Inspired by true events: a passionate Sue Perkins Superfan, sent to a therapist to deal with her drinking, relays her adventures pursuing Sue. In PurSUEt is a fierce, heartfelt new LGBT comedy/drama running in Edinburgh for the month of August. Writer and performer, Eleanor Higgins, spoke with The Fountain about the show and her plans for the month.
TF: You are performing at the fringe this year how exciting?
Yes indeed! It’s been a whirlwind. I’m so excited to be performing at one of the worlds biggest arts festivals. This will be my Edinburgh debut, after having visited as a customer the last couple years, so feeling extra buzzed and really looking forward to what’s in store.
TF: In PurSUEt certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
The premise of In PurSUEt is that it’s based on a true story. A young woman fancies Sue Perkins. Most people would have the good sense to do nothing about this, but not her! She won’t take no for an answer and she wants a date. So she blags her way into anything and everything she can, to try and get near her celebrity crush. All the while she’s stealing her nerves with a few too many glasses of anything alcoholic. As you can imagine – things don’t go too well. The show opens in therapists office, where she has been sent to deal with her alcoholism. But she’s not an alcoholic and she doesn’t need therapy – she needs to be Sue Perkins! If only Sue could see that too, everything would be ok. Or will it? A dark comedy with real heart. If you don’t shed a tear or have a lump in your throat by the end, then you’d better check your pulse!
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
I guess the main drive for the project was that it was semi autobiographical. I thought it important that the story be heard. I would say the word ‘stalking’ might be a bit strong in regards to what happened in real life, but I did have a crush on Sue in my mid 20s. I was drinking a lot at the time. I used to tell people about my ongoing attempts to date Sue, which they found quite amusing. I always thought it would make an interesting story for a show as people’s reactions were so strong. I had such positive feedback after doing a scratch performance of it – I knew I had to develop the idea. I also think it’s important to talk about mental health and substance misuse. More and more people battle with these difficulties. I think its good to get things out in the open.
TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
My plans for the fringe is to do work that I’m proud of. My main objective is to make a good show and hope that audiences enjoy it. I’d love to make the most of the festival whilst I’m there and catch fellow performers in their pieces. I haven’t performed at Fringe before but I’ve been up as an audience member. I try to make sure I have some down time during my stay. Just to get some quiet amongst the hustle and bustle. I really enjoy yoga and meditation – so will probably be doing some of that to keep me balanced and focused.
I’m really keen to see Me and My whilst I’m in Edinburgh. It’s an amazing new show written by two talented young women, dealing with the complicated subject of grief. Supposed to be really excellent.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond In PurSUEt?
My future plans beyond In PurSUEt would be to hopefully to have the idea developed further and have a life after the fringe. I think with all the material and buzz it’s created, there’s strong potential for development. The idea is pretty mad, and I like to think, quite unique. I would love it if it took on a life of its own beyond the fringe. Right now – I’m living in the moment, excited to see what happens next!
You can see In PurSUEt at theSpace @ Niddry St from 12th – 17th August at 12:10. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com