Edinburgh Fringe Q&A: Sophie Craig

The performer discusses her debut play I Love You, Now What?, a heartwarming and raw look at grief and love's place within it

feature (edinburgh) | Read in About 5 minutes
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I Love You, Now What?
Photo by Alex Brenner
Published 01 Aug 2023

Tell us about your show and what audiences can expect?

I Love You, Now What? is really funny, equally heartbreaking, honest and raw. It explores the question: ‘Can love survive when someone dies?’

Audiences can expect to laugh and cry and leave knowing the power of love. Ultimately I hope they leave with hope.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your work, both in terms of creation andperformance?

I tend to draw inspiration from observing humans and applying my own experiences and emotions to the creation and the performance. I think the best things come from truth, so to write and perform from there, in some aspect, always allows for something special, that will hopefully resonate with the audience.

Looking at this production, how would you say it links to previous work personally and thematically?

For me, as a performer this is something quite new for me. I have been either doing comedy and playing characters or recently I have had the amazing opportunities to play amazing strong women in period pieces in film. So to be able to now be on stage, performing something I have written and something people haven’t had the opportunity to see me do before is amazing. It’s also a little of my own story, so I’m excited to share a little of my soul with everyone.

What do you find special about this work and why do you think there’s still an appetite for it?

Grief isn’t a new theme covered in theatre. But what I have never seen done, is a glimpse into the effects grief has on our intimate relationships. It affects those so much and it’s not talked about. I Love You, Now What? also covers anticipatory grief, something I haven’t seen either. The play is not only about sadness, but also about love, hope and resilience. It shows how grief can affect different people in different ways, and how it can bring them closer or push them apart. It also touches on some important issues such as mental health, family dynamics and social expectations. It weaves together tragedy and comedy. The reactions from the previews we had in London this April cemented how much we still need to talk about this. The play makes you feel so deeply. I think there will always be an appetite for theatre that evokes raw, human reactions and that’s what makes I Love You, Now What? special.

Why is this an important story to tell?

It’s working class, fresh, raw and full of heart and hope. It also covers the importance of bereavement counselling and encourages people to have open conversations around grief. Grief is the consequence of having loved. And I hope we all have felt love. Therefore it is something inevitably we will all have to face. I Love You, Now What? stares down the human condition and helps us realise that grief is just the love we are left with. It is emotional, engaging and meaningful, and a powerful reminder to cherish and celebrate the people we love.

What would you like audiences to take away from seeing this production at the Fringe?

I hope they leave having experienced something unique, touching and special and with a wider understanding of the human condition. I want them to laugh, cry and love hard. But ultimately, hope.

Do you tend to take inspiration from events happening in the world around you in terms of your work? Do you think artists have a responsibility to respond to what's happening?

I do! For sure! The play, everything I’m working on at the moment and even in my comedy! I think we do have a responsibility! I love that as creatives and actors we have the opportunity to hold up a mirror to society and the world and we should never stop doing that.

How do you feel about the current arts landscape in your country and your part in it? Does it excite you and inspire you to keep pushing the boat out?

It’s tough, I won’t lie. And it’s easy to want to give up. It isn’t fair. But what excites me is that I will continue to keep pushing the boat out, and if we all keep doing that, we will keep pushing down those doors to make way for us all.

Why are arts festivals such as the Fringe so important for international exchange?

For the above. For minorities, the marginalised and working class artists, it gives us opportunities, which is something scarce. It gives us a platform and a chance. There are so many incredibly talented people out there who just don’t get the chances others do through no fault of their own. These festivals can give people that.

Have you got your eye on any other shows that are part of the programme?

So so many! I have a whole list that I’ve lost count of! There are so many shows I want to see! I’m so excited! I love the Fringe! Two I can recommend are Recreate’s two other shows Summer Camp For Broken People and Blueprints.

What’s next for you and how are you feeling about the future in general?

I'm excited! I’m not sure what is next! I hope we can do more with the play and that this is just the start for it! I’ll keep working on my comedy platforms and I have some TV/film scripts being developed and have written a children’s book to help little ones with grief, and I hope to get some lovely acting jobs! Just keep going I guess! Haha!

How can Edinburgh audiences keep up with you beyond the festival?

On my socials @itssophiecraig across platforms or on my comedy pages @shesnotfunny on Facebook/instagram and @shesnotfunnytiktok