An Interview with Loose Brie

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Martin Willis and Phil Lindsey are best mates, & from their incessant banter great comedy has been born & given a name — LOOSE BRIE


Hello Martin, so where are you both from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
Martin: So I’m from St Albans and Phil’s from Aylesbury, both commuter towns in the home counties. Although, if you mean where am I from from, I’m half Indian. It’s a look often confused for literally any country in the warmer western world. And where am I at? Currently the desk in my bedroom of the flat we share with our comedy heroes, David McIver and Steph Browne.

Hello Phil, so when did you first realise you could make people laugh?
Phil: I’d say around about my fifth gig.

Why stand-up?
Phil: Because I wrote too many knob jokes to make it in theatre. Genuinely though, I started as a playwright, but then comedy seemed like a more open system with endless opportunities to workshop material. I can write a sketch about a man who’s addicted slugs on Sunday and perform and rewrite it three times by Friday. And, importantly, I don’t have to convince an actor or director that slug addiction makes sense. I just have to convince Martin, which is easy because he’s up for anything.

How did you get into comedy, Martin?
Martin: By following the stringent application processes of various London open mics. Previous to that I lived in Madrid, where I dabbled in improv and dipped my toe in stand-up for two gigs, the second of which was wonderful and the first I don’t wanna talk about.

How did you meet Phil?
Martin: We became buddies in the Shakespeare Society at Goldsmith’s College in south London. We were in two plays together in The Society, the first of which was a gender-swapped Twelfth Night and it was wonderful, the second was a queer Romeo & Juliet adaptation which I don’t wanna talk about.

Where & when did the idea for Loose Brie originate?
Phil: We first properly worked together in 2011 when Martin was in my play, Winfamy (“Makes the pits of hell look like a glamour disco” – Broadway Baby). Then we didn’t do anything for a while because Martin ran away to Spain (I’m over it). In 2014 we made some horrible little films together (took them down from Youtube because: horrible). Finally, in late 2015 Martin bullied me into trying stand up for the first time. By January 2016 I’d moved into his flat, we’d formed Loose Brie, and our fates were sealed.

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As besties, what do you guys do when you’re not working on comedy?
Phil:  Sit together in glorious silence.

You guys were in Edinburgh two years ago when we ‘laughed a lot.’ What have you got for us this year?
Martin: This year we’re going to solve every single problem in the entire world, everything from grief and relationship disputes to hiccups and sketch comedy. There’s a chance that it’s harder than we thought it was going to be, solving literally everything, and there’s a bigger chance still that it’s all away of covering up the genuine issues that we have with each other in our real life as best friends and flatmates.

That seems quite a very wide selection of materials – is there anything that does NOT get joked about by you guys?
Martin: Yeah, we tried to do more big-P political stuff this year because audiences kept asking us to solve brexit, but it’s just too real and not all that fun in our voice. Instead, we pack a short but pretty horrid period of nudity, which more or less emotes the traumatic experience of thinking too much about current politics anyway.

Would the show appeal to non-Brits at the Fringe & why?
Phil: It’s a highly physical sketch show, but all the context for the disgusting/distressing physical stuff we do is in what we say. It’s a much darker show without the words. So, to answer your question: yes.

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How is director John-Luke Roberts handling everything?
Martin: Oh, he’s great. I’m surprised he took us on at all after our first preview, which was a genuinely horrendous experience for literally everybody involved. But his notes are great, his moustache is great, and he’s letting us mess about onstage at both ACMS and his Terrible Wonderful Adaptations, which is great.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street…Hey guys!
Phil: Are you looking for something to do later! No sweat! But if you change your mind – no, I know but if you do change your mind though, our sketch show ‘Loose Brie Solve Everything’ is one of the Independent’s Picks of the Frin – okay, okay, I’ll – look I’m just saying it’s a great, big, weird, moving unforgettable show that I think you’ll really – sorrysorry I’ll go please just – ow – not the face – please – no please stop…


Loose Brie: Solve Everything

Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom

August 6-12, 14-26 (19.30)

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