ED2015 Comedy ED2015 Interviews ED2015 Week0 Edition

LetLuce: Setting sail for another Fringe

By | Published on Friday 31 July 2015


LetLuce – aka Lucy Pearman and Letty Butler – garnered plenty of acclaim with their show ‘Show Pony’ last August, and now they return with a brand new outing called ‘Sea Men (A Naval Tale)’.
Though don’t be expecting to see it in the Cowgatehead venue – as the Fringe programme declares – because after the debacle that surrounded that big free show space earlier this year, the duo have decamped to Just The Tonic.
Few who have seen LetLuce perform have been able to resist comparisons with the Mighty Boosh, though there’s an assortment of other comedy influences in there too. And a very fetching fish costume. We brought LetLuce ashore to find out more.

CC: LAMDA, acting, comedy… Tell us the LetLuce story to date in slightly more than three words.
Letty: We met at LAMDA in 2007.
Lucy: Letty was wearing a furry gilet and I was scared of her.
Letty: Embarrassing. Anyway, we were cast opposite each other in a very gritty play called ‘Days Of Significance’, where we learnt two important things: we had good chemistry and Lucy doesn’t learn lines. We both did bits and bobs independently; I do quite a strong line in kids TV and Lucy’s a dab hand at touring plays in Spain. But generally speaking, work was sporadic and not particularly fulfilling. In 2012, we were cast as a couple of flowers in an advert by the absolute legend Steve Bendelack. He told us to get writing and take a show to Edinburgh. So we did.

CC: What’s going on in ‘Sea Men (A Naval Tale)’?
Letty: Not sure. If you find out let us know.
Lucy: Basically, it’s a story about an unlikely friendship between a deeply depressed Sea Captain and a massive fish. They embark on a voyage to River Island (not the shop, the place) and are accosted by a collection of curious characters en route.

CC: Why the nautical theme?
Lucy: Endless possibilities really. You can go anywhere on a boat.
Letty: Except Luxembourg.

CC: If people saw ‘Show Pony’ last year, how does the new show compare?
Letty: The main similarity is that there is a narrative; it’s not a sketch show. The characters are all completely new – apart from an old favourite. We were determined to be less prop and costume heavy this year, so predictably, we’ve got twice as much paraphernalia as we had for ‘Show Pony’. Hopefully the story is stronger in ‘Sea Men’… but it’s the same chaotic, surreal nonsense.
Lucy: It’s more stupid than ‘Show Pony’.
Letty: Fine.

CC: Who makes the costumes? I like them.
Letty: Phew! A wonderful woman called Helly McGrother made Fish. We met her on the aforementioned ad shoot when she transformed us into flowers. She made Eamonn The Pony last year too.
Lucy: All the others are self-sourced from glamorous places like eBay, Taiwan, previous bits of set, bedding, charity shops and lost property boxes.

CC: I’m probably going to compare you to the Boosh in my intro. Do you mind? How much have they inspired your comedy?
Letty: Well we’d be delighted; they’re smashing. Weird thing is, we hadn’t actually seen them until post ‘Show Pony’, when people started comparing us to them.
Lucy: I really liked ‘Luxury Comedy’ but I only watched it after we had made ‘Show Pony’.

CC: You were caught up in the Cowgatehead debacle earlier in the year. Are you ready to laugh about the whole thing yet, now you’re safely housed in Just The Tonic?
Lucy: No. Joking. I won’t lie, it’s been fairly stressful mainly because of money. Darrell – our Just The Tonic saviour – is a legend of the highest order and coped really well with my strops and our demanding behaviour. We really want fairy lights and a banner of us stuck in a bottle. He says he’ll think about it.
Letty: Thank God for Darrell. He’s been a total legend. Every time I think about what happened my fist clenches involuntarily and somewhere in Iceland a fairy dies.

CC: I like how you’ve curated your ad appearances onto your website? What would be your dream ad and why?
Lucy: Drinking strawberry milkshakes with Britney Spears OR we do have two banana costumes that we’ve never used so we could advertise bananas. Just lie down and talk about how great we are: “I’m such a lovely bright shade of yellow aren’t I?” and so on.
Letty: Well I mean I’m up for it.

CC: Other than possible banana ads, what are your plans beyond Edinburgh this year? I heard mention of a TV pilot?
Lucy: I want to go on holiday so much, and I want us to make a short film that we’ve written with the comedian Toby Williams. I think it will be good. And yes, we have written a TV pilot too, but we aren’t allowed to talk about it, OK?
Letty: Calm down. We’d quite like to do a snazzy London run if the show goes down well and we haven’t filed for divorce. And I’m definitely in the market for a holiday.
Lucy: Not with me.
Letty: No. But mainly I would like to make this pilot. Very much indeed.

‘LetLuce in Sea Men (A Naval Tale)’ was performed at Just The Tonic At The Caves at Edinburgh Festival 2015.

LINKS: let-luce.co.uk