Sinful at Edmonton Fringe Festival

Sinful: 7 Comedy Shorts for 7 Deadly Sins

Upstairs at the Armoury (10310 – 85 avenue) August 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24


An interview with Carly Tarett

Carly Tarett in Sinful. Photo credit: Darren McGinn

Carly Tarett in Sinful. Photo credit: Darren McGinn

Describe your show in five words.
Seven, Sinful, Side-Splitting Sketches.

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

Using the seven deadly sins to explore what it is to be naughty, the show uses multiple character and scenarios to figure out just what makes us sin. From fit fighting group leaders keeping a gaggle of errant weightwatchers on the straight and narrow to a booze soaked lady with a peculiar passion, bickering criminals and a lazy singer, the show uses witty reflections mixed with fanciful characterisations in a funny, thoughtful way.

This is a one-woman show where you perform not just as multiple characters but in multiple skits. I can imagine that would start to feel a bit crazy after a few shows. What helps you stay grounded in each character and each skit?

It’s important in the job I do to resist the pitfalls of multiple personality disorder. When I first put these shows together it could be quite confusing to keep up with who does what, in which accent, and in which order. And the pieces where I play more than one character in a single sketch can be particularly taxing. But actually after a while, it does start to make sense. It becomes quite fun switching instantly between the different cast parts. Props and costumes help a lot as well, I just have to make sure I put the right thing on at the right time so I don’t get completely confused and end up in a heap on the floor. And also I’ve put music in-between the pieces so I don’t even need to remember which sin comes next, I just wait for the musical cue!

Sinful draws on the seven deadly sins – I know it may be hard to answer as the show’s writer and actor – but, which is your favourite to perform?

It’s hard to pick one because when you start to perform them they do become like your little offspring. And as we all know you are not allowed to have a favourite child in the family. *Cough* Lola. But if I was pushed perhaps Wrath is one of my favourite sketches. The combination of sweet Little Old Welsh Lady reading Little Red Riding Hood to a group of toddlers before the teacher leaves the room, and her letting rip on what she really thinks of the crimson tart is quite appealing. Perhaps here is where I should place the strong language warning.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

I’ve tried to use lots of reference and allusions to all sorts of ideas and writings about sin, from politics to Dante’s inferno, but have not shied away from using the ridiculous and dark, that will, with any luck, induce laughter and maybe make people think a little. There are songs in the show too. Hopefully this is the kind of show that will appeal to all kinds of people on lots of different levels. After all we are all sinners in some way. Well obviously I’m not but everyone else is. But perhaps leave the kids at home!

Bonus question: Any names you want to drop who have been involved in your show (Edmonton arts people or otherwise)?

When I performed Sinful in 2012 at the Edinburgh fringe festival (the largest arts festival in the world), I ended up chatting to a mountainous American gentleman whilst I was hand-billing. He came to watch Sinful that day. Then came back the next day to watch it again and told me he loved it and he’d been tweeting about it. He was in town doing his own stand-up show so he gave me a couple of free tickets and told me to come backstage and say hello afterwards. Martin Dockery was also in town doing the fringe so I invited him along with me. The show was pretty popular and apparently the guy had quite a few fans – about a thousand at the show that night! Before he gave me the tickets (and I Googled him) I had no idea who he was, but he turned out to be wrestling legend and super all-round lovely guy Mick Foley (aka Cactus Jack / Dude Love / Mankind). Prior to meeting him my knowledge of the wrestling world was limited to the days when my Grandma would be screaming encouragement at the telly as we sat watching British wrestling stars Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks battle it out the 90s, but I learnt quite a bit more about wrestling from Mick’s tales during the show.

The 33rd Edmonton International Fringe is August 14 – 24. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.

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