A debut solo show written and performed by Amy Gilbrook, Nutshells is a delectable mix of beat poetry, theatre and song and will be at TheSpace at the Jury’s Inn in Edinburgh for the month of August, hitting the Edinburgh Fringe.

Poet and performer, Amy Gilbrook, spoke with The Fountain about how medicine pushed her to working on this project as well as her plans for the Fringe this year.

TF: Performing in Edinburgh in August with Nutshells, how exciting, what can we expect?

Yes I am really excited! So you can expect a mixed bag really. There will be some beat poetry and songs mixed in with the tale of a girl who ventures over the rainbow in a quest to unpick and resolve her existential crisis. It follows her and the bizarre characters she meets/hallucinates in this fantasy world, which is contrasted by real life audio interviews with a diverse range of people that punctuate that action.

TF: And you are offering poetry, theatre and song, is that what your background is in?

Not entirely. I have been doing performance poetry for five years and been getting involved in as much theatre and film as possible over the last ten years but this has been limited by a career in Medicine. I know it’s completely nuts (and may well have a lot to do with the subject matter of this show!) but I am now trying to embark on an acting career while working part time as a doctor.

TF: And have you been to Edinburgh before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst there?

I have been through to the Edinburgh fringe many times before, as a performer and as a spectator. There’s so much I am itching to see this year! I am really excited to see the Guilty Feminist live, as well some cracking Scottish poetic talent including The 900 Club by In The Works theatre company, Loud Poets: The Fantastical Gameshow Spectacular, Hypocrisy by Imogen Stirling and some cracking new theatre, A Work in Progress, by Hannah Elizabeth Morton.

TF: What are your plans, post Nutshells, anything more we can look forward to over the year?

While in the throws of preparing the show I can’t imagine anything post-Nutshells but I’m hoping to continue writing and performing. I would really like to work on more collaborative projects. There is a novel I would like to adapt into a stage or screenplay, as I am itching to play the protagonist (she is a fabulous character) but I can’t say too much more about that just now before I have spoken to the author!

TF: And where did your motivational drive come from with this show?

My drive to write this show came from reaching burnout point while working ninety hour weeks as a junior doctor and really questioning my own existence. Coming out of that I realised that there is a lot of pressure and over-stimulation of young people. Although it is fantastic that there are many more opportunities than perhaps in the past, these aren’t available to everyone. We are in a hyper-connected yet more individualised society where people are more prone to isolation. It is hardly surprising that mental health problems appear to be more rife. Essentially I wanted to create a community where this could be explored, even just for 45 minutes, by really connecting with people and finding our common humanity.

Nutshells, theSpace @ Jury’s Inn, 3–11 & 20-25 August 2018, 16:10, 13-18 August 2018, 15.10 (45 mina)