Lauren Gauge is bringing a world premiere to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017. A writer and performer with ambition and determination, she sticks two fingers up to patriarchal society. Daniel Perks talks to her about The Unmarried:

I am jealous of Lauren Gauge’s energy, commitment and ambition. She is a writer, performer, producer, PR, theatre assessor… The list goes on and on. This year, she is bringing her first full-length show, The Unmarried, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 – a fusion of music, comedy, beatboxing and performance. This sounds like a show to kick your night off with a bang!

I catch up with her for some much-needed Fringe motivation and advice:

 

The Unmarried is a ‘No labels’ show from Luna’s perspective.

The Unmarried comes from me growing as a fierce, independent woman and writing poetry, which has always been personal, funny and anecdotal. Luna is another non-subscriber who proves that you don’t have to conform to a particular type – that’s one of the big societal issues with today’s community.

I’ve never written a fully play before. Two years ago, I entered a new writing competition at the Lyric Hammersmith and got a slot at their Evolution Festival. At that time, the show had a very musical beat. Then I saw Conrad Murray do Denmarked at Battersea Arts Centre. I performed a piece, “Lager Lout”, for him afterwards and from there the show felt more complete with beatboxing in it. There is a such a rhythmical underscore to the production, a lyrical soundscape, so having live beatboxers is one of the things I love most.

We promise to challenge the hangover of the patriarchy but can’t promise to cure the hangover from the night after.

People can come out, see The Unmarried and start their night with a bang. It’s such a big year for Edinburgh – the 70th anniversary and the British Council Showcase. “Defying the norm since 1947” fits my show perfectly. My aim is just to deliver an honest piece of theatre making and bring Luna’s sense of freedom to the party. It’s about her anarchy, the music she listened to (garage and warehouse rave stuff) growing up.

It’s great to stretch myself on this project – I have three hats on with producing, writing and performing in the show. I always want to see what I’m capable of doing and I’m a  fan of ensemble work and collaboration – it’s so natural in a collaborative room of creatives to all throw in ideas. It becomes about making something that you want to say, a story that’s important right now. So in that sense it’s been very natural to collaborate and create something from scratch.

I trained as an actor and theatremaker originally so that comes quite normally for me. I’ve always written poetry, so that’s again quite natural. Producing is an interesting one – I worked for The Scottsboro Boys on the West End and other things with Mary Steadman and  Red Room Productions, which have always been very physical. Now I’m the lead producer on The Unmarried, I can see how bonkers it is! But having Andrea Leoncini of  LWL Entertainment on board is really nice, to find someone equally passionate about the project that I can bounce ideas around with.

I haven’t yet thought about what the journey has been because I’m still in the middle of it.

It’s been a whirlwind – keep collaborating and keep working it in the room. Maybe in September I’ll stop and realise! It’s a very different show to the previews. At  Camden People’s Theatre, we put it on its feet after three evenings of rehearsal. We worked with Caitlin McLeod on the script with it, so it’s grown to be a more sassy, entourage production. New singer and a new beatboxer – I’m very excited to open it as a world premiere in Edinburgh.

We’d love to take it on tour, share it with the rest of the UK. Not enough goes out on tour and there are so many studio spaces and venues that aren’t necessarily obvious choices. The Unmarried has quite a gritty story, it moves between working and middle class and checks in a lot of people’s experiences. It’s really important to give a voice to people that aren’t hearing about their own positive journeys – it’d be really nice to showcase something that isn’t a normal piece of theatre about the usual characters.

 

The Underbelly this year is absolutely insane!

I’ve never been so excited to meet so many interesting people at the Underbelly launch this year. A lot of emerging artists are doing experimental things. I’ve been working with Soho Theatre doing a Stand-up Comedy Lab, so I’m excited to see other people that have come through there – Yolanda Mercy, Sarah Milton, salt., Friends of Friends, We Are Ian. We recently met a group of equally ambitious creatives, their play Trashed is at the Underbelly as well.

Wait until I see the Pleasance programme!

Naturally Berocca will be my friend.

I’m looking forward to some tatty scones for breakfast too. Trying to keep real on the sleep times, even if that does mean going to bed at 5am and getting up at 2pm. I think some relaxing in-days, we have cups of tea or climb Arthur’s Seat and do yoga. We said as a company we’re going to go on little hikes, so we’ll take a lot of time away from our crazy garage, rave world and get in some zen nature time. 

 

The Unmarried in one sentence.

Raucous new writing with old school garage.

 

To read more about The Unmarried, playing at Underbelly Med Quad, Edinburgh until 28 August 2017, follow the company on Twitter (@LGauge)