Ivy and Maurice Macabre are demonic ten year-old twins created by Nic Lamont and Adam Rhys-Davies. Having diced their way through BBC3 and BBC Radio 4 audiences, they’re bringing two different shows to the Fringe. We chatted to them about their new shows, their love of all things deranged, and their comedy heroes. From a safe distance, of course.
Can you tell us about your shows and why people should come to see them?
This year we have two shows on alternate days! Playtime features Maurice and Ivy Macabre, two demonic ten-year-olds who pull the audience into their ghoulish games and relive their most notorious kills. Crime Doesn’t Play is a comedy-crime-thriller play which sees two cops hot on The Twins’ trail. You should come and see these shows if like your comedy dark, yet with a very playful, mischievous edge. If you’re a horror or crime fan– even better!
Why have you decided to split your run between two shows?
We created Crime Doesn’t Play back in October for the London Horror Festival. It’s a new direction for us as it’s a comedy play rather than the more sketch-like shows we’ve created in the past. It mainly focusses on two new characters, detectives McKeith and Jones. We performed Playtime at the Brighton Spiegeltent and wanted to give it that dark cabaret circusy feel. In it The Twins are the main focus. We got excited about doing two shows with very different styles that still complement each other – there’s also crossover references in both. We liked the idea that you could just see one as a stand-alone, or see them both as an extended version!
What is about the ghoulish and the horrific that fascinates you, and how do you put that into a comedic setting?
We’re both huge horror movie fans and love bringing this into our work. Fear brings people to the edge of their senses and there’s great fun to be had in making people jump and then making them laugh. The Twins have always been playful, oddly likeable characters and I think it’s this naïve charm that allows them to quite literally get away with murder in ‘Playtime’. ‘Crime Doesn’t Play’ on the other hand parodies those gritty TV crime dramas and we’ve had a lot of fun with those clichés. It also includes some genuine scare moments… but I won’t tell you too much about those…
Who are your comedy heroes and how have they influenced you?
The League of Gentlemen really lead the way for comedy horror. I particularly love the sinister small town psychology of Royston Vasey, and we too like to create characters that are seemingly normal, but have dark secrets. Alternative sketch shows like Jam and Big Train are also influences. We also love bringing musical, more cabaret style comedy into our shows and so acts like Frisky & Mannish and Bourgeois & Maurice really float our combined boat.
What are the best and worst aspects of the Fringe?
The best thing is reaching out to new audiences – we’ve been so fortunate already in previewing these shows with people getting in touch over Twitter and Facebook to tell us how much they enjoyed them! It’s a brilliant feeling to know new ideas have gone well. The worst thing is flyering in the rain. Especially if, like us little goths, your eyeliner is in danger of running…
Who else are you looking forward to seeing at the Fringe? Any hidden gems that deserve more attention?
Two first time Edinburgh shows that previewed at Vault Festival earlier this year have really got our attention! Lucy Farrett’s LadyFace (Assembly, 17.45) is hilarious comedy character romp and Holly Morgan’s Seven Crazy Bitches (Assembly, 19.00), brilliant singing impression comedy – we highly recommend them both!