Thursday, 12 July 2012

Third Fringe Festival date for 'Rom Com' local girl

Local actress Lizzy Mace and Juliette Burton in Rom Com Con
Clearly a glutton for punishment, local actress Lizzy Mace is taking a touring show which enjoyed breakthrough success at last year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival back to Scotland's capital next month.

Rom Com Con asks its audience: have you ever watched a romantic comedy and wondered "Could that actually happen in real life?" Lizzy and Juliette Burton have. And what's more, they've decided to find out.

They've been touring the show for some time now, inviting theatre goers to join them as they try talking to coma patients (While You Were Sleeping), standing on street corners (Pretty Woman) and going on a date with a guy whose paddling pool they used to play in (Bridget Jones's Diary) - all in an attempt to find The One.

Do the rom coms hold the key to finding true love? Or are they all just one big con?

Actress Lizzy Mace. Photo: John Cannon
"We had such a successful run with Rom Com Con that we have decided to take it back again this year," Lizzie told virtual-lancaster, "in a re-worked and re-written form, along with a totally new show, Heartbreak Hotel, a cathartic comedy chat show where we will be inviting guests from across the Fringe to come in and share their take on heartbreak, heartache and the heartwarming moments that make it all worthwhile."

As one of the breakthrough shows at Edinburgh Fringe 2011, playing for three weeks at Medina, Lothian Street, Rom Com Con was a big success, attracting huge audiences. There was standing-room only for 18 out of 19 performances and even with extra chairs added, they regularly packed 100 people into their 60-seat venue, with many choosing to stand when there were no seats left.

The show gained great reviews, interest from international and national festivals, tour managers and TV companies and Lizzie tells us the show is being enjoyed by a wide range of people, both men and women, young and old.

"Even a stag party of 12 lads loved it," she reveals. "We had unanimously positive reactions from audience members saying that they’d been given hope, confidence and felt uplifted."

Both Rom Com Con and Heartbreak Hotel will be getting road tested in London before the Fringe, as part of a pre-Fringe Festival comedy marathon at The Bedford in Balham, at the end of this month.

Lizzy Mace studied at Cambridge and went on to train in acting at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Following her performance as Mrs Smith in The Bald Prima Donna at the New Players’ Theatre, she was invited to take part in The Sitcom Trials at Leicester Square Theatre. She has previously played to sell-out audiences with comedy sketch groups Moulin Exes, Messrs Comedy and improvisers The Amazing Spectacles and is now building an impressive list of stand-up gigs for a new comic.

Since making her debut on the London open-mic circuit in January this year she has already performed spots at the Adelaide Fringe and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Juliette Burton. Photo: Helen Bartlett
Lizzy and Juliette met as actor-members of the Cambridge scriptwriting forum, WRiTEON! and began writing together at a stand-up comedy workshop in 2010. Lizzy's solo show, Crush, co-written by Juliette, was well-received by reviewers and audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe 2010.

Since discovering a shared love of all-things-confused, and a shared confusion of all-things-love, a light-hearted romp through the rom coms was the natural choice for their first offering as a double-act.

In September 2011, Rom Com Con was invited to take part in the Scipmylo Festival in Shoreditch. In October 2011 Mace and Burton teamed up with two other award-winning Edinburgh acts to present “Fresh From The Fringe” at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden.

Mace and Burton are now working on a screenplay of the play with an established film producer, with further announcements regarding this development coming soon.

At Brighton Fringe 2012, Mace and Burton won an Argus Angel award for excellence and were 'Top Nominees' for Best Comedy at The Latest Festival Awards.

Heartbreak Hotel, the girls new show, is intended as a "cathartic comedy chat show" exploring heartbreak, heartache and those heart-warming moments that make relationships all worthwhile.

Heartbreak Hotel guests will be asked to contribute advice for getting over heartbreak to a special guestbook, which at the end of the run will be auctioned off in aid of the mental health charity, Mind.

- Performances:

London: July 27th. 6.30pm - Rom Com Con, 7.45pm - Heartbreak Hotel at The Ballroom at The Bedford in Balham, London. Tickets Free
Box Office: 0208 682 8940
Web: www.thebedford.co.uk

Edinburgh: August 2012
- 1.15 pm for Rom Com Con at Canon's Gait Inn, Edinburgh from August 4th to 26th (not Tuesdays). Tickets Free
- 7.30 pm for Heartbreak Hotel at Buffs Club, West Register Street, Edinburgh from August 4th to 25th (not Tuesdays). Tickets Free

• More about the show at: http://romcomcon.com

• Follow Mace and Burton on Twitter: @MaceAndBurton



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