Charlie Russell is the writer and performer of Charlie Russell Aims To Please which is one of three Mischief shows running at the Edinburgh Fringe this year.
Charlie Russell wants to do a show in Edinburgh, but all she can think about is what she wants people to think of it and ultimately, of her.
So rather than focusing on what she wants to say, she’s just going to create a show that will please absolutely everyone by trying to hit as many solo fringe show tropes and styles as possible within an hour. That’s doable, right?
Charlie Russell Aims To Please is at Pleasance Courtyard (Below) 3 – 27 August at 3.15pm.
You’re bringing your brand new show Charlie Russell Aims To Please to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, what can you tell us about it?
Well, I’m not playing it safe, that’s for sure! I’m going to try and please every single member of my audience, so every show will be different from the last. I’m using my improv skills as I genuinely won’t know exactly what each show is going to be…
What inspired you to write and create this show?
The gang were talking about potential new show ideas, and I knew I had something bubbling under the surface but I couldn’t fix on one idea because I was too preoccupied with what people would think of it, and honestly, me. I was upset by how my need to please got in the way of making work…and then I realised, that’s the show.
You’re part of the hugely successful Mischief, who are bringing three shows to the Fringe, how has the rest of the company supported you with Charlie Russell Aims To Please?
Terribly. They won’t speak to me.
Nah – they’ve been incredible from the beginning, supporting the fledgling of the idea to readings and runs. Jonathan Sayer specifically helped me to define what it was and I’ve stolen some punchlines from Henry Shields!
Also, my director, Katie-Ann McDonough has steered this bonkers ship with grace and joy, it really wouldn’t exist without her.
All of the Mischief team are putting a huge amount of work into this run, and we’re really grateful.
This will be Mischief’s first return to the Fringe in a while, why did now feel like the right time?
I can’t speak for the rest of the group, but for me it feels like a great opportunity to celebrate some of the creativity that has been growing over the past few years, from a wide variety of artists.
It’s where Mischief cut our teeth as a company, it’s a privilege to come back at this point in our journey.
You produced Piano_Play at 2019’s Fringe, what did you learn from that experience that’s helped with this show?
That I shouldn’t be a producer. It’s so hard! I learnt even more about what goes into the other side of things, and how there are people out there who are very good at that and I should let them do it.
But that project was and is so special to me, working with Calum Finlay, one of my best friends, was a dream, and I got to bask in the collective talent-glow of him, And the glorious Matt Hassall and Ed Zanders. I got a real talent tan that year!
And you’ll be performing in Mischief Movie Night too, what are you looking forward to, and perhaps dreading, about this gruelling Fringe schedule?
Haha! I think two shows a day is just about right. I love doing Mischief Movie Night so much and I think it’ll be nice to keep exercising those improv muscles with that ridiculously talented bunch. It might actually help me with the improvised elements of Charlie Russell Aims To Please.
Also, I’m not used to performing solo, that’s a bit scary, so coming back to the group every day will soothe my soul.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see Charlie Russell Aims To Please?
Do book – we don’t actually have a huge capacity and my family are hoarding tickets to make me look popular.
Also I would say – it’s Mischief in tone, fun and silly, but has a more serious element that comes through. Perhaps not suitable for those under 14? Think Groan Ups (one of my favourite shows we’ve done).
And if you know nothing about Mischief – please feel welcome. You don’t need to know anything about me or Mischief to enjoy it, in my opinion!