Amy chats to June Carryl, performer and Michael Matthews, director, of Blue which is on at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year!

june carryl

Here’s your chance to give an elevator pitch, can you give us a brief synopsis? 

A police investigator has to interview a family friend about the murder of a Black motorist during a traffic stop. The problem: he was at the riot on January 6th and his story keeps changing.

What attracted you to this production/role? 

It was compelling to get to imagine a Black woman who isn’t in distress over drugs or her man, who could be strong but also not infallible. 

Have you performed at the fringe before? What are the best and worst parts of performing at the fringe? Or if it’s your first time, what are you most excited about? 

I’ve performed at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, but never at Edinburgh. I think the best thing about any Fringe Festival is the sheer wealth of stories that are being told. There is a place for everyone. And I’m so excited to do Edinburgh because it’s the top of the mark. I’m so excited to see other shows and to get to meet people and I’m saying that as an introvert. I think the most challenging aspect of the Fringe is the constant work: the worry over marketing and publicity, getting out and meeting people and shoving a piece of paper in their hands to get them to come to your show. It’s nerve-wracking.

What are the main themes within the production, and what can audiences expect? 

Audiences can expect a conversation. Heated, but a conversation. Central to the story of BLUE is the thin line that separates police authority and authoritarianism at least in the context of American policing. American policing was born out of the slave patrols: the system exists to protect not the have-nots but the haves and is this reflected in a system that currently demonises the communities it is meant to police. When you combine a need for power, a need to feel empowered, with the ability to kill with impunity you wind up with a George Floyd. When you combine resistance to historical fact with a fear of loss, you get a January 6th. The two are inextricably linked. Audiences can expect a conversation about that.

Finally, with so many shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, why should people book a ticket to this one? 

I think you buy a ticket to BLUE because you want to see two friends fight for their relationship within the context of issues much larger than themselves and how they fare. It’s an emotional play. Come to see a conversation.


Here’s your chance to give an elevator pitch, can you give us a brief synopsis?

BLUE is a 2-hander thriller set in a police interrogation room with a male and female police officer. They know each other and we assume they are old friends. She begins to interrogate him after the shooting of a black motorist, and we soon realise there is more hiding in the shadows. 

 What inspired the show?

BLUE is inspired by the Insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. While this serves as the inspiration, it also draws from the police brutality and murders of black and brown bodies.

 How important is the Fringe for new work? And how does it feel to be at the Fringe this year?

This is my third time directing a show at Fringe and it feels great to be coming back since 2019. Fringe is an excellent opportunity to see an international audience examine and experience what we have created. Every audience will always be different, and it is exciting to see how they respond to the material. It’s super important to see how they react and respond and what really sticks with them, what it is they take away after that one hour.

 What are the main themes within the production, and what can audiences expect?

The main themes in BLUE come down to the examination of the truth: its levels, shades, and textures. What exactly is the truth and where does it lie? With that stems the themes of racism, sexism, brotherhood, and allegiance. Audiences can expect to watch a relationship unravel and to lean forward as they experience a reckoning that they may also find within themselves.

 Finally, with so many shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, why should people book a ticket to this show?

I have always believed that what we do as directors and performers is to tell really great stories and to tell them super well. It is just what we do, we entertain. My main goal is to have my audience come into the theatre one way and exit somehow, somewhat changing, even if it’s with a smile. People should not only see this show because it’s important, but because it is relevant, timely, and sadly, universal. People should see this show for the power of its words and two gorgeous performances that are in one word, shattering.

Blue will be performed at 5.05pm in Assembly George Square (The Box) from 2nd – 28th August (Not 9th)

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