find both the technical skill naturally and the breaks, but I remember Corin Redgrave telling me to stick at the basics, work hard on training and commitment and the rest will fall into place, but most of all never to give up.’

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 Picasso's Women

What is your secret to surviving the intense, fast pace of the fringe?

‘Being my first year, not sure I can be 100% accurate on this but my goddaughter, who is studying Opera at the Royal Conservatoire, Scotland, says:

“Proper preparation prevents piss-poor performance”

‘So, I am trying to prepare for every eventuality in advance as much as possible, wo we can enjoy ourselves during the festival.’

What are the future plans for Picasso’s Women?

‘We are holding talks with organsiers of the Henley Festival, Hever Castle Open Air Theatre and other gallery spaces in the UK. I would love to see the performance be invited to one of the top Contemporary art Spaces, such as PACE, TATE St. Ives or Pallant House. We would also like to take the production to Antibes in France, Musee Picasso Barcelona and possibly a living museum in Coruna, Spain, where Picasso and his family lived. We have also been in talks with a multiple-gallery owner on the West coast of America. Watch this space.’

What is the best production you’ve seen in the last 12 months?

‘I recently saw a Community production of The Seagull in a barn, on a farm in East Sussex! Directed by Naomi Wirthner and produced by The Barebones Theatre Project. It was fantastic! Intimate, hot, clear and effortless on a working farm! We are going back to see Living Room Circus perform their new show The Penguin & I in July in the cattle shed!’

Is there anything else you want to highlight about Picasso’s Women?

‘I would like to thank all our patrons and supporters to date. Everyone who has pledged towards Picasso’s Women is officially recognised as an #ArtsAngel on our website. Without their support we would not be heading to Edinburgh.’

 

 

Writer: Brian McAvera

Director: Marcia Carr

Producer: Flying Elephant Productions

Cast: Colette Redgrave; Judith Paris; Kirsten Moore

Picasso’s Women runs at The Fruitmarket Gallery as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 from 13 – 26 August 2018. For further information, please visit the venue website.