Lizzy Mace discusses getting heckled by her Mum, refusing flyers and being able to laugh at yourself with HeraldScotland.
Tell us about your Fringe show
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Overlooked is a solo character-based sketch show, in which I play a series of characters who all feel ignored, undervalued or overlooked in some way. For example, there's the fourth bear from the Goldilocks story, a pair of psychopathic sock puppets and the girl who's always left holding the coats at the end of the night.
I'm also in The Cleek, an international sketch and improv troupe performing a show where the order is placed entirely in the audience's hands. Sketches constantly evolve, there are guest performers and half the show is improvised every time - it's truly the show that never stands still!
Best thing about the Fringe?
The people. It's awesome spending a whole month mixing with other performers, seeing old friends, making new ones and seeing lots of inspiring work. The audiences are always amazing in Edinburgh too - open-minded, generous and up for new stuff. And not to mention the locals, who are wonderful and without whose support this annual migration could never happen. I've also been to Edinburgh outside of the Fringe, and it's just the friendliest city at all times.
Worst thing about the Fringe?
Not having enough time in the day to see all the shows I want to see as well as perform in two!
How many years have you been coming to the Fringe?
This is my fourth Fringe, but I'm returning after a break last August which I spent studying improv and sketch comedy at the Second City Training Center in Chicago. Both shows I'm performing this year came out of that in some way - the concept for Overlooked and the people who form The Cleek.
Favourite Fringe venue?
I love what Freestival are doing this year, and particularly their venue at St John's on Victoria Street ("Bar Bados") - it's an indoor beach bar, for goodness' sake! With cocktails! And actual sand!
Best Fringe memory?
There are so many, it's hard to pick just one!
I was heckled once by my mum.
Craziest on stage experience?
It's not strictly an Edinburgh Fringe experience, but it was during the previews for my second show, Rom Com Con, written and performed with Juliette Burton. The show had videos in and we'd hired some speakers to be able to play the sound from the laptop in a basement of a cafe which didn't have its own tech set-up. The speakers hadn't arrived come showtime, but we went ahead using some small back-ups we'd brought along. Halfway through the show, at a dramatic moment, the fire exit door opened and a guy walked onstage. We ushered him outside quickly and carried on, before realising he was the delivery guy with the speakers. So I signed for the delivery and set them up while Juliette carried on chatting to the audience. We hadn't written Rom Com Con as a farce, but it certainly was that night!
What's on your rider?
I don't have a rider. I'm not famous enough to be demanding! I love a real ale, so as long as my venue is near a decent pub, I'm happy. Which is easy in Edinburgh!
How do you wind down after a show?
Wind down? During the Fringe???
What do you love about Scotland?
The air and the light. Gotta love a lungful of fresh air and a long summer evening.
What do you like about Edinburgh?
It's beautiful, compact and quirky. Kinda like me...
What's the most Scottish thing you've done?
Walked down the Royal Mile refusing all the flyers.
What kind of jokes do a Scottish crowd seem to respond to?
I think Scottish crowds share an ability with English crowds to laugh at themselves. We Brits seem to share that trait, which I think is very healthy. We should never take ourselves too seriously! Anything that people can relate to on a personal level - the characters that exaggerate an aspect of ourselves that we might not be comfortable with but with which we can all identify - seems to get a good reaction. Which is lucky, as most of the characters in Overlooked fall into that category!
Favourite one of my own:
How do you get to Scandinavia?
Vanish into Finn Air.
See Lizzy Mace perform her show Overlooked at the Cowgatehead during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival until 25th August. For more information visit https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/overlooked.