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For the uninitiated, could you explain the story / synopsis of The Olive Boy to our readers.

The Olive Boy is a semi-autobiographical one man show, that follows a time in which my mum suddenly passed away and I was sent to move in with my, until that point, absent father. Whilst that does sound quite “heavy” I can assure you that The Olive Boy is full to the brim of comedy. I play a fifteen-year-old version of myself and with that comes plenty of jokes!

When did you decide to write The Olive Boy?

I began writing The Olive Boy just a little after my 19th birthday. I think looking back, I always knew that I eventually wanted to process my feelings/experiences/grief by turning them into a theatre show. However, I think it was only when I was 19 that I thought enough time had passed that I would be able to give justice to my story.

Who is the show for?

I’m aware that you’re never supposed to say “everyone” when you get asked a question like this. But truthfully, it’s hard not to. At its core the show is about grief and the “taboos” of speaking about it. Grief is a universal thing that we will all experience, but for some strange reason we never really talk about it. So in that way, I would say the show is for everyone. But it’s also for people who LOVE fringe theatre, comedy and crude/teenage humour. It’s also important to me that on this debut tour, we make it as accessible as possible to younger audiences and we’ve made tickets really affordable for that reason!

Did you always intend to perform the play yourself?

100%! There isn’t a universe in which I wouldn’t play “The Olive Boy”. Not only because I think the real me being on stage sharing my experience helps to really bring the audience into the story and share its authenticity. But, I also LOVE being on stage. That’s the joy of being the writer and a performer, you can write your stories and perform in them too!

Performing an extremely personal, crudely funny, and at times traumatic play over a run of shows must be emotionally draining, do you have any pre-show rituals, and how do you decompress afterwards?

Yes! It is very draining! But, whenever I’m on stage it feels like I’m doing the show for the first time! The energy from the audience always carries me through to the end. Typically, I do a little bit of meditation before the show to just relax and prepare me for the emotional state I need to get into for the show. Following the show, I love a Guinness. It’s a like a reward.

When did you realise that The Olive Boy was connecting with People?

If I’m honest, from the very first show. The energy in the room was electric! Laughing and crying, then laughing, then crying again! I truly felt like I made something quite special. And more so something for my mum to be proud of. There was a lot of friends and family in the audience, so I wasn’t sure if it was quite real! However, when taking it to the Edinburgh Fringe and performing to a (sold out) room of strangers every night, it was then I knew I had made something that people really connected with. Not only did the show sell out, woo, but I was getting some audience members coming back to see it another two, three, sometimes even four times!

Do you think The Olive Boy has comparators to any other play / film / TV show?

I would say it’s like a less disturbing Inbetweeners episode with lots and lots of heart! Even Sex Education (Netflix) and from an autobiographical sense with strong emotion and grief, I’d love to compare it to Baby Reindeer…what a show.

What’s next for The Olive Boy? Would you like to see a film Adaptation.

After this tour, a good well-earned rest! Then hopefully a nice run in London. TV/Film wise, who knows? Watch this space…