The seventh (already!) re:play festival returns with gusto to The Lowry. The festival’s remit is to showcase a retrospective of the best new/fringe/cutting-edge theatre from the previous twelve months across the region. Variety is the festival’s strong point – this year’s output of fresh stage material deals with a range of issues including asylum seekers, social media dependence and homosexuality in sport, as well as staging bold new sketch comedy and an Anthony Burgess adaptation.
All Our Friends Are Dead stars comedy duo Katie Norris and Sinead Parker, riding high from an Edinburgh Fringe success with their troubling comedy sketch pieces. I last saw Katie in a wonderful turn as Olivia for a very accomplished production of Twelfth Night at the Manchester School of Theatre. I asked Katie: What’s harder, comedy or 'serious' drama?
Comedy and tragedy often merge and doing either of them well is a challenge, but there's nothing more rewarding and immediate than making an audience laugh.
Do you worry that having your comedy described as ‘dark’ might frighten people away, or do audiences have a real taste for the macabre these days?
A lot of our favourite comedy is dark, but we also strongly believe our show has something for everyone. Sometimes it is dark and a little sinister, but our main inspirations are like that, such as League of Gentlemen and Julia Davis. Most people naturally find humour in dark places because it's a coping mechanism, and that's why we do it too, it’s like therapy!
Which of the other shows at this year’s re:play are you interested in seeing/would you recommend?
We’re looking forward to seeing Away From Home. We heard such fantastic things from its run at 24/7 over the summer!
Re:play is running right now, check their website here.