EVERY performer has a story about the Fringe. Whether it’s how badly or how successful their show was; how confident it made them or how it held them back but very few have had the experience Annabel Marlow had.

She was just 18 when she auditioned for a new musical heading to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 – the role of Katherine Howard in Six.

Following its run at the Fringe, the musical – which focuses on the six wives of Henry VIII – has been to Broadway, the West End and Australia all while picking up a number of Olivier Award nominations on the way.

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Now, Marlow is going to back to where it all began. She spoke with The National about her time in Six, debuting her new solo show and what she loves about the Fringe.

Fringe hit

You can never be certain if something will be a global sensation of course, but Marlow admits there was something special about working on Six.

“Even from the first few shows you could just tell people were responding to it and loving it. I remember being in the wings and thinking it was so exciting”, Marlow said.

“After pretty much the first week or so of doing it, we basically did not need to flyer anymore.

“They obviously didn’t think it would go to Broadway or the West End or Australia. We just did it because we cared about the story and how it would make people feel.

“It just snowballed from there I guess.”

It might be easy to say with hindsight, but Marlow (below) says that even when the idea was first pitched and she started visualising the play, she thought the creators might be onto something.

The National:

“You do get that feeling sometimes. It comes from everyone just caring and putting so much into it.

“I love seeing what people think of it for the first time – that’s such a privilege.”

Debut solo show

After finding success as part of a wider team, Marlow admits she turned her attention to what she could do as a solo act.

Her new show titled Annabel Marlow… is this okay? is hard to describe in that it’s a combination of so many different elements.

“I want it to feel like you’re in my university room with me but at the same time it is a concert as well at points”, she explains.

In it, she plays a series of musical comedy songs – some involve storytelling while others are more theatrical.

As can be the case though, Marlow says what she thought the show was how different to what some of her friends have said about the performance.

“I didn’t really think I was playing a character in it but I’ve had friends say they feel the character is coming across as they’ve seen different previews and stuff so I guess there is a way I’m presenting myself on stage.

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“It is a comedy gig though and I feel like it’s just an hour of getting to know me.”

Feeling at home

Marlow has a lot of love for the Edinburgh Fringe, even if she says she says she was a bit anxious when first arriving this year.

She said: “I was freaking out a bit after I left to come up here. It sort of hit me that I was about to do this big thing.

“Everything I’ve done this year has been for this and then it was happening all of a sudden.

“But at the same time I’m so excited. I’m seeing friends’ faces everywhere, seeing people working I knew at university.”

“Something about seeing all those posters in the streets just makes it unreal.

Annabel Marlow… is this okay? is on at the Pleasance Courtyard from August 8-27 (not 16) and tickets are available HERE.