It’s Only Words – a comedy show in Chinese for people who don’t speak Chinese at all – has gained four star reviews. The Fringe Review said “Highly Recommended Show” while Mumble Comedy also gave it four stars.
Louise’s unique show is based on the idea that only 7% of communication is verbal. It’s Only Words experiments with the remaining 93%. You’ll understand it, but you won’t know why.
Described by Reay as “my first ever show where the audience will literally have no idea what I’m talking about”, It’s Only Words plays with the audience’s preconceptions about humanity and communication through a mix of clowning and stand up. Reay will range over some very familiar territory – family, sex and relationships – in what to many Fringe goers will be a very unfamiliar language.
“At the Confucius Institute for Scotland we have taught several thousands of people how to understand and speak Chinese but we know that there are still people who find the idea of learning Chinese intimidating. We love the idea of introducing people to the Chinese language through Louise’s show which shows that even non speakers, can understand and enjoy the language in context – and it’s fun!”
Professor Natascha Gentz, Director of the Confucius Institute for Scotland
“It might sound strange” says Reay, “but people have been performing comedy in this way for centuries. This work is a nod to the medieval tradition of ‘grammelot’ where travelling performers used an expressive physical language to communicate.
“The show is based on my research through making documentaries with the most marginalised members of society, such as the elderly and illegal immigrants, so often isolated due to communication barriers, and with the deaf community who told me the deaf are so in tune with our body movements it’s almost impossible to lie to them!”
Louise read Modern & Classical Chinese at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London before working as a documentary maker for the BBC and Channel 4, making programmes with Chinese copper cowboys in Africa and illegal Chinese immigrants in the UK. Other credits include the BBC1 Panorama special Don’t Cap My Benefits, the C4 series on immigration, Do You Speak English? And BBC2’s study of inequality, The Super-Rich and Us.
In addition to developing her Chinese language skills, Louise has been performing stand-up since age 16, initially training with Jill Edwards (Brighton Komedia) before moving into physical comedy working with Phil Burgers (Doctor Brown), Eric Davis(Red Bastard) and Gerry Flanagan, who directs Its Only Words.
Fringe Venue 27:
The Small Kirk, Just The Tonic @ The Community Project, 86 Candlemaker Row, EH1 2QA
Dates: 6-30th August (not the 18th)
Duration: 1 hour
Price: In advance £5 or PWYW
To guarantee your seat please book in advance via the Fringe box office.