Flat & the Curves are a musical comedy group (supergroup even, given their individual successes) formed during lockdown by Katy Baker, Issy Wroe Wright, Arabella Rodrigo, and Charlotte Brooke. Now unleashed upon stages with real-life audiences, they bring their brand of feminist, frequently filthy cabaret comedy ‘Divadom’ to the Fringe for a full run after teasing a work-in-progress in 2022. The quartet tell us about their show, the high of performing at the Fringe, and the low of trying to fund it. 

Can you tell us about ‘Divadom’?

When we found out we were performing at The Pleasance’s Queen Dome, we thought the name ‘Divadom’ seemed right.

As a comedy girl-group we like to explore feminist themes with our songs. We had been discussing the word ‘diva’ and its negative connotations of describing strong assertive women. Our show is about taking ownership of patriarchal labels. We took inspiration from the musical divas we admire, whether that be operatic prima-donnas, ’90s Brit-pop girl bands, or ’80s rock goddesses, writing songs that emulate their music and then putting in a funny feminist twist.

Flat & the Curves formed during lockdown. How did you get together, and was the group always intended to be a touring group when restrictions lifted, or was it a coping mechanism that got out of hand?

We formed with the intention of touring the shows. Lockdown gave us the unique opportunity to plan and write the show. We would meet up in each other’s gardens and try out different harmonies and styles (much to the annoyance of our neighbours). We had a lot of songs that didn’t make the cut, as they were probably written as a coping mechanism. Some were pretty dark…

You’re all hugely experienced performers who are individually successful. But with four divas in one group how easy is it to keep a balance of personalities? The song writing and arrangement process must be interesting?

People think, ‘It must be hard working in an all-female environment’, but that’s so far from the truth. We all have strong personalities, and are very different people, but have the same goals in mind. Everyone has their strengths and we divide up the roles accordingly. Issy for instance, has experience with producing so she takes a lot of that side of things. The writing is a collaborative effort between the entire group; someone could think of an idea for a song and then it gets explored and expanded between us. We then discuss what genre we think would best bring out the comedy, i.e. an opera song about porn or a beat poem about a hangover, etc. The lyrics are then put together mainly by Katy, and the music is mainly composed by Charlotte.

This is your full debut Fringe show as a group after a shorter run last year. What are your hopes and expectations for August?

This year is all about getting our name out there. Last year we performed a short run at The Stand, which we loved. It’s a really brilliant group to work with. We’ve journeyed down to The Pleasance this year to be within the throng of the Fringe partygoers. Our show is a big knees-up and we think our new space will really work for this.

What for you are the best and worst things about the Fringe?

The whole vibe of Edinburgh in August is electric, it’s full of creativity and energy! We absolutely love it. It feels like time doesn’t exist, 4am is 9pm is 3pm. The worst part about the Fringe is the sheer expense of it all, which can be pretty discouraging and frankly, divisive. We didn’t know that we would be able to do it at the beginning of the year. Luckily we have been hugely helped by the Fringe’s Keep it Fringe Fund, sponsorship from Leicester Square Theatre, and we’re also very appreciative of our brilliant promoters, Gag Reflex. The cost of getting to the Fringe is overwhelming, particularly accommodation. Now that we’ve found somewhere to live, it’s all about getting our show on the road and enjoying the journey.

Beside ‘Divadom’, can we expect to see you performing elsewhere during August?

We are performing short sets in a few cabarets around the Fringe, including Chortle’s ‘Fast Fringe‘, and ‘Forth on the Fringe‘. But if you want the full Flat & the Curves experience you have to get down to our full-length show!

Are there any other acts at the Fringe that you would recommend audiences see?

Yes, lots! And we’ll give our recommendations of shows we’ve seen at the end of our show. A few acts that we’ve seen and highly recommend are: Lorna Rose Treen: ‘Skin Pigeon’, and Sooz Kempner: ‘Y2K Woman’.

Divadom‘ runs from Wed 2 to Sun Aug 2023 at Pleasance Dome – Queen Dome at 21:50