Amy catches up with Michael MacLeod, who is producing and performing in The Fire At the Edge of the Earth which is on at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
Hi Michael, how are you feeling ahead of the Fringe?
The moment has finally arrived! It feels like we have been waiting forever for “The Fire at the Edge of the Earth” to debut and I know we are all so excited for the return of the fringe after COVID. This year, the city is buzzing with excitement ahead of the festival and I am no exception.
Is this your first time at the Edinburgh Fringe?
I performed in “The Wardrobe” by Sam Holcroft in 2018, but this is my first time producing and acting in a show at the fringe! As I am from the UK, I have been to watch a lot of shows here and absolutely love seeing the festival brighten up the city. Edinburgh in August is THE place to be. I feel really confident in our team and know that we have a great show to share with the Edinburgh Fringe community this year.
What inspired The Fire at the Edge of the Earth?
Our playwright, Zack Rocklin-Waltch, spent 2 years studying Classics and Ancient Greek at university. The play is very much borne out of his enthusiasm for that history and literature, and also his own queer identity. We wanted to create a piece that used the framework of Greek myth to closely examine the unique experiences of falling in love as a queer person.
What can people expect from this show?
The show goes to some epic and mythic places, but at its core, it is an intimate story between two men trying their best to love each other. It is touching, thoughtful, and tender. People will be moved by the story of Pluto and Vector, as well as challenged to consider their own relationships to love and identity.
What are the key themes / messages in the show?
“The Fire at the Edge of the Earth” uses the myth of Prometheus to evaluate the queer, human experience from a few different angles. The piece takes a look at queer love and queer existence; the burden of self-awareness in the evolved, human brain; and what it costs to surrender ourselves to love. The play offers a message of genuine hope in the romance between the two protagonists, something all too rare in LGBT+ love stories.
Why do you think the Fringe is so important for new work?
New work has thrived at the Fringe for 75 years now. The opportunity to stage new pieces in an environment teeming with creative peers is unparalleled. It is a place for both emerging and veteran performing artists to meet, mingle, and exchange ideas and stories. Seeing the work of other performers and companies inspires us to keep going, and the mutual support we have found in the Fringe community has proven to be invaluable. We are so grateful to have a supportive and welcoming space like the Edinburgh Fringe to premiere this new work. There is nowhere else like it, and we couldn’t do it anywhere else.
You performed at the Hollywood Fringe last year, are you prepared for the difference in weather between Edinburgh and Hollywood!
We’ve definitely packed our jumpers this year! The Hollywood Fringe was such a lovely experience. We learned so much last summer, and coming to Edinburgh this year really feels like moving up into the big leagues.
What shows will you be seeing whilst you’re in Edinburgh?
It’s been wonderful to see how many amazing shows are at the Fringe this year! Among the ones on my list are “How to Build a Wax Figure”, “Lizard Boy”, and “Hot Mess”. I also saw Ian Mckellen’s “Hamlet” the other night and it was a beautiful re-imagining of a classic story – a truly unique ballet!
With a huge number of shows to choose from at the Fringe, tell people why they
should come to yours!
“The Fire at the Edge of the Earth” combines queerness and classical myth in fresh and exciting ways to examine issues of love, hope, and progress with a brand new lens, all while telling a queer love story that feels both current and completely timeless. It is a work created by innovative, emerging artists, and cannot be missed. We can’t wait to see you there!
Finally, where can people buy tickets and find you on socials?
Book your tickets at: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/fire-at-the-edge-of-the-earth and follow us on Instagram at @thefire.fringe22
ABOUT THE SHOW
The Fire At The Edge of the Earth is on at thespaceTriplex from the 6th-13th August (not the 9th) at 10.15am!