From Stoke Newington via Portugal, Fiona Spreadborough’s one-woman comedy Adventures of a Trip Advisor Seaside Guest House Keeper has enjoyed a circuitous route to the Camden Fringe. Find out more in our interview with the writer and performer, then book your tickets!
The dark comedy plays for one night only at the Water Rats on 18 August 2019.
Barbara Mountbatten aspires to Trip Advisor Super-host status at Quinta das Barbara’s in the Algarve. She goes way beyond the call of regular breakfast and clean sheets requirements to keep her guests satisfied. But has the pressure overstretched her vivid imagination? Are celebrities really hammering at her door for her hospitality? What is her dark reality? When guests enter do they ever leave? Is she living a dream that can’t be, a nightmare that has become reality?
Fiona Spreadborough is a British actress now based in Portugal, whose previous performing credits include 70s Musical Madness and Drama Sketch Write at the Bridewell Theatre and The Hole Story at the Shaw Theatre.
Famous venue The Water Rats was built in 1517, and is is rich in history. It is said that both Lenin and Marx were patrons of the venue, while Bob Dylan made his UK debut there, The Pogues had their first performance there and Oasis made their London debut there.
Spreadborough’s Adventures of a Trip Advisor Seaside Guest House Keeper is among 300 shows performing as part of Camden Fringe 2019. Others include another one-woman show, this one a clowning tale of dating, feminism and more, Unlovable, coming-of-age story Scenic Reality, spy comedy Agent 14 and dark comic drama My Name is Cathy.
Adventures of a Trip Advisor Seaside Guest House Keeper runs at The Water Rats, 328 Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross, London, WC1X 8BZ on Sunday 18 August at 9pm. Tickets are priced £5. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Fiona Spreadborough on Adventures of a Trip Advisor Seaside Guest House Keeper
Where did you get the inspiration for Adventures of a Trip Advisor Seaside Guest House Keeper?
Well, my inspiration came from several things really. I worked with expats in Portugal doing theatre and improvisation, and my character Barbara grew out of that. Also, I used to own a junk and second hand shop in Stoke Newington called “Junk and Disorderly”. I had 12 great years there and met every character under the sun. I used to have a barber a few doors down from my shop and he was the funniest character ever. What ever anyone said to him, he would reply that he had been there, done it, made it, taught people it. He was the most amazing story teller I ever listened to and yet to him it wasn’t stories, it was real. Yes, Larry the barber was a massive influence.
You live out in Portugal – Is Barbara based on anyone you know from there?
Barbara is really her own special creation. She always sets out to do her utter best in everything and pursue her dream and please everyone, but her circumstances in life have been complicated so she can’t get to where she wants to be, but that won’t stop her trying. I don’t know anyone in Portugal like her. Definitely not.
You’ve written, directed, produced and star in the show. How challenging was that?
To do it all myself is a challenge, as I’ve never done anything like it before. Sometimes when I doubt myself and wonder what the hell I’m doing, I look to my dogs and cat for guidance and they wag their tails at everything I do and love it. I just have to trust their judgement.
It’s a one-woman show. How do you feel about being the only person on stage?
I’m fine being the only person on stage because I believe it’s all about telling a good story and being as engaging as possible, so you forget you’re alone. I actually believe the other characters are there, so I hope the audience can too.
How are you feeling about bringing it to Camden Fringe?
I’m really scared about Camden Fringe as there’s so much going on and lots of great things to see. I’m not smart and social media savvy like lots of the fab other shows I’ve seen, and my budget to spend promoting it is quite small, but I’m trying.
And how are you feeling about performing at The Water Rats in particular?
I used to go to the Water Rats years ago for auditions and to see musicals, so I felt a connection, and it has a lovely stage area just right for me and Babs.
What can audiences expect from the show?
I hope my audience can have a good old belly laugh. Babs is quiet energetic and gets involved in lots of things as she’s an expert in everything, including Karate, Zumba, dingy sailing, hip hop, abseiling, singing, she’s nearly a Michelin 4 star chef… her talents are endless.<a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”><strong>Are you producing a show at Camden Fringe this year? Contact us if you’d like to be featured in our festival campaign!</strong></a>