When I first moved to Brighton, everyone told me May was the best month here. I never really understood why until I experienced it for myself – Brighton is buzzing! One of my favourite spots is The Warren, where I am so excited to see Serena Flynn: Prune. She sounds mad, and I can’t wait to see it! Ahead of the show, I got to interview Serena to find out aaaall about Prune and how she was born…
Tell me a bit about you – what’s your background?
I’m a theatre maker/comedian and I’ve made a pretty nuts, grotesque comedy show about heartbreak called Prune. I studied Anthropology at Sussex uni and I’ve performed as an actor all over the uk before training at a physical theatre school called Lecoq in Paris, where Prune was born.
What was the inspiration behind this show?
My ex-boyfriend cheated on me with webcam girls and I was completely heartbroken. Prune was born of that heartbreak, but the show went through many different stages of development. It started out as something much more earnest. For an early version of the show I used verbatim recordings of me and my friend interviewing my ex about why we broke up. The show ended with my friend asking ‘was Serena enough?’, there was this long, pregnant pause before he finally just said ‘no’. I thought it was going to be this big sympathetic moment but the entire audience fell about laughing. I learnt a lot about the relationship between tension and humour in that moment and I think that when I decided to make a comedy about my heartbreak.
Have you performed at Brighton Fringe before? If yes, what’s your favourite thing about it?
I have twice, but both times as an actor in other people’s shows. This is the debut of my solo show and I couldn’t be happier that it’s happening in Brighton. Brighton audiences are incredible – generous, open-minded and up for anything so i’m really excited to share the madness of Prune with them.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
No rituals, but Prune is a really physically exhausting character to play so I try to do a good warm up to make sure I’m fully Prune.
What advice would you give people wanting to enter the industry?
I think half of the battle is finding your voice and what you love to perform. once you’ve found that I’d say take every opportunity to perform. I gig a lot at comedy nights in London and I think there’s no better way of knowing what works than trying out material in front of an audience.
Is there anywhere else people can see the show after Fringe?
Yes I’m taking Prune to Edinburgh Festival and will be performing at a venue called 52 Canoes from 4-25 August.
Is there anything you’re excited to see?
Yes lots! The Warren is such a wonderful venue with such a festival vibe and lovely staff so I’ll be seeing as much as I can there. I’ve already seen The Latebloomers and The Establishment there, both I highly recommend and I’m excited to see my fellow Lecoq alumni and friends Hannah Moss (aka Meadow) at the Warren and Stumbletrip Theatre at Speigal.”