Hello Rebecca, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Rebecca : I’m from a little town in Suffolk but I live in East London now, which I’m loving.
When did you first find yourself getting into the dramatic arts?
Rebecca : I didn’t get into acting until quite late really. I graduated from drama school in 2012, but I can always remember having a love of theatre.
You belong to the ‘Interactive Theatre International’ company. Can you tell us about the group?
Rebecca : Interactive Theatre International, or ITI, was founded in 1997 in Australia. The company is best known for ‘Faulty Towers The Dining Experience’ which has toured the world for 20 years. With the addition of ‘The Wedding Reception’, which we first devised two-and-a-half years ago, ITI has become even more focused on highly immersive theatrical experiences. I joined ITI in 2014 to become one of over 40 actors that form multiple combinations of cast based in the UK and Australia.
This year you will be involved in the ‘Wedding Reception,’ can you tell us the story behind its creation?
Rebecca : ITI wanted a brand new original immersive dining experience to tour alongside Faulty Towers. They approached me and my fellow performer David Tremaine to create the foundations for this new show. Faulty Towers works as a dining show because a good proportion of the TV show was set in and around the hotel restaurant. Similarly – while we didn’t have pre-existing characters or situations to work with – the concept of a wedding reception and the characters you meet during the show are things that we can all relate to. In addition, placing the audience as the guests of the bride and groom makes perfect sense of the dining setting.
This will be the third year TWR will be playing at the Fringe, have their been any tweaks to the material in that time?
Rebecca : Absolutely. Hugely. The show is in a continual state of development – we have made a number of changes to story and character elements since we first started back in 2015. We have removed extraneous details and improved the characters and the relationships between them. The experience for the audience has been enhanced too – our first Edinburgh run took place in a tiny back room in a restaurant. Now, we are performing in a beautiful four-star hotel!
What does Rebecca Norris like to do when she’s not being theatrical?
Rebecca : When I’m not performing, my favourite thing is to watch other people being theatrical! Musical theatre, dance, comedy… any of the performing arts. I love it all, and that’s why it is such a privilege to have made my passion my job.
I myself never fail to be entertained each time I see either Faulty Towers or TWR. What is the secret behind both shows’ perennial success?
Rebecca : What makes them so different to traditional theatre shows is that the audience members are not just watching a show, they become an integral part of it. We get so many people returning again and again, often bringing friends or family members so they can experience it with them. For us actors, it really is the audience that make the shows so special and with their input, we never perform never same show twice.
In one sentence can you describe the experience of performing in Edinburgh in August?
Rebecca : A month of excitement, exhaustion, and stupid fun.
What will Rebecca Norris be doing for the rest of 2017?
Rebecca : I’m pretty much on tour for the rest of the year performing both Faulty and TWR, starting in Dorset then the Wales Millennium Centre, then London for a week, then off all round Australia for three months.
Aug 3-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-27 (times vary)
The Principal (Venue 119)