This Sunday sees Fiona Bratherton’s first foray into spoken word at the Tringe, with her show ‘Somme Like It Hot (Or How I Learned To Pack Up My Troubles And Love The War)’.
Focusing on her family’s obsession with the First World War and her childhood visiting visiting battlefields, cemeteries and museums on the Western Front, the show concentrates on the weird aspects of her situation, as well as how it affected her as she became an adult.
Speaking to Fiona, she said: “I chose to do the show after spending an evening regaling my friend’s dad with my stories of ‘battlefielding’.
“He seemed to find it hysterical and suggested I make it into a stand up routine. Being a shameless attention hog, this thought lingered in my mind until, one night, I drunkenly decided that I could do it.
“I am refraining from calling it ‘stand up’ just in case it isn’t actually funny and I have to ramp up the more tragic aspects of the act to keep the audience’s attention”.
Fiona’s spoken word act is accompanied by a slideshow that features her own illustrations, helping tell the story of her family and her experiences.
“I’m not sure where my family’s obsession with the war came from – my mother is from a military background and my guess is, it came from her and the rest of us went along with it.
“It’s a fairly all-consuming hobby – my parent’s house has a World War One Lee Enfield rifle hanging above the fireplace, and is full of books, medals, pictures of the war.
“My mother does her own spoken word talks on the research she has done on a local war memorial, but, unlike me, she doesn’t spend most of hers humiliating her family and undermining her upbringing!”
I also spoke to Fiona about Preston’s creative scene, she said: “I think there’s a lot going on in Preston, more than maybe people realise. I think what the Tringe does is amazing, very few places have anything like it and it’s all down to the hard work of a few people.
“I also know a lot of people involved in Screaming Theatre, who work hard to put on a lot of brilliant productions around Preston throughout the year.
“It’s just getting the word out to people about the varied things that are going on, I suppose. All Preston really needs is more places for people to exhibit their artwork, maybe in pubs or something, somewhere less formal than a gallery for those who are early on in their career”.
Somme Like It Hot plays at the Adelphi, 5pm, Sunday 24 July. Check out the full Tringe schedule here.