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Anoushka Warden on performing My Mum's A Tw*t at the Edinburgh Fringe: 'I'm not exactly sure why I'm doing this.'

The writer of the one person shows gives us her first blog on preparing for the Scottish arts festival

Anoushka Warden
© Helen Murray

Hello, I am a responsible, reliable, quite normal female in my mid-30s who has a secure full time job working in theatre publicity who is looking for… ha, jokes, no, this isn't actually a dating call out. This is the start of me sharing with you my summer of mayhem in which I take a sabbatical from my very secure full time Monday – Friday office job to go and perform in a one person show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe*.

Why? You think.

For a TV show? You wonder.

Because you want to be rich and famous? You sneer.

So you can have an intense summer of partying and fun?

No. None of that. I'm not exactly sure why. I like security and a regular income and enjoy working for an organisation where you feel you properly belong and like the work you do. I don't want to be an actor and I like to be in bed before 10.30pm, ideally.

Hmm.

I'm doing it because I have a feeling inside that is daring me to be the teller of my own story. That's as much as I know for now. I hope I'm not getting confused about being excited about dinner again, the pang arrives in a similar place in my chest.

It's steak…

I shout at lorries a lot during my daily cycle. This might have to stop.

So, for all of August at 5.30pm every day** I will, for an hour and 10 mins, perform My Mum's a Tw*t, a monologue I wrote that was originally performed by Patsy Ferran at the Royal Court Theatre in January 2018.

(Dreamlike) Oh god Patsy was amazing in it.
(With utter fear) Oh god Patsy was amazing in it.

I've sat at a desk in an office for the last 10 years, but now I am going to follow in the footsteps of Olivier Award-winning Patsy Ferran – there must be something wrong with me. I wish I had paid more attention to how she actually did it all when we were in rehearsals. I think she used to drink water out of a metal flask – maybe this is crucial.

It's not. On checking with Patsy she in fact often changes her water flask. The material it is made from has no link to her acting magic. What she did share with me was to make sure I warm-up (for rehearsals as well as performing) and to be off script before rehearsals start.

This might seem obvious to you lot, but was crucial intel for me. And now I have a plan:

1. Learn how to look after my voice. I shout at lorries a lot during my daily cycle. This might have to stop. I'm going to check for sure with a vocal care appointment at physiokatics.co.uk.


2. Work out why actors always make mooing sounds before going on stage, and then decide if I will be a mooer too, I'd prefer a different sound if poss.


3. Learn how to learn lines and start doing it asap – I've heard App Learner is good and also recording your own voice and listening back to it. I wonder if the latter will be closer to that sick in your mouth taste you get when you hear yourself on someone's answerphone message. I'll give them both a go.


Rehearsals start on Wednesday 17 July 2019. My goal is to have a really fit (?! if that's the right terminology) voice and also be off script by 9.59am that morning.

I'll let you know how it goes!

*(I work in PR this is actually how the Fringe should be billed y'all).
** apart from August 1,12 and 19)


Anoushka Warden is performing her play My Mum's A Tw*t at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Summerhall, Red Lecture Theatre at 17:30, from 31st July – 25th August (not 1st, 12th or 19th August)