Rebecca Shorrocks (Short) & Paul F Taylor (Curly) are coming to Edinburgh this August. The Mumble managed to catch them for a wee blether
Hello guys, so where ya both from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
Rebecca: I am from Nottingham originally, I trained in Guildford which brought me daaaan South. We now live in the lovely Crystal Palace which is the most at home I’ve ever felt.
When did you first realise you could make people laugh?
Rebecca: At Junior school, I was playing Prince Charles in the school’s production of ‘Wombles of Wimbledon’ (classic text) I got my first ever note from my headmaster Mr Bowler. He told me to wait for the audience to finish laughing before I carry on speaking. I enjoyed playing the clown with my friends too, it was that very same year I made my friend wee herself from laughter and she had to wear lost property pants. (A reference we have in the show this year)
How did you get into comedy?
Paul: Not your classic route. I’m not a trained performer, I studied I.T. at university, then I got a job doing something I hated until the fear that this might be what my life is kicked in. So, I saved future Paul by jumping in the deep end and performing stand-up comedy.
How are you finding the transition from actress to comedian?
Rebecca: I don’t see it as a transition, the lines are very blurred. I have always had a natural affinity with the comedic roles and I believe you have to play the truth in any comedy situation for it to be funny. I have been doing sketch comedy since 2005 now so I actually feel further away from the world of acting but without a doubt it has made me a stronger actress as it has freed me up on stage no end.
How did you & Rebecca meet?
Paul: We met at a comedy gig, I was doing stand-up and Becky was doing a clowning sketch where she danced around in spandex. She had a big smile and a silly sense of humour. I instantly loved her.
How, why & when were Short & Curly created?
Rebecca: I started running an era themed comedy night called Cabarera in 2010 with the fabulous Susan Harrison. It was a challenge to come up with material specifically for the era and me and Paul fancied a challenge and became the resident sketch group by default.
Can you describe your working relationship with Rebecca in a single word?
Paul: No… because it’s probably unlike any other sketch team because we are a couple. Everything we’ve ever written will have caused a really extreme argument between us at some point, usually with one of us storming out of the room saying that we don’t want to do this anymore. It’s not because we don’t get on, I think Becky is outstanding at what she does, it’s just that we come to what we do from very different directions and we’re both passionate about doing a good job.Initially I was obsessed with finding the laugh in the words whereas Becky was all about finding the laugh through characterisation. But over time we’ve both had a huge influence on one another and not only do we have a better understanding of what the other person brings, but also, I see how good Becky is at doing the things that I thought were my job and (hopefully) vice versa. Sometimes it’s a very difficult process, but it’s worth it when we get that feeling that we’re really onto something with an idea that is really making both of us laugh.
Can you describe your working relationship with Paul in a single word?
Can you describe your romantic relationship with Paul in a single word?
Can you describe your romantic relationship with Rebecca in a single word?
Good answer… so, what do you guys like to do when you’re not being funny?
Paul: We are so busy separately, so when we have downtime together, we like to be together. We’re both food and film lovers. If we can combine those two things in an evening we’re both pretty happy.
You’re bringing a show, Young at Start, to the Fringe can you tell us about it?
Rebecca: Paul (aka Curly) is turning 40 this August so naturally we are more conscious of our age among all the whippersnappers at the fringe, he’s panicking about that so we nostalgically take a look back at his memories. They end up a bit warped because Short is interfering with them trying to prove to him that age has no importance as long as you’re still having fun.
What is it about performing live you love the most?
Paul: Being in the moment with a live audience is one of the most wonderful feelings. Especially with comedy performing because you have this real time audible feedback of laughter, so you can hear it when you’ve really caught the audience’s imagination. It’s an addictive feeling for sure!
What are the creative process behind writing your sketches?
Rebecca: It used to be that we had the parameter of an era so we would google that era see what interested us and spoof a genre, find a play on words or merge two ideas together that we found funny. Now we just don’t have the parameter.
Can you give us a hint of the topics and themes covered by the show?
Paul: It’s about Curly (me) trying to have a midlife crisis and Short (Becky) not letting it happen – because it’s pointless. But essentially, it’s a fast-paced, multi-sketch, multi-character show that we’ve crammed as many ideas into it as we could, it aims to be as much fun for the audience as possible. We loosely touch on the subjects of ageism, poor body image, and parkland safety.
Can you describe in a single sentence the experience of performing at the Fringe?
Paul: A joyous month-long gorging on creativity
What will you guys be doing after the Fringe?
Rebecca: Hopefully we will be moving house, if the sale goes through before we go (nothing like an extra layer of stress to add to Edinburgh prep). So unpacking and then relaxing and then maybe getting a dog or having a baby. And filming more stuff.