As we near the end of EdFringe 2023 we had one more chance to catch up with a performer for a digital pint in between the sleep deprivation and last minute scrambling to see shows. Happily Ever Poofter turns the traditional role of the Prince in Fairytale stories and turns it on its head – Rich Watkins is delivering an exciting queer look into the stories of our childhoods and having fun playing Prince in his smash-hit parody musical. We caught up with him to find out the story behind the queer heir to the Fairytale throne.
You can catch Happily Ever Poofter at PBH’s Free Fringe @ Legends (Upstairs) until August 26th at 14:20. Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.
Jake: Hey Rich! You’re bringing your show Happily Ever Poofter to EdFringe this week – tell us about the inspiration for a story about the only Gay Prince in the Kingdom.
Rich: After years playing the handsome but frightfully boring straight Prince in Pantos across the country, I decided enough was enough and set out writing my own, fabulous, queer fairytale. Like so many of us, I grew up with Disney films and a romanticised view of “one true love”. I there combined my love of fairytale and make-believe with my flair for the fabulous and insatiable enjoyment of hot gay sex and voila! Happily Ever Poofter was born!
Jake: The piece is a cabaret spectacular with musical comedy at its heart – tell us a little about what the audience can expect from the performance.
Rich: QUEER FABULOSITY of course! You will laugh, no doubt. You may well shed a tear. You probably won’t sing along, because although the show is packed full of your favourite Disney tunes, they’ve been hilariously reworked and rewritten to put our shared queer experience right at the centre of the narrative. What else? Iconic costume changes, a touch of audience participation, oh and glitter. There is obviously glitter.
Jake: The show reworks some musical classics into the story – tell us about your process of rewriting those tunes and what angle you’ve taken on them.
Rich: I first started writing parody musical numbers as part of Queer community events in London’s Soho in 2017. It was all fun and games until suddenly one of my parodies won me a competition and a headline slot at Pride in London, and I never looked back. Despite being an artistic creative type, I have quite a mathematical brain, and so finding the perfect parody to fit the rhythm and rhyme of the original song is a bit of a fun mental challenge. Like a Sudoku. But less boring and basic. And with more potential lawsuits!
Jake: Tell us about your relationship with Edinburgh and the Fringe – have you been before and how are you feeling about it all now we are so close?
Rich: This is my third time at Edinburgh Fringe so I feel quite at home here now. Also since last Edinburgh Fringe I toured several of the major Fringe festivals around the world with my other show Reclaiming Harry – and won awards at all of them! So I feel like Fringe is definitely the place for me!
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?
Rich: Hmmm… good question! I’ve decided to do a dry Fringe this year, so in solidarity with all the sober performers and creatives out there, I’m going to avoid the booze here… I’d say a fruity and fizzy concoction full of sugar and spice and all things nice. With a pink umbrella on the top and glittery rainbow frosting around the rim of the glass. Of course, licking the rim is optional, but highly encouraged!