‘You see, I never really felt like much of a boy. And finding a way to write this is weird, because I can’t explain it?’ When friends die and pronouns change, what’s left of the memories that don’t fit anymore? A moving autobiographical account of growing up queer in the mid-noughties, finding yourself and losing a friend. Storytelling, original pop music score and way too many America’s Next Top Model references, make up Teddy Lamb’s Since U Been Gone, which is at the Fringe for August. Teddy spoke with The Fountain about the new show as well as his plans for the festival.
You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how excited are you?
I’m excited and apprehensive in equal measure to be honest, I love Edinburgh but it’s a pretty hard slog, it can be exhausting performing and flyering and trying to network constantly for a month, and it is often really draining on your mental health too. Thankfully I have a really supportive team in HighTide and The Queer House, and only performing every other day takes some pressure off too! On the plus side, it’s also so inspiring to be surrounded by your peers, seeing new work every day, and meeting new friends from around the world… so it’s swings and roundabouts!
TF: Since U Been Gone certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
The show is basically everything I want to say to my teenage best friends but never got the chance. It’s a nostalgic but truthful examination of friendship, grief and gender and all the things we get wrong and don’t know how to apologise for. It’s a show for anyone who’s ever had a best friend, and especially for anyone who’s ever lost a best friend.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
The project started life on Soho Theatre Writers Lab, it was inspired mostly by my own life and the death of best friends and trying to come to grips with my gender without being able to tell them. I’m constantly inspired by other trans creatives, such as Travis Alabanza, Taylor Mac & Justin Vivian Bond, but also by more traditional queer storytellers like Philip Ridley, who I was obsessed with as a teenager! We also have a great soundtrack composed especially for the show, influenced by some of the best pop songs in history.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
This is my third time at the fringe, but my first time as a solo artist – thankfully I have an incredible musician Nicol Parkinson (who also makes music under the name Palomica) with me to keep me sane though! I’m excited to properly explore the city to be honest, I’m in rep with Mika Johnson’s incredible show Pink Lemonade, which means I get every other day off to just relax and chill and soak in Edinburgh. I’m excited to visit Sugar Daddy’s again too – for a gluten free babe like me, it’s a godsend during a busy month! My top tip for Fringe is always just to pace yourself. You don’t need to be out every night, your show is the priority and you need to be able to sustain the run, so if that means going to bed at 10pm watching Broad City, then so be it.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond Since U Been Gone?
I’ve been writing this show for just under three years, so I’m hoping to get my next project on its feet slightly quicker than this… whatever that may be! I have a few acting gigs lined up too, and it’ll be nice to slip into someone else’s skin for a bit! But I’m also hoping to stick with this show for a while, we have some autumn dates lined up already (including HighTide in Aldeburgh), and beyond that hopefully we’ll be touring and taking the show abroad!
You can see Since U Been Gone at Assembly Roxy, from 8th – 24th August on various dates at 15:45. For tickets, go to https://tickets.edfringe.com/