Many years ago my friend Dylan asked me to, or maybe I suggested it, photograph his fledgling theatre production in the Hen and Chickens pub in Highbury. I did. That enterprise became Showstoppers! The Improvised Comedy Musical.
Sound terrifying? I dare you to experience the genius. I am not a musicals fan. I can stand them, but I am not the type of person like Dylan to opt for watching one when there are plenty of other films on offer which do not feature singing at key emotional moments.
Enter Lucy Trodd. She with most of the original cast continues to perform. Since their first days in the Hen and Chickens Pub, The Showstoppers have played the West End of London, Broadway in New York City, picked up an Olivier Award, and regularly sold out the Pleasance largest venue at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017.
IN SHORT THEY ARE BADASSES.
I went to Folkestone where Lucy and her Showstopper of a husband Oliver and their son live. What awaited me was more than I could have hoped for.
Aside from a bubble bath, a big comfortable bed, and a superb meal, we had charm, conversation, and a charming and curious child (who started my motorbike).
Then aside from Lucy Trodd who is one of the funniest people I know, Julie Clare just happened to be staying at the house on the same day. She is a legendary character, knitter and a former full time Showstopper!, who now warms the bench, as she puts it because, she has made the full time transition to producing. Just a warning, if she is at your show and bored, she will knit.
Weird cosmic connection aside: The loop scarf (please insert correct technical name) she is wearing, was knitted by Stephen who I first met in Iceland through Ragga Eriks. This came up when I tried to steal the scarf and is completely out of association. Sometimes the world feels small and beautiful especially when you spend time with people like these.
Check out the Showstoppers here.
Lucy Trodd here with her genius comedy partner Ruth Bratt (pictured far right).