theatre can happen anywhere
This “highly recommended show” (FringeReview) will be performed for the last time tonight as part of Brighton Fringe 2012. Cheer Up, It Might Never Happen is a one-woman comedy where the audience shares the last humorous moments before the protagonist attempts suicide. Maggie Gordon-Walker and Sophia Kingshill talk about the show.
Suicide is not an obvious subject for comedy, is it?
SK: There’s a lot of humour in dark subjects. In this case, I was thinking that if you were a rather responsible, worried sort of person, then there might be a lot of practical details you’d have to deal with before you tried to kill yourself. It’s not so easy just to step out of your own life. In a way, suicide isn’t exactly the subject of the comedy, it’s more about trying to do something intensely private when the world doesn’t allow you to be private any more.
Maggie, is that a character you relate to?
MGW: Well, I’m not suicidal, but I think everyone can relate to the idea of wanting to get things done, and finding that you’ve got so much on your plate there’s no time for what you really want to do. You’re not allowed to be out of contact these days – there’s always a phone call or an email waiting to be answered. With some people that might be positive, it could remind you of the good things, but if you’re very low then it can just seem like an invasion.
Are you nervous about being the only person on stage for an hour?
MGW: Yes, of course I am! No upstaging or gurning permissible, or even possible. But maybe it’s not so frightening for me as it is for Pradeep Jey our director. He’s been in control during rehearsals, but when we get to the performance he’ll have to put up with whatever I do. The loneliness is integral to the piece, because it’s about one woman facing her future, or lack of future, on her own, so it really has to be a one-woman show.
How did you two get together on this show?
SK: I’ve worked with Maggie on several things before, mainly sketch shows when she was wearing ridiculous costumes. She’s an amazingly versatile performer, very funny but also very sincere, and I wanted to see her in something more demanding and more profound.
Cheer Up, It Might Never Happen will be performed at the Nightingale Theatre at 7pm on Sunday 6th, Monday 7th, Tuesday 8th May. Tickets on the door or from the Dome box office (£8.50/£6.50), or they can be booked (plus a booking fee) at http://www.brightonfringe.org or on 01273-917272.