An Interview with Great British Mysteries?

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The British love history; Rose Robinson & Will Close love history: the British clearly love Rose Robinson & Will Close doing history. The Mumble caught up with them during a quick costume change…


Hello Rose, so where ya from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
Rose: I’m from a village called Stapleford in the wilds of Cambridgeshire, where I spent most of my childhood presenting imaginary cooking programmes. Nowadays, I live on fried chicken alley in Walthamstow.

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Hello Will, so where ya from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
Will: Hello, I’m from a little village in the Cotswolds called Broadway which has five antiques dealers, four pubs and not much else. Lots of cows. And I’m writing this in Camberwell, South London. Less cows. More pubs.

When did you first realise you could make people laugh?
Will: I think I probably first twigged when I used to do school plays right back in Primary School and drama clubs. Silly voices and faces was always my go-to method. On reflection, not much has changed.
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How did you get into Comedy?
Rose: I played a nasty piece of work called Brenda in a school play called The Big Book for Girls. Doing that show made me realise that making people snigger was my no.1 fave thing to do.

You’re washed up on a desert island with an all-in-one solar powered DVD/TV
combo & three films, what would they be?
Rose: Mrs Doubtfire, Casino Royale and No Country for Old Men. Obvs.

What is it about performing live you love the most?
Will: The ‘dialogue’ between the stage and the audience; it’s totally unique every time. The room might be bouncing or quiet or somewhere in between and even though you obviously prefer it when they’re very vocally having a good time, there is something exciting about the fact you’re rolling that dice every time you perform.

You’ve got three famous figures from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starter, mains & dessert?
Will: John Peel, Julius Caesar and Kurt Cobain. Crispy potato skins to start with a tomato sauce dip, Caesar salad for main (obviously) with anchovies and a pistachio kulfi for dessert. I’m salivating at the mere suggestion.

How, when & where was ‘Great British Mysteries’ created?
Rose: Will and I were on tour for a couple of years with a show called Golem, during which we spent a lot of time bouncing silly ideas around. One day, in a Chinese doughnut cafe, the characters of Olive and Teddy were born.

Great British Mysteries had a sold-out Edinburgh debut last year, what is it about your show, do you think, that connected with the public so well?
Will: The tone of GBM tries to marry wordy, quite intricate, humour with the utterly stupid and occasionally base. People seemed to invest in that combination which was very fortunate for us. And I think mysteries like Nessie, aliens, Jack the Ripper et al, do capture the imagination of lots of people. I’ve always been obsessed with that sort of stuff so it’s a relief to realise others share my bizarre reading habits.

What have you got for us this year?
Rose: This year, mystery-addicts Olive and Teddy find themselves in Tudor London, on the hunt for a witch. They encounter stinking bishops, haunted houses and albino greyhounds. The Woman in Black meets Keystage Two Tudor history.

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Can you describe your working relationship with Rose in a single word?
Will: Fired

Can you describe your working relationship with Will in a single word?
Rose: Sweaty

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street, what would you say?
Will: A very silly comedy show set in Tudor times about witch hunts and weird happenings. Full frontal nudity. (There’s not any nudity but you’ve got to lure them in somehow).

Can you describe in a single sentence the experience of performing at the Fringe?
Will: A rollercoaster of inevitable highs, lows and battered sausages.

What will Great British Mysteries be doing after the Fringe?
Rose: Weening ourselves off Irn Bru, and plotting Olive and Teddy’s next exploits. New York in the roaring 20s? Milton Keynes in the naughty 90s? Who can say…


Great British Mysteries: 1599?

Pleasance Courtyard – Pleasance Below
August 1st– 27th (not 13th) (16.45)

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