Binge Fringe Magazine

INTERVIEW: A Digital Pint with… Charlotte Anne-Tilley, showing us that she’s ‘Almost Adult’ at EdFringe 2023

Content Warning: Sexual Harassment

Looking to combine quick-witted character comedy with touching vulnerability, Charlotte Anne-Tilley lands at EdFringe next month with Almost Adult. The piece traces the life of Hope as she moves down South to London for the first time, following bright lights and big dreams. Things start to unravel quickly, however, as Hope’s new manager (at a Dinosaur-themed bar, nonetheless) starts to reveal an unsavoury, creepy attitude toward her.

All the while, her new housemate seems to hate her, offering little refuge. Exploring zesty coming-of-age themes alongside serious topics such as sexual harassment and vulnerability, this piece offers a fleeting, intriguing, and hopefully also hilarious glimpse into the hope-filled, sometimes hopeless feeling lives of young people finding their place in the world.

Catch Almost Adult at Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose (Snug) from Aug 2-13 (19:00). Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.

Jake: Hey Charlotte, your piece ‘Almost Adult’ is both a coming-of-age comedy and bold confrontation of sexual harassment in the workplace – tell us a little bit about what inspired that blend of themes and what made you decide to bring this story to the stage.

Charlotte: That’s a great question. The show is based on my real-life experience of workplace sexual harassment. It happened at a time in my life when I had just moved to London, and, as a northerner with no concept of London living, I kept getting into ridiculous scrapes.

I wanted to ask: what happens when workplace sexual harassment happens to someone who is at their most naïve and potentially vulnerable? I’m also a writer who enjoys fast-paced wit and comic characters. So, I wanted to get the funny fish out of water element into the first half of the narrative, before Hope realises what she’s up against.

Jake: The story takes on your move to the big city and the feelings that come along with it, as well as dealing with unwanted advances in the workplace. What are you hoping the audience takes away from it all?

Charlotte: I hope the audiences reflect on the impact that sexual harassment and systemic silencing of women can have on people. It can really harden people and force them to have a more cynical outlook.

However, I also want the audience to leave with hope for the future. With an awareness that we can band together and say no to corrupt workplaces.

And, in terms of the protagonist, Hope, I would like them to leave feeling like they have witnessed her grow up and adapt to the world she’s in. Knowing that she will be okay and that she’s gained maturity to live a sustainable life in London.

Jake: Tell us about your relationship with Edinburgh and the Fringe as this show returns to the festival for a second time – how are you feeling about it all now we are a month away?

Charlotte: I am so excited to return to the Fringe again this year. I started rehearsals with my comedy advisor, Elf Lyons, this week, and she has been pushing me to make the show funnier, bolder and more dynamic.

It’s brilliant to return with a show, as you have a whole extra year to rework and reinvent. Spending a lot of time with one show can be incredibly rewarding, and I think it can be the catalyst for a lot of growth for a writer-performer.

Also, the sheer wealth of creativity and talent at Fringe creates a buzz that propels us all forward and pushes artists to do their best work. Fringe was a joyous experience last year. I really felt that I found my voice as an artist, and I met my allies within the industry, creatives each with their own unique and thought-provoking shows.

Jake: Given the themes of Binge Fringe, if your show was a beverage of any kind (alcoholic, non-alcoholic – be as creative as you like!), what would it be and why?

Charlotte: Oooh, so in rehearsals, Elf Lyons, my comedy advisor, has been saying “Hope is Coca Cola, always remember she’s Coca Cola” in reference to the energetic, bubbly, excitable nature of the character. So, it would have to be Coke!

Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.

Jake Mace

Our Lead Editor & Edinburgh Editor. Jake loves putting together reviews that try to heat-seek the essence of everything they watch. They are interested in New Writing, Literary Adaptations, Musicals, Cabaret, and Stand-Up. Jake aims to cover themes like Class, Nationality, Identity, Queerness, and AI/Automation.

Festivals: EdFringe (2018-2024), Brighton Fringe (2019), Paris Fringe (2020), VAULT Festival (2023), Prague Fringe (2023-24), Dundee Fringe (2023)
Pronouns: They/Them