The Clanger’s Priya Gill, chatted to Chiara, one half of the fabulously funny duo Roisin & Chiara, following their hilarious show, Wild At Heart at the Quarry Theatre’s Comedy Festival. You can read Priya’s review of the show here.
Friday night’s show at the Quarry was non-stop hysterical, how did you and Roisin find it?
Chiara: We always get nervous before a show, cos you get kind of adrenaline before a show which is a good thing, because it means you care. We really enjoyed the night, we really liked the audience and the room that we were in, it was snug, there was something very warm about the room in itself, and the layout. We actually liked the fact that there was under 20 people in the room. We actually prefer that in a way, because we’ve done the show a lot, to smaller numbers and bigger numbers and of course it’s great fun to have more people and for it to get raucous. At the same time, there’s something quite intimate about the show, because obviously we’re feeding off the audience quite lot there’s something about the number in Bedford that was just perfect we felt. We just really liked the vibe, and the fact that there were people of different ages, it just felt like a real mix.
It’s interesting that there was a sense of sexuality and sensuality to the performance.
Chiara: It’s funny, because the sheets that we put over our heads, they kind of look like vaginas, when we first did that, we had absolutely no idea that that’s what it looked like, that’s really not what we were thinking at all, we just wanted to transform into these Irish folk mystics . We thought capes, because that’s the easiest thing to make, get a sheet and cut a hole in it, it looks like a vagina and that we’re being born, then Roisin added the fringing, to make it a bit more clear. We have heard oh you guys seem quite sexy, there’s the dancing or the flirting with the audience…We’ve never personally experienced awkward moments, it’s always just been us making it awkard.
It seems like you’re poking fun at all the different sides of the female personality, but in an empowered sense.
Chiara: It’s such a surprise for us, Maybe we’re the typical profile of insecure actresses we’re like oh my good look at that chin, oh my god look at that camel toe…It is current, it is fun, we’re girls, hopefully it is empowered, but I think it’s sort of like an accident. We’re lucky, we’ve been bought up as empowered young women, it’s totally random luck. I don’t think we set out to make comedy that talked about that or represented that in any way, because we don’t just want to make comedy that’s about being a woman, so maybe that’s why it comes across that way.
Tell me more about you and Roisin, how did you meet?
Chiara: Roisin’s family is Irish, but she grew up in North London. I’m half-English and half- Italian; I grew up here until I was 8, my formative years were in Italy, but then I came back for University. I met Roisin’s brother when I was at University, he introduced us, he thought we’d get on, and we did. We trained at the same physical theatre school, masks and mime and clowning all of those are very much in what we do. We got on as friends really first and foremost, we just seem to really click, we felt really in balance with one another on stage; that we complement one another and can keep each-other at our best. It feels like we’re connected really symbiotic, we hang out loads, like all the time, I basically live at her house. We’re very much like sisters, that’s like a total blessing to find someone that you work well with, we know that it’s rare.
Tell me about your inspiration and influences?
Chiara: We grew up with Smack The Pony, Absolutely Fabulous, 90’s comedy. I grew up in Italy and was influenced by a lot of character comedians. We enjoyed being together on stage, we had a similar sense of humour, Roisin is more surreal in her writing and coming up with ideas, I’m more character based, together we mix that. We enjoy having a character, say like the posh girls, we really enjoy Made In Chelsea and all of those kind of things and putting a surreal twist on it, we really enjoy Noel Fielding, The Mighty Boosh, The League of Gentleman, all of those shows where it’s character comedy with a surreal twist and it’s really exaggerated with a grotesque twist, like character comedy but surreal, those are our inspirations I guess.
Considering you have so much fun together, does it seem like work?
Chiara: It would feel more like work if we got paid! We do have loads of fun, it does feel like work, we’ve got quite a lot of admin, promoting ourselves, making contacts, travelling, setting up tech. We’re starting to make a tiny bit of money, but nothing like a pay cheque!
So, what’s next
Chiara: When we come back from Italy, we want to do as many live shows as possible. Bedford was our first outside of London gig, we want to do that more. We just have to see who will take us before Edinburgh…Edinburgh has become insanely expensive, like everything. We basically got turned down, but we did find a venue that is interested in having the show…We’re gonna take the show back, we made it in Edinburgh last year, and we feel like now we’ve refined it, and we wanna see how it goes.
Find out upcoming live dates at here.