Return to site

#Edfringe: Ladies in Waiting:

The Judgement of Henry VIII

Jessica McClellan, Actor.


































· Edinburgh Fringe,Fringe Theatre,Edinburgh Festival

Which performers have inspired you & how?

Denise Gough in People, Places and Things immediately springs to life. If I can be half as good as she is in fifteen years time, I can die happy. I'm also a massive Julie Walters fan. For general performance art, David Bowie!

I often say choosing a favourite gin is like choosing between my children (which is why I don't have any) - What's your desert island gin & why?

Bombay Sapphire--crisper and cleaner than all the others, I think!

Why Edfringe? What's the best bits?

I think as a drama geek it's basically paradise. Loads of amazing theatre from both seasoned pros and new blood, incredible comedy and the best atmosphere you can get in the UK. Best thing has to be stumbling across the unexpected. It happens all the time. Planning only gets you so far here.

Tell me about your show and why people should come and see it?

It's a play about Henry VIII after his death. He finds himself in a strange after world where he is confronted with his six wives--and they're not happy with him. He soon comes face-to-face with his legacy: that he is a king defined by women. If you like history, if you want to get to know the women behind the portraits, if you like new writing, and if you like girl power, this is for you.

How did you get into performing?

It all started with nativity plays at primary school, which led to drama clubs, which led to drama GCSE, which led to student theatre, which lead to the 2013 Fringe, which led to East 15 Acting School, which led to the here and now.

What do you love most about performing?

Moments when you can feel that you've connected with the audience--when you could hear a pin drop and you know that you've created something magical.

The Space on the Mile

And the worst bits?

TECH REHEARSALS! Oh, and line learning. It's always so great when you can finally get your script out of your hands.

Do you have any recommended reads for performers?

Year of the King by Antony Sher. Amazing book. It inspired me so much. Also, Shakespeare on Toast by Ben Crystal for people who like the Bard. It's a really accessible way of getting to grips with Shakespeare's language.

What are your Edfringe / Performing goals?

I just want Ladies in Waiting to get better with each performance. My goal is to keep the energy up so it's fresh every night.

What advice do you have for aspiring Edfringe Performers ?

Stay on top of your finances. Budget meticulously. Don't be afraid to ask for help. And give yourself plenty of time to work on your piece--it's cut-throat up here because there are so many shows. Have a premise that captures people, and don't take anything that you're not proud of.

If you were a gin or a gin cocktail which would you be and why?

An English Garden. I'm the only English performer in our show, surrounded by Americans, so I'm hyper-aware of my Englishness at the moment.

If you could share a Dry Martini with anyone who would it be?

JK Rowling. Hopefully once I'd bought her a martini she'd happily answer all the questions I still have about the Potter universe. And maybe give me her number and her lifelong friendship.

What's your pet Edfringe hate?

People walking out of shows that are not to their taste. Performers need your support--don't be rude!

If you aren't drinking Gin what is your tipple?

Red wine. It's warming and brings out good chat.

Ladies in Waiting, Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Any other pearls of wisdom or Edfringe rants?

Sleep more this year. You won't heed this advice, but you should.

Where else can I send our readers to find you online?

Our twitter! Handle is @LadiesInW8ting Give us a follow and we will make sure you don't lose your head.

What's the dates & venue for your Edfringe Show?

The Space on the Mile, Aug 5-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-27. BUY TICKETS HERE.

Get tickets to The Gin Whore Tour - enjoy tasting 4 gins & plenty of giggles at a venue near you!