Edinburgh Fringe Preview: Lottie Plachett Took a Hatchet – a chat with Tom Lenk

Lottie Plachett Took A Hatchet, Assembly Roxy (Upstairs), 8.35pm, 4-27 August (not 17)
Booking Link: https://assemblyfestival.com/whats-on/lottie-plachett-took-a-hatchet

“A camp play on the Lizzie Borden case, Lottie Plachett Took a Hatchet is a comedy about ax murder, sexual depravity, and the installation of a toilet. Lottie, an unsuspecting spinster, stands accused of brutally murdering her father and step-mother. But did Lottie Plachett actually take up a hatchet? That’s for you and the jury to decide as this camp comedy unfolds. 

Starring Lauren Lopez at Lottie, with Tom Lenk, Ryan W. Garcia, Tom Detrinis, and Justin Elizabeth Sayre. Written by Justin Elizabeth Sayre. Directed by Jessica Hanna.”

We caught up with company member Tom Lenk (who you may remember from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) for more details!

Production photo from Lottie Plachet Takes a Hatchet

Lizzie Borden (inspiration for Lottie Plachett) is quite an interesting character! What first brought her story to your attention?

Our production team of Justin Elizabeth Sayre, Tom Detrinis and Jessica Hanna did a mind-boggling episodic theatre piece called Ravenwood Manor that I loved and then I started participating in some of Justin’s play readings on Zoom during the pandemic. We did a reading of Lottie during the tail end of the pandemic, and I was hooked! The show is a hilarious, bawdy, mad take on the legend of Lizzie Borden (who was tried for the gruesome axe murder of her parents in the late 1800’s)! 
What does feminism mean to you as an LGBTQ+ performer?

I think I might need a whole TED talk to properly express my passion for this topic, but in short, Feminism is the antidote for toxic masculinity, and as a kid, performing arts was my escape from sports, boy scouts – activities that at the time and inmany ways still are riddled with toxic masculinity. Feminism is engrained in performing arts.
What’s special about taking part in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?
It sort of feels like the childhood theatre camp I never got to go to? But if that might sound annoying to you as an audience member, don’t worry, the Fringe is whatever you make it. You could spend every day of the fringe seeing back-to-back shows every hour running around town, exhausted, hungry and just jamming in as many shows as possible. Or you can chill out and go to a sensory deprivation show where you are in a shipping container where everyone is wearing headphones with the lights off, and then go enjoy some bites and drinks in one of the many lovely beer gardens. It’s whatever you make it and I love that!
Theatre has had time to regroup and change since the pandemic put live performances on pause.
Have you noticed any changes, for better or worse?

Well, I don’t know about you, but post-pandemmy, I have about a 2-hour time limit on socialising. A night out at the theatre with a two-hour show turns into several hours if you are meeting up with friends for dinner before and drinks after, so I feel like the one hour show format might become more common place for a bit as we all learn to re-socialize?

Image credit: Arlo Sanders