Camden Close-Up: Michelle Flower and Zena Barrie

Love Camden loves its local talent. We aim to celebrate everything cultural in the borough, from Hampstead to Kilburn, from the British Library to that little café around the corner - we are always out to show what Camden has to offer. As part of this we launched our Camden Close-Up series: interviews with artists, thinkers, entrepreneurs and downright interesting figures that live, work or are inspired by the borough.

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This month we spoke to Camden Fringe producers Michelle Flower and Zena Barrie! Camden Fringe Festival 2018, the 13th edition, takes place from 30th July till 26th August, with themes of #MeToo, LGBTQ, and mental health taking the forefront, reflecting what has been a groundbreaking year of social and political change for the UK. It involves 300 shows this summer across 23 venues!

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Michelle Flower

  1. What would you would do if you weren’t doing this? What would your parallel life look like?

I’ve always fancied being a postman, so in my parallel life I would probably wear shorts.

 

  1. What do you think is most important: luck, chance, opportunity or hard-graft?

I’m a huge believer in hard graft, but you’ve got to keep your eyes and mind open for those opportunities when they come along.

 

  1. What has been your most career defining moment to date and why?

Having a horrible time in 2006, which made me fall out of love with the Edinburgh Fringe and completely shifted focus onto setting up and making a success of the Camden Fringe.

 

  1. What are you most proud of and what are you least proud of……and why?

I’m really proud that we’ve managed to keep the Camden Fringe going over the last 13 years. This is the longest I’ve stuck with anything.

I’m least proud of my sugar addiction.

 

  1. Tell us a secret

One of this year’s Camden Fringe comedian’s (Becky Brunning) did work experience with us when we ran the Etcetera Theatre about 15 years ago.

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Zena Barrie

  1. What would you would do if you weren’t doing this? What would your parallel life look like?
    I'd definitely be a very successful pop star, I'm only 41 so it will probably still happen.

 

  1. What do you think is most important: luck, chance, opportunity or hard-graft?
    Imagination and the ability to think backwards.

 

  1. What has been your most career defining moment to date and why?
    Probably meeting Michelle Flower in 2000 working together at The Pleasance in Edinburgh, we’ve pretty much worked together ever since. Or realising that I wasn’t very good at having a boss.

 

  1. What are you most proud of and what are you least proud of……and why?
    I’m pretty proud of us getting the Camden Fringe up and running and keeping it going all this time, and we haven’t killed each other. What am I least proud of? Jacob Rees Mogg.

 

  1. Tell us a secret
    I love going to watch the shows that sound the most barmy.
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Despite running at the same time as The Edinburgh Fringe, the Camden Fringe festival is increasingly becoming the preferred option, with acts like Rhys James choosing Camden over the highlands this year.

Now in its 13th year, Camden Fringe has fiercely maintained a true fringe ethic of showcasing new work from big names and emerging acts at independent venues.

Tickets are now on sale for the Camden Fringe here: https://camdenfringe.com/ You can also find details of some Fringe events in our event listings page! lovecamden.org/events

Twitter: @camdenfringe

Facebook: /CamdenFringe

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