Following sell-out Fringe shows in 2014, 2015 and 2016, Angela Barnes, seen on Mock The Week, Alan Davies’ As yet Untitled, Russell Howard’s Good News, BBC R4’s The News Quiz and host of Newsjack on BBC R4Extra, hits the road in from March 2018 with Fortitude.

Angela joined us to tell us more about the show.

Your taking Fortitude out on tour, how would you describe the show?

It’s a show about embracing my 40s and being proud to be a member of the Peter Pan generation that refuses to grow up. It’s about being me, and it’s got jokes.  Oh, and it’s also about Nuclear Bunkers…

What inspired you to create Fortitude?

Well, Donald Trump was elected on my 40th birthday, which is a pretty depressing sentence to have to write, so I needed cheering up.  Fortitude is about celebrating getting on a bit, and having a laugh while ignoring the world as it runs clean off the rails

How would you describe the feeling of making a complete career change in your early thirties?

I recommend it!  I’ve managed to turn a mid-life crisis into a viable career and I couldn’t be happier.  Nobody has ever said “Oh, I wish I hadn’t chased my dreams”, so do it. Really! What have you got to lose?  Dignity? Everything that is important to you? Bah!

What’s your favourite thing about touring?

I love seeing different towns and cities that I might never have visited if I wasn’t doing this job. I love how everywhere has its own idiosyncratic audience and funny little ways. And there’s no better feeling than the wonderful surprise I get when I turn up at a venue to find a load of lovely people have bought tickets to see me. I’ll never stop being grateful for that!

What did three consecutive years at the Edinburgh Fringe teach you about being a performer?

Edinburgh Fringe is like Boot Camp for performers. It is full of high highs and low lows, but when you perform everyday for a month, you can’t help but become a better and more robust performer at the end of it. Edinburgh is such a unique experience, it’s hard to explain to somebody who hasn’t done it what an extraordinarily intense bubble you’re in while you are there. I love it. I mean, I hate it, but I love it. You know?

What would you say to anyone thinking about coming to see Fortitude?

Please do!  Everyone is welcome. If you’ve got a bum, come and put it on one of my seats. That sounds wrong doesn’t it?  I stand by it though, bring your bums along and we’ll have a fun time…

Fortitude is at Soho Theatre 17th – 21st April 2018.  The tour schedule can be found here.

Greg is an award-winning writer with a huge passion for theatre. He has appeared on stage, as well as having directed several plays in his native Scotland. Greg is the founder and editor of Theatre Weekly


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