Boy meets girl. But then what? Between Us is a bittersweet play that tells the inside story of one couple’s relationship. Created in the moment by acclaimed improvisers, this is a show that has Richard Linklater to blame for its existence. At the Edinburgh Fringe this year, Rachel Thorn speaks with The Fountain about Between Us and her tips for first-time performers.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
This is the first time we’ve taken Between Us to Edinburgh and we can’t wait. We’ve performed at Brighton Fringe, Buxton Fringe, Theatre N16 and the Bristol Improv Theatre before, but we’ve never had the chance to perform the show day in and day out over many days. We can’t wait to see how the boundaries of the show expand in those circumstances and what new Alexs and Rachels we’ll discover.
TF: Between Us certainly sounds intriguing. What is the premise?
Between Us is the inside story of one couple’s relationship. It’s all about what makes us fall in love and what makes us fall apart. The twist is that it’s completely improvised. We ask the audience for an interesting fact about someone called Rachel or Alex and we use that fact to inspire one of the characters we play, and therefore the story we tell. We’re discovering the story at the same time as the audience, which makes the show extremely compelling to watch. It’s poignant, witty, and often heart-breaking.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
We both also perform comedic improvisation, which we love, but we also wanted to see what can happen when you use improvisation as a tool for drama and not just comedy. We discovered that we have a great connection as performers, and we love to exploit that to create interesting relationships on stage. We’ve been inspired by the amazing TJ & Dave, as well as the playwright Duncan Macmillan and the films of Richard Linklater.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
We’ve both performed at the Fringe before with other shows and our top tip is remember to sleep! We both love seeing as many different improvisation formats as possible and meeting other improvisers. It’s always exciting to see what magic Paines Plough are bringing to Summerhall too.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond Between Us?
We’ll carry on touring the show, finding new ways to fall in love and new ways to break each other’s hearts. We’ve been approached to make a film of the show, so that’s something we’re exploring, and we also have an idea for a period-drama version…but you’ll have to watch this space to see what comes of that!
You can see Between Us at theSpace, Surgeons Hall from 2nd – 17th August at 6:20pm. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com