Edinburgh Fringe features Harpenden and St Albans performers

PUBLISHED: 17:28 05 August 2016 | UPDATED: 17:28 05 August 2016

Katie Brennan is performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Katie Brennan is performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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One is exploring revenge porn, while the other is revealing the life of a modern 20-something-year-old – and both are among thousands of acts at this month’s Edinburgh Fringe, which kicked off today (Friday).

Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2016, features BlushEdinburgh Festival Fringe, 2016, features Blush

BLUSH, a new play by writer Charlotte Josephine, originally from St Albans, is an angry and heartfelt play with two main characters, including the 27 year old, which tells five candid stories about revenge porn.

Charlotte, who used to play music in the former Town Hall, said the stories explore the “unwritten laws of gender-related responsibility, where our desire to shame others comes from, and how shame can often spill sideways into acts of violence.”

She told the Herts Advertiser: “I have been researching the issue of revenge porn, and the shame involved. It’s a modern view of an age-old problem with gender imbalance.

“It’s about the unwritten rules we make up to be men or women, and the shame we feel if we don’t measure up to our ideals. The most important thing I focus on is the story we are telling in the best way possible – we never try to be clever for the sake of being clever.”

St Albans writer Charlotte Josephine's play 'Blush' is showing at the Edinburgh Fringe this monthSt Albans writer Charlotte Josephine's play 'Blush' is showing at the Edinburgh Fringe this month

Charlotte is performing alongside Dan Foxsmith, and hailed the festival as an “opportunity to meet lots of different people, and to learn from each other.

“I love Edinburgh, it’s so beautiful and there is a buzz here.”

Although she admits to feeling nervous before appearing on stage, Charlotte tries to “calm down beforehand. I chill out and have a cup of tea, and chat with friends and family.

“I focus before the show, and psyche myself down rather than up, because my work is really physical, aggressive and loud.”

Katie Brennan is performing at the Edinburgh Festival FringeKatie Brennan is performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Harpenden actress and blogger Katie Brennan features in her comedy show, Katie Brennan’s Quarter-Life Crisis.

The former Roundwood Park School pupil was performing her show in London, when “it got picked up by a producer, who loved it, and we are now up here for a month.

“It is amazing – there is nothing like this festival.”

Katie described her performance as a “kind of comedy/cabaret show; it’s about being in your 20s, feeling a bit lost in life and about not knowing how to be a grown-up.”

She admitted to feeling nervous about appearing on Sky News tomorrow (Saturday) for an interview about her show as, “I’m terrified I’m going to swear on live TV!”

Katie went on: “This is the fourth time I’ve performed here, but I’ve been coming to Edinburgh since 2006, as a reveller or a spectator – I’m obsessed with the festival.

“It’s a great way to be creative, and I’ve made some lovely friends through it.”

The 29 year old, who has a BA (Hons) in English literature and drama, praised her former school for helping to set her on her current path, particularly as she was helped by “lovely and supportive drama and music teachers”.

Asked about her stay in Edinburgh, Katie joked, “I’m yet to have a deep-fried haggis”.

The Edinburgh Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city.

Dating back to 1947, this year’s Fringe will see 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows, from 48 countries, at 294 venues across Edinburgh.

These range from big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, with the festival including theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.

Katie Brennan’s Quarter-Life Crisis is at the Underbelly, George Square, between August 5-14 and 16-29. To read her blog go to http://bloodyhellbrennan.com/

BLUSH is also at the Underbelly, August 5-15 and 17-28.

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CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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