Performer: Eleanor Higgins Show: In PurSUEt Venue: Underbelly Cowgate, Belly Button Time: 3.50pm Dates: 4-28th August (not the 15th) Photographer: Kira Dhaliwal
Tell me about your 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show.
My show is called In PurSUEt. In PurSUEt is a one-woman show about a woman with a Sue Perkins obsession who’s been sent to a therapist to deal with her drink problem. But doesn’t need therapy, and she doesn’t need help with her drinking, she just needs Sue Perkins to love her and all shall be well….
Tell me about your previous Edinburgh experience.
I took a 45-minute scratch version of the show up to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019 for a limited run – it was at the Space for a couple of weeks and it went above and beyond my expectations! Honestly – you can never predict how The Fringe will go but it was a complete whirlwind. We sold out across the run, even after upscaling to a double capacity venue. People were queueing down the street, so it was a really exciting time. It inspired me to bring the show back, but for a full-hour, full-month official debut. It’s been revamped too and now includes lighting, sound and other story developments. Elements that we didn’t have the time or resources for before. So I’m super excited about this run and to see what happens with the show. In terms of expectations – my focus mainly is to produce work that I’m proud of and then the rest is sort out of my hands…. and I feel like that’s happening and it’s a great feeling.
Who inspires you?
I’m really inspired by other artists such as Jayde Adams, Sophie Willian and Eleanor Conway. The latter I know more personally through working on the comedy scene. She’s so dedicated and hard working. I also love to hear from women who’re self-made. Doing the Fringe is such a mammoth undertaking. And doing it without external support is almost unheard of. So when people break through that perhaps haven’t had the same opportunities, or have overcome struggles such as addiction, or a system that is rigged against them, it always adds a special element to their work, I feel.
How hard was it to get back on stage after the pandemic lockdown?
It was a strange thing to be honest, it’s kind of like riding a bike. My first show was at Brighton Fringe and it was pretty emotional. It felt a little like time travel – having not said the lines for so long. It might sound a bit silly, but I’d felt a little bit lost without theatre. Telling stories and creating art gives so much meaning and purpose to my life. So I’m very happy to be back this year!
Finally, ask and answer a question of your own.
Any advice for newbies?
It might seem obvious but try to enjoy the process. Sometimes you can get so caught up with outcomes, what’s going to happen next or where the show is going, or not going, that you forget to enjoy the moment in the moment. I had so many exciting things happen for me in 2019, but sometimes I felt so overwhelmed by everything around me that at times I couldn’t enjoy it. I didn’t take time to give myself a break – even in my own head. I think as artists we sometimes strive for perfection, which seems admirable, but can be such a painful place. Art is an expression, and not everyone is going to like or enjoy that expression – and that’s okay. Just be true to you. And be kind along the way, if you can.