Hugs achieved: x2
Are Bec Redsell and Daria Smith best friends in real life like their onstage personas Frankie and Sal? “YEAH WE ARE”, they both scream with enthusiasm. Chatting to the pair about their maiden Melbourne Fringe Festival show ‘Making it Rain’, Bec and Daria talk about the “long process” of bringing the show to Melbourne. The pair went to university together, but knew they wanted to work together even before they were best friends. Bec describes being drawn together due to their similar interests, including a mutual love of The Mighty Boosh.
As demonstrated by their mutual adoration and near obsession with the television program, Bec and Daria’s sense of humour complement one another. “I like more of the absurd, weird, dark humour” says Daria. “I like whimsical humour…there’s a lot of my mum in me, I don’t like crude humour….or too much swearing. I don’t find it as funny, witty or as interesting”, says Bec. “Frankie and Sal are quite similar to us…but exaggerated a lot”, comments Daria.
The pair “spent all last year just writing” and “ended up writing nine scripts for Frankie and Sal” remarks Bec. Each instalment of Frankie and Sal is episodal but not necessarily “a chronological thing”. Bec and Daria have performed three of the episodes so far in Brisbane, which have received positive responses. Frankie and Sal has provided the “foot in the door” for the performers but at the same time, has helped build an eager audience who want to see more. Punters have become familiar with Frankie and Sal as well as other recurring characters like the infamous stonefish. “I am very distrusting of stonefish”, says Daria. “I’m not crazy I promise...but I will eventually take them down”.
Bec and Daria have big plans for their production company the ‘Electric Fish Arts Company’, aside from possible stonefish merchandise opportunities. “We are big on people experiencing theatre, and not just watching it”, says Bec. The pair want audiences to “engage their inner child” and become “part of the world”. Daria describes their show as a “fun night out” that will give audiences a break from political commentary and be something “different” that also features some unique props. “I made a fly head, I made a foot… I make most of the props, I made a tooth as well”, Daria says excitedly before adding “I have a lot of cardboard at my house”.
“When we booked Melbourne Fringe, it was definitely a goal we have had for a long time”, says Bec. Though she notes, “it feels pretty much the same as working in Brisbane”. The pair both agree that the Melbourne crowds were enthusiastic. “Once they (the Melbourne audience) get into the room, they’re generally a lot more willing to go along with it…we almost didn’t have to invite them to say things”, says Daria. “We have a lot of big ideas” such as taking Frankie and Sal “on the Fringe circuit”, she continues. While they wouldn’t say no to turning their characters into a television show like their beloved Mighty Boosh, both are relishing the opportunity to create art no matter the medium or format.
Frankie and Sal’s 2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival is over but you can follow them on Facebook for information about their upcoming shows.