University theatre company takes to stage

Bethan Ratcliffe and Matthew Malone in Funny You Should Ask Theatre Company's Laughing Wild at the Edinburgh Fringe
Bethan Ratcliffe and Matthew Malone in Funny You Should Ask Theatre Company's Laughing Wild at the Edinburgh Fringe

Making their Edinburgh debut are Funny You Should Ask, a new theatre company comprising eight members of Sheffield University Theatre Company.

They are presenting Laughing Wild, a surreal two-hander by Christopher Durang in which a woman attacks a man in a New York supermarketi. This action triggers a course of events in which both The Woman (Bethan Ratcliffe) and The Man (Matthew Malone) begin to examine their troubled lives in one of the busiest cities of the modern world.

It soon becomes clear that these two strangers share a common dream - although not in the way that anyone could possibly have guessed.

“It’s an Eighties play and while it’s of its time everyone is fascinated with America,” says producer Laura Elliott. “These are two people trying to survive in the metropolis.”

Funny You Should Ask Theatre has staged two productions in their home city, Sheffield, in the run-up to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The first, The Last Five Years, was a sell-out, and the second, Lord of the Flies, drew a large audience of schools to watch the recreation of an A-Level text on-stage. They also previewed Laughing Wild at the Lantern Theatre.

Because of exams there have been two directors working on the play, Matthew Woodhead and Tom Lodge.

So what are the responsibilities of the producer? “Sorting out the venue and things like insurance and legals. I am interest in most things to be honest. I get to look at every aspect of it,” says Elliott.

She has previously worked as a costume designer for three shows with Sheffield University Theatre Company, and also serves as publicist.

Next year she will be writing and co-directing a theatre piece for Headlock Theatre alongside Tom Lodge. Laughing Wild is at the Space on The Mile from August 19-24.