Amy catches up with Rich about all things Reclaiming Harry which. is on at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
Hi, how has the first week of the Fringe gone for you?
Hey! The first week has been monumental. We arrived last Monday afternoon and our first show was Monday evening, so it was a total wild turnaround. We had so little time to flyer the show beforehand, and low and behold we had a full house! We’ve gone from strength to strength since then and have the most lovely warm audiences, amazing feedback, and so much fun! We’ve also managed to see some amazing shows, from drag to burlesque, interactive theatre to pop-up gigs about sex work and disability rights!
Tells us about Reclaiming Harry.
Reclaiming Harry was written by Rich Watkins (“Happily Ever Poofter”) and tells the story of a boy wizard firing his author and going on a magical quest to find a new one. It features all your favourite hit tunes from 1997 – as well as a message of love, inclusion and defiance. Without giving too much away, Harry has his world turned upside down when he starts losing his story and suddenly (and magically!) meets his former number one fan, Ally. Together they set off to save Harry’s story, and on the way meet a whole load of other familiar characters from all your favourite stories. But telling you any more than that would be too big a spoiler… You’ll just have to head down to C C Blooms at 22.30 to find out!
What can audiences expect from the show?
To laugh, first and foremost. Of course this show tackles a potentially very distressing issue, so what we want to do is spread joy ion the face of darkness! The best way we know how to do this is through comedy, so there are a lot of jokes and a lot of silliness. But we also want to create a safe space for everybody (especially our trans and non-binary siblings) to feel they can enjoy their favourite childhood story again – so there is a lot of love in the room at our performances. Oh, and glitter. There’s a lot of glitter.
What are the key themes and messages of the show?
That nobody owns magic, imagination, and the power of fantasy fiction, and we’re taking it back! This is a show for everyone – who has love in their hearts.
What’s the best and worst thing about performing somewhere like the Fringe?
There are so many good things, it’s hard to pick the best! The excitement that comes from the constant turnaround of Fringe audiences is amazing. And the nights out are obviously iconic! But the best thing of all would have to be the beautiful diversity and inimitable creativity that comes from thousands of artists gathering in one place. It’s the best vibe.
The worst thing? The fact it has to end! Oh and sleep deprivation. So I suppose it’s not such a bad thing it ends eventually…
With so many shows to choose from this year, tell people why they should come along to Reclaiming Harry.
Because it’s political, it’s powerful and it’s down-right hilarious. It’s the perfect tonic for anyone who loved Harry Potter growing up, but feel they can’t anymore. Also 10% of all our profits go directly to Mermaids UK to support our Trans community – so it’s a wonderful way to give back!
Have you made it to any other shows yet / what shows are you excited for at the Fringe?
Yes! We loved “The Importance of being… Earnest?” at The Pleasance. It’s honestly hilarious and so very clever. If you want a huge dose of fabulous Drag and LGBTQ+ pride, check out Miss DQ at Planet every day at 7.30. And if you’re wondering about that pop-up show championing sex work and disability rights – see “Pretty Billy and the Bowl” at the OMNi Centre (part of PBH Free Fringe!)
Finally, where can people find you on socials and buy tickets to your show?
We’re on @reclaimingharry on insta/twitter/Facebook so please do connect with us! Our show is on every day (except 22nd) at 22.30 at C C Blooms. And it’s free free free! So no need to book! Just turn up – but get there early, it gets pretty busy! For press and industry, you can guarantee your seat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org