Interview: Head penguin Rafe Watts is an EdFringe junkie

Rafe Watts as Parker, head of the penguins barbershop quartet, in Love Birds
Rafe Watts as Parker, head of the penguins barbershop quartet, in Love Birds

Rafe Watts as Parker, head of the penguins barbershop quartet, in Love Birds

As the Love Birds cast tread the boards in front of the Scottish public for the first time today at Pleasance Courtyard in Edinburgh, we catch up with the ring-leader of our penguin barbershop quartet, Parker (a.k.a. actor Rafe Watts).


 

Tell us more about your character.

Parker is the leader of the “quack pack’. He’s the voice of reason amongst the chaps, and the one they all look up to. Though he does often put his foot in it!

What’s your best anecdote from rehearsals?

Having a very long and heated debate about the American way of saying “Budgie bourgeois” versus the English way of saying it and why it doesn’t rhyme with macaw when you say it in an English accent. There was no satisfactory outcome.

What have you learned so far from being part of Love Birds?

How hard it is to sing in a barbershop quartet! The harmonies are all so close and it feels so wrong but sounds so good!! The music is beautiful.

This is your fifth time performing at the Edinburgh Fringe. What keeps you coming back?

Yes, I used to come with my amateur company every year. Before Love Birds, the last show I did in Edinburgh was I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! at Greenside in 2011. I also did Godspell at C Plaza, The Buddy Holly Story at Sweet ECA and A Slice of Saturday Night at Augustine’s.

Why do I keep coming back? Because I’ve never experienced anything quite like it! There’s a tangible atmosphere here, a unique buzz that is just so exciting and brilliant. It’s also a brilliant chance to see a lot of good theatre and comedians and to experience the Scottish culture.

The Albanach on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

The Albanach on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

What advice would you give to performers making their Edinburgh debut getting through the whole month?

Enjoy it!

What advice would you give to audiences to make the most of their Edinburgh visit?

See as much as you can – even if you don’t like the look of it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. There’s so much good theatre in Edinburgh, but there are also great entertainment shows like circus acts, music groups, magicians and so on. It’s all worth seeing!

Any favourite Edinburgh bars or restaurants?

The Albernach Pub on the Royal Mile. Best full Scottish breakfast ever.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Squark!

Love Birds runs 12.35pm daily 5-31 August (except 19 August) at the Pleasance Courtyard during the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe. BOOK TICKETS HERE.