Social Media

Grace Gallagher - STUFFED Edinburgh Fringe Interview

As part as our Edinburgh Fringe 2024 coverage we are running a series of interviews with artists and creatives that are taking part in the festival. 

In this interview we speak to Grace Gallagher about her show STUFFED.

Where did your arts career begin?
I studied drama at Liverpool John Moores University, and when I graduated felt the rug pulled under my feet. What I thought would be the bright start of my theatre career was quite proving different in the ‘real’ world, with doors and opportunities closed to me. In response, I took it upon myself to create my own work, and to create what I needed at that time. Ugly Bucket was founded, and our first show was a clowning, verbatim, music mash-up of the post-graduate experience, and the realities vs our expectations. After we showcased this work at the National Student Drama Festival, it has been a snowball ever since, taking Ugly Bucket from a group of friends making shows in their bedrooms to a multi award winning, national touring company.

What can you tell me about your show?
STUFFED is an impactful and dynamic theatrical production by Ugly Bucket Theatre, tackling the critical issue of food poverty in the UK. The show is rooted in our experiences volunteering at food banks during the pandemic, where we witnessed the profound need and systemic failures firsthand. STUFFED combines verbatim testimony, physicality, clowning, and original electronic music to create a visually and sonically compelling performance. It's designed to educate, confront, inspire, and unite audiences, encouraging them to take action against food poverty.

How would you describe the style of the show?
The style of STUFFED is an eclectic and anarchic blend of clowning, physical theatre, verbatim storytelling, and original electronic music. It's a feast for the senses, combining humor with serious social commentary. The performance is visually spectacular, using choreography, slapstick, and dynamic sound design to engage the audience. Despite its serious subject matter, the show is unrelentingly hilarious and uses the energy of clowning to make the themes accessible and engaging.

How have you approached developing the piece?
The development of STUFFED was a year-long process that began with our work at food banks across the UK. We built relationships with volunteers and clients, gathering personal testimonies that form the backbone of the show. Our creative process involved interweaving these authentic stories with our unique style of physicality and clowning. We experimented with how to blend verbatim testimony seamlessly with choreography and music, ensuring the performance was both entertaining and thought-provoking. The result is a show that balances raw honesty with dynamic theatrical elements, creating a powerful and engaging experience.

How do/will you prepare yourself for a run at the Fringe?
Preparing for a run at the Fringe involves both practical and creative steps. Practically, we ensure all logistics are in place, from travel and accommodation to marketing and scheduling. Creatively, we focus on refining the performance, conducting intense rehearsals to perfect the timing and integration of all elements—physicality, music, and storytelling. We also prepare mentally and physically for the demands of performing daily, maintaining our energy and enthusiasm throughout the run. Engaging with the Fringe community and participating in pre-show activities help us stay connected and inspired. Ultimately, we aim to be fully prepared to deliver an unforgettable and impactful performance to every audience.

Other than the show, what’s something you’re looking forward to doing in Edinburgh this year?
Apart from performing STUFFED We look forward to exploring diverse performances, connecting with creatives and to leave feeling inspired for our next chapter.

What keeps you inspired?
Our inspiration comes from the real-life stories and experiences we encounter. The resilience and strength of individuals facing hardship motivate us to use our art as a platform for change. The collaborative and supportive spirit within Ugly Bucket Theatre also fuels our creativity. Additionally, seeing the impact our work has on audiences and knowing that it can inspire action and awareness keeps us driven and passionate about our craft.

What do you hope an audience takes away from seeing the show?
We hope that audiences leave STUFFED with a deeper understanding of the severity of food poverty and the systemic issues that contribute to it. We aim for them to feel a mix of emotions—entertained, confronted, moved, and inspired to take action. 

Where can audiences see the show?
Audiences can see STUFFED at Pleasance Above, located at The Pleasance Courtyard, during the Edinburgh Fringe 2024. The show will be performed daily at 14:25 for the duration of the festival. Every show is captioned with Audio Description also available. Alongside this, we will be hosting a food donation point in the Pleasance Courtyard, alongside running action based panels throughout the festival. We are thrilled to bring this powerful and dynamic performance to the Fringe and look forward to engaging with our audiences there.

You can get tickets for STUFFED from

You can follow Ugly Bucket Theatre on X @uglybucket and on Instagram @uglybuckettheatre

Post a Comment


Theme by STS