Edinburgh Fringe Preview: ‘Bricking It’, Underbelly, Edinburgh Festival

Bricking It 1  (Joanna Griffin and her dad Pat, photo credit Elly Hopkins) (1)

Photo: Elly Hopkins

Joanna Griffin is not a woman to duck challenges. Last time we met, she was doing two very different shows concurrently at the Edinburgh Festival : her own stand-up show about feminism and university slut-shaming Clown Slut, and a brilliantly campy turn in Richard Herring’s freewheeling comedy  I Killed Rasputin. Which is why the twenty nine year old theatre maker and comic has a new challenge, one that may leave her with her head in her hands, wondering why she took it on.

Bricking It sees Jo and her dad Pat swap jobs and create a show around it. Her father, a  seventy three year old no-nonsense Irishman and builder to trade, will try out some gags for the very first time, while Jo builds a stage for him at the Festival. Both are uncertain of the outcome, but seem well up for it. Jo, who is influenced by theatre makers like Bryony Kimmings, likes the idea of making work rooted in everyday experience.

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Joanna Griffin, sans hard hat

“Accessibility is a key aim of my work,” she explains.”I want it to be an honest, warm and playful experience. My dad’s mates down his local pub (some of whom have never stepped into a theatre before) should be able to enjoy the show, as much as any regular theatre-goer might”.

Will this ‘cement’ their relationship? Or is it simply the ‘foundation’ for disaster? There will (thankfully) be no gags as piss-poor as that, but they may just learn something about each other that they never knew before, and the results will be funny, fascinating- and probably rather moving- to witness.

(Lorna Irvine)

Bricking It is at Underbelly, Cowgate from August 4th-28th



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