Brisbane-based creators of a popular comedy show about the movie Love Actually are hoping to delight Scottish and international audiences at the world’s biggest arts festival.
'Love/Hate Actually' - which both lauds and derides the famous rom-com - is heading to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August. Creators Amy Currie and Natalie Bochenski debuted the show in December 2017 as part of the Wonderland Festival at Brisbane Powerhouse.
“We’ve toured this show around Australia since then, to rave reviews and really happy crowds,” Amy said. “Going to Edinburgh had always been a dream, simply because of the immense size of the Fringe. We’re still pinching ourselves that we’re actually going!”
The show sees Amy arguing in favour of the movie, which she describes as a heart-warming Christmas tradition. Natalie, meanwhile, thinks it’s manipulative drivel. They present their cases for and against the film, and ultimately let the audience decide who’s right. Love/Hate Actually sold out a second Wonderland season in 2018, and Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewart said it was fantastic to see it heading overseas. “The ethos of the Wonderland Festival has always been to nurture and develop our local talent, and we love seeing shows that began here evolve and find new audience.”
“The Fringe is often compared to the Olympics for performers, and Amy and Natalie could be a Steven Bradbury-style surprise for punters there.” Rather than crowd-funding to help cover costs, production company Act/React joined forces with local Brisbane not-for-profit Elephant Boots Productions, which supports local creatives with funding to develop, present and potentially tour their work. “Elephant Boots has had our back through the whole process, meaning we can focus on delivering a really tight, funny hour of comedy,” Natalie said.
She said with more than 3800 shows happening over three weeks, Edinburgh Fringe was incredibly competitive. “Our goal is obviously to attract audiences, but there’s so much more we want to achieve: seeing as many other shows as we can; meeting other performers and industry people; and maybe eat a few deep fried Mars Bars.”
Love/Hate Actually performs at the Imagination Workshop Festival Hub from 1-26 August - but Natalie and Amy aren’t the only Brisbane representatives at this year’s Fringe. Rising star Steph Tisdell, who’s been seen on The Project and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala, will form one-third of the Aboriginal All-Stars stand-up comedy show, and acclaimed Brisbane circus company Circa will perform its work Humans throughout the Fringe.