Greater Manchester Fringe: A Holiday From What?

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As part of the buil-up to Greater Manchester Fringe Festival 2016, sat with director and stars of upcoming play ‘A Holiday from What?’.

Manchester Fringe FestAfter a successful previous outing with ‘Under The Manc Wood’, the award-winning writers are back with a fresh play exclusive to Greater Manchester Fringe 2016.

A Holiday from What? follows successful newspaper columnist Patrick Campbell, who lives life to a permanent deadline.

Every week he is faced with the tundra of the blank page, the soul-sucking self-doubt, and the slow descent into madness as he tries desperately to find another topic to write about.

“It’s just all the procrastination that everyone has. Whether it’s a party or a date or you’ve ran out of hobnobs, there’s always something stopping him from sitting down as that desk”

Ed Barry stars as Patrick Campbell

Ed Barry stars as Patrick Campbell

Sitting with director Ross Kelly, who just happens to be the son of the writer for A Holiday From What?, along with stars Ed Barry and Victoria May, a keen sense of excitement and anticipation of the festival’s most promising performance takes shape.

Detailing major influences from a 1960s reporter of the same name, Kelly says the appealing aspect behind the character’s career choice is “from the outside it looks like an easy job” with the play outlining in a comedic fashion just how difficult it can be to generate content; especially as Patrick Campbell has been doing it for five or six years.

Through a slightly embarrassed yet proud smile, he admits he is in fact on the look out for a ventriloquist dummy. Chuckling at the idea, he reveals the dummy does serve a rather bizarre purpose:

“He has this trophy and a dummy which both speak to him, reminding him he’s an award winning writer and this should be easy”. However, no dummy is yet to be found so far.

Adding that extra dimension and unique-ness that can only be found at Greater Manchester Fringe, the stars reveal that A Holiday from What? will break the fourth wall.

Ed Barry stars as Patrick Campbell

Ed Barry stars as Patrick Campbell

Detailing just how this increasingly popular technique will be performed, Kelly notes: “He refers to the audience and talks to them a lot, that scene will work really well.”

Ed Barry adds: “It’s as though the audience have been invited to his house.”

As the play delivers a rather deep backdrop to the humorous approach they intend, stars Ed Barry and Victoria May say the approach to their characters are pivotal in the performance.

“He figures out that he only needs 6 words an hour, if he doesn’t leave it to the last minute.

“Instead he writes a few hundred words towards the end of the deadline,“ says Barry, “It’s quite deep but we play it off with comedy.”

May modestly adds: “It obviously takes great skill, you know.”

A Holiday from What? Is part of Greater Manchester Fringe Festival 2016 and will be performed at Salford’s Kings Arms Theatre from the 11th -14th July.

By Nathan Smith
@NayfSmith

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