Edinburgh Fringe preview: Sad-Vents

Eleanor Hill’s show Sad-Vents has just opened at the Edinburgh Fringe following a successful run at the Vault Festival.

I saw the original version online and was pleased to catch up with Eleanor to chat about this “tech-heavy tragicomedy that makes Fleabag look like CBeebies”.

Where: Underbelly, Bristo Square – Jersey

When: 4-13, 15-28 Aug

Ticket link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/sad-vents

Promotional image for Sad-Vents

What’s the best thing about Fringe?

Anything goes! It’s the biggest event of its kind, an opportunity to perform for a whole month, showcase your work, and celebrate the arts. The ups and the downs and, of course, lovely Edinburgh.

Sad-Vents started a while ago as short online pieces. How has it evolved since the original concept?

Although some of the monologues (or Sad-Vents) are still the same since the original conception they are no longer done by different actors, it’s now a one woman show. 

You can see a physical show now (yay!) but with the live version you can also see what is really happening offline.

Instagram is a wonderfully weird place- we are curating what we show our followers aren’t we- you see the post but you don’t see whats beyond the reach of the phone screen- in this show however you get to see what the character shoves online AND what the reality is in her world.

It’s fun to play with that, what’s real? What does she want to show, what is she lying about?  You can interact with the show via instagram during the show and was always developed with tech in mind from the beginning.

It’s also been developed since it came to the stage and has continued to do so since Vaults earlier this year. That being said, some of the Sad-Vents are the same ones from the original online series.

Your blurb says this show will make Fleabag look like CBeebies. A bold claim! So, what should audiences expect?

Technically we didn’t make this claim ha ha an audience member did (we have video evidence!)

So I guess if that’s what an audience member said, that’s what audiences can expect. If you could open a door and walk into a Sad Girls instagram, that would be the show. A hilarious Sad Girl, obviously.

This sounds like a very interactive show using social media, which should keep everyone engaged. How do you work this if your audience is small or uncommunicative?

Each aspect of the show has been built so that if you took away a bit it would still work. The live show works without instagram.

The instagram show could be done without the live audience and even the digital (projection) of the show could serve on its own.

The interactive nature of it is very personal – you don’t have to partake in the digital version that’s totally up to you! Hopefully, this offers everyone a unique experience.

You’ve worked in film and theatre, and mixed and matched. Do you have a preference at all?

5. I must love theatre because I keep doing it and it’s not for the money. (SEND HELP) Although I suffer from anxiety, the live audience is such a huge part of the performance for me.

With theatre you have to finish, you can’t do another take or pick it up tomorrow and there’s something magical about that.

The show exists purely in that space. It can’t be recreated in the same way again, and everyone would have had a different experience.

However, I’m working on adapting for TV and if the BBC wants to make Sad-Vents into a series, forget everything I’ve said.

What do you think?

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