Amy chats to Charles Edward Pipe as he prepares to take his show Five Short Plays Loosely Linked by the Theme of Crime to the Edinburgh Fringe!
Hey Charles – here’s your chance to give an elevator pitch, can you give us a brief synopsis?
Five Short Plays Loosely Linked by the Theme of Crime does exactly what it says on the tin: it’s an anthology of short plays about crime. The plays cover a variety of settings and genres – there’s a 1960s London gangster farce, there’s one about a retired couple smuggling cigars out of Cuba during the Cold War, and there’s even a Western complete with gunslingers and bank robbers and cowboy boots and hats.
What inspired the show?
I had a few short plays in my back pocket for a while that I had no idea what to do with. One day I realised that coincidentally they were all about criminals in some way, so I decided to write a couple more and turn them into an anthology.
How important is the Fringe for new work? And how does it feel to be at the Fringe this year?
This is my first time bringing a show to the Fringe, so it’s obviously very exciting and more than a little nerve-racking. But the Fringe is the perfect place to experiment and push yourself creatively. It’s so rare anywhere else to find so many people who are actively looking to watch new and weird stuff and to encourage and support emerging artists.
What are the main themes within the production, and what can audiences expect?
Crime, of course! It’s in the title! And some other themes are tackled: friendship, love, the patriarchy, America. In terms of tone and subject matter, all the plays deal with the intersection between comedy and tragedy. They are all comedies, but they consistently depict violent, morbid, and melancholic scenarios. It’s a difficult balancing act but very fulfilling creatively.
Finally, with so many shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, why should people book a ticket to this show?
I know a lot of people go to the Edinburgh Fringe to see new and unique stuff, and I think an anthology piece is the perfect way to do that – it’s effectively five things for the price and runtime of one. Seeing new writing at the Fringe is always a bit of a gamble, and if you end up watching something you don’t enjoy then you’ve lost an hour of your time that could have been spent elsewhere. But in an anthology of five plays, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll enjoy at least one of them.
Five Short Plays Loosely Linked by the Theme of Crime is on at Greenside @ Riddles Court from the 4th – 26th August – times vary, find out more here!