Stephen Clements is one of the stars of this murder mystery improv. He takes on our Qs.
Hello. How are you today?
Great! Everything’s going pretty well at the moment, apart from my sleep schedule. I’ve never been the most well-rested of people but it’s real nose to the grindstone territory at the moment. Flashes of panic as we realise Ed Fringe is nearly upon us. How are you?
At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?
About as closely as it possibly could, given that it’s different every time! Writing a blurb for an improv show can sometimes be more like guessing what could happen, rather than describing what you’ve already written. We know there’s always a murder in the show, but it can be pretty hard to predict otherwise – we’ve had fish head wearing celebrity lookalikes, real wax candles eaten live on stage, threats of bodily harm using a table, and more!
Have the momentous events of 2016 affected your act in any way?
Quite a lot, and we’re definitely expecting it again! With an improv show you’re quite often at the mercy of the audience’s collective imagination – when we ask for suggestions there will always be a few topical ones. We’ve had The Case of the Deadly Brexit, The Funeral of Donald Trump as well as any number of celebrity deaths shouted out at us last year at the fringe, so we’re bracing ourselves for the inevitable Theresa May moment this year (just like in real life, I suppose).
Who are you sharing a flat with this festival and how will you help each other survive the month?
The cast and crew of Murder, She Didn’t Write are all sharing one big flat together. It’ll actually be quite easy for us as we’ve had plenty of practice sharing smaller flats with even more people in previous years! We do get weirdly close. There’s no privacy when you live on top of each other. Our best tip for surviving is to make sure you give each other space when you need it. And hiding your nice whiskey…
Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?
Loads! Jonathan Pie, Police Cops In Space, Hammerhead by Joseph Morpurgo, and This is Soap. Plus of course we try to see as many new improv shows as we can – we have to keep in touch with the latest developments. We always try to see Showstoppers as well, they’re a bit of an inspiration for us as an improv success story, and they’re lovely people too.
Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?
The city! We may only see it when the fringe is on but I think we’ve all kind of fallen in love with Edinburgh itself – it’s become a bit of a highlight of the year. Something about the city itself, and meeting up with all the friends that you only ever seem to see at the fringe, gives it a bit of a holiday vibe (even when everyone’s working their asses off). I know that some of the cast are also looking forward to a particular pork sandwich shop too!
What celebrity death hit you the hardest in 2016 (mine was Wogan)?
David Bowie. He always seemed to be one of those celebrities who would always be around, making music and being great. And with it happening in January his death really seemed to set the tone for the rest of the year…
Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.
Did you know you can shout “MURDER!” in the streets, in front of a policeman even, and no one will bat an eyelid? We flyer in costume sometimes, and we do exactly that! Obviously things get pretty weird on the streets of Edinburgh during the fringe, but it always makes me slightly nervous. Maybe it’s the fancy Edwardian clothes, or the upper-class accents that throw them off the scent. Murder, constable?
Murder, She Didn’t Write: The Improvised Murder Mystery
2-28 Aug, 5pm