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Interview: Zombie Alert at Camden Fringe

The Camden Fringe Interviews

Jugs Production tell us about 6ft (and) Under

Every fringe worth its salt needs at least one zombie apocalypse show. And that’s just what Jugs Production are bringing to the Etcetera Theatre for Camden Fringe this summer. But 6ft (and) Under is more than just that, as Claire Fairman, Catherine maitland, Sarah Newton and Alice Mogridge told us when we grabbed them between reheasals to ask some questions.

So strap in for a crazy ride as the four survivors (well, maybe they don’t survive?) tell us why this show is more about female friendship and the tales of what goes in behind the closed door of their flat than it is about having your intestines eaten by some ravenous zombie!

Great to meet you all, let’s kick off with a round of introductions. 

Claire: Hi my name is Claire Fairman I’m an actor in the show. I play Brigette Mount-Batten and I’m also a part of Jugs Productions. 

Catherine: Hi I’m Catherine Maitland. I’m acting in 6ft (and) Under as Abby and I’m also a member of Jugs and do the social media.

Sarah: Hi I’m Sarah Newton. I’m the director and I’m also part of the team at Jugs Productions 

Alice: Hello I’m Alice Mogridge, the writer of 6ft (and) Under and I also play Hannah in the Production! 

So, what can audiences expect from 6ft (and) Under?

Catherine: Oh boy…

Sarah: Chaos and fun. 

Catherine: It’s a fun girly time and it’s an honest girly time! With a bit of a gory horror twist.

Sarah: Also it’s actually relatable. Whilst it’s set in very extreme circumstances, there’s something incredible real that audiences and viewers, especially women of London can relate to! 

Claire: Yeah I definitely agree with Sarah. We are going through and have been through a lot of what happens in this play.

Alice: We literally have gone through that.. Some more than others (nudges Sarah)

Claire: There are a lot of stories in the show that I think people will laugh, maybe gross out, at a bit.

Catherine: It’s an exaggerated version of reality and it has very relatable humor

Sarah: It’s funny but it’s also heart warming and funny 

Catherine: And also who doesn’t love zombies?

Sarah: That’s true! 

Where will we be able to catch the show? 

Catherine: We are at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden 

Sarah: Only one who would take us (laughing) 

Alice: Noooo… 

Catherine: We’ve chosen to work with the Etcetera Theatre because we have performed there in the past.

Alice: Also when we saw the space I thought it was a perfect setting because 6ft (and) Under is set in a bedroom. 

Catherine: It’s an intimate setting.

Alice: Definitely 

Sarah: The space allowed us to create the environment that we wanted.

Alice: Thank you Sarah 

Catherine: Also it’s located right in the heart of Camden 

Claire: Also I loved the raked seating which I think is very rare in a pub theatre setting! We’re really excited about performing at the Etcetera.

What was the inspiration behind the show? 

Alice: So the inspiration for 6ft (and) Under came from how the theatre company actually formed and that was the four of us going to university together. I’d always wanted to write something about the experiences we endured (laugh) whilst being at university. I say endured because some of them were quite wild. I wanted to create a piece that incorporated real stories that we have gone through as four girls who have gone through their twenties together. There’s a real heart behind all the gore and guts of friendship and that comes from the four of us being so close. 

What is it about your characters that you most enjoy?

Catherine: Abbey is a difficult individual; like she’s not a nice person but she does care about people. It’s quite like playing that girl that never grew out of being the class clown. She’s a person of extremes; she’ll either take things extremely seriously or not seriously at all. You get kind of whiplash playing her in a way but it’s quite fun!

Also a part of me is actually sick of the powerful woman trope because it’s written by a man and it never feels genuine. Why is it that the only time women are portrayed in the media is when they have to be traumatised or super strong. Why can’t a woman just be a person? That is an ideal which I feel the female characters in this play explore. 

Alice: I really enjoy playing Hannah, I feel like she is an exaggerated version of me. I feel like it’s nice to step outside of me… wait what am i saying?

Sarah: Where are we going? (laughter

Alice: Oh wait, yes she’s an exaggerated version of me and when I was at university I never really got the chance to play many comedy roles, so it’s nice to be able to play one. I really love her relationship with Abbey as well. 

Claire: I love playing Brigette, I think she’s a powerhouse of a woman. She’s a very guarded person but I love being able to play her walls coming down the more she interacts with Hannah and Abbey. She has so much hidden subtext, which is a real treat to play. 

What’s your favourite elements of the show? 

Sarah: I think in terms of specific elements it’s hard. I love that we’ve set it in the zombie apocalypse and the reason why we set it around the apocalypse is because in times of great need and in times of chaos happening in this world we do rely on each other and friends.

Seeing the characters and actors do this has been really amazing to explore the depths of not only the characters but the actors and seeing what each of them individually bring. It’s been amazing to help create and produce a story that actually will hopefully mean something to people; especially women. 

What do you want to leave the audience with come the end of the show?

Sarah: That was a wild ride!

Catherine: I hope they like it! 

Claire: I hope they like it to! I hope they laugh.

Catherine: Oh God, I hope they laughed!

Alice: I really hope they laughed!

Claire: Even if they don’t, I hope they can see some truth in it and that they kind of take it for what it is. Which is a story about friendship, feminism, dildos and zombies.

Alice: It’s just a silly story about some silly story by some silly girls. 

Catherine: We just want this to be a fun experience and we are having a fun time making it and that we hope that people who watch it see what a fun time we’ve had and they have a fun time to. 

Any plans beyond August yet? For you or the show?

Catherine: We don’t know.

Claire: Yeah, this is our first venture into producing our own work at the Fringe. This is Jugs first show and we hope it won’t be the last! 

What words of advice/ encouragement would you give anyone thinking about doing Camden Fringe next year? 

Sarah: Just do it.

Claire: Honestly yeah, just go for it! If you have an idea for a play and you have the support and access to do it, just go for it. 

Sarah: It’s about taking the leap. 

Alice: We’ve been talking about this for a while and when we applied we had a date we needed to hit and we’ve paid this money now, so I’ve got to get it done. 

Sarah: If you have a story and you believe in it you will find your audience for it. 

Will you be frequenting the bar downstairs from the theatre afterwards?

Sarah: Is water wet? We’ll definitely be at the bar! 

Claire: We hope people ask questions! We’d love to chat about the show!

Catherine: At the end of the day we’re putting on a show that we think people will enjoy and we wanna hear what they thought and answer any questions about the show! 

Alice: Also mines a large house rose!

Our massive thanks to Claire, Catherine, Sarah and Alice for fiding the time to chat.

6ft (and) Under will be playing at Etcetera Theatre on 29 July, and 8, 9 August. Further information and tickets available here.

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