Laura London Q&A

 Edinburgh, the Fringe, why bother?

The Edinburgh Fringe is the biggest festival of its kind and has been something I’ve always wanted to do.

What have been the nuggets of inspiration behind your show this year?

I’ve always been fascinated by our love for hustlers and card sharks. No one likes to be fleeced of their money but we still have a strange admiration for those who do the stealing and the clever and skilful means they employ. It’s the reason we love movies like Ocean’s Eleven. The subject of my show, Cheat, is such a hustler. I’m not sure whether I should love her or loathe her but I’ll tell her story and let you be the judge.

Stand-out Fringe moment to date?

This is my first ever Fringe show so I’m hoping to have plenty of wonderful stand out moments by the end of August

When you wished a hole had opened up in the ground and swallowed you up?

I once performed a close up stage show in New York, everything was going great and everyone in the audience had a big smile on their face. I filmed the show and when I got home I watched back the footage only to discover that the spotlight was shining so brightly you could see right through my dress. No wonder the audience was smiling!

Your unsung heroes in the industry at current?

My industry is full of incredibly talented people and I am fortunate to have met many of my heroes in magic. If I were talking specifically about sleight of hand then I would say Ricky Jay and Guy Hollingworth. In the world of card magic, these men are revered however few people know about Mercedes Talma, in the early 1900’s she was an incredible skillful magician often referred to as The Queen of Coins. Another would be a man known by the name Erdnase, he wrote a book published in 1902 that appealed to both card cheats and magicians. Both might consider his book the bible of sleight of hand techniques.

Three shows you must see this Fringe? 

That is such a hard question as there’s so many fantastic show’s on but here’s a few… For Magic, Ben Hanlin or Doug Segal. For comedy, Cabaret Whore presents La Poule Plombée. For variety, Lilli La Scala’s, Another F*ucking Variety show.

The one person you’d love to see your show and why?

I would love for the Queen to come and see my show, thought she might like a few tips on cheating at cards when playing poker at the palace.

The reason why one should come and see your show?

My one-woman show is a totally unique insight into the world of card cheating. I compare the techniques used by the crooked gambler to those of the magician. My passion for the secretive world of sleight of hand artists led me to make some extraordinary discoveries. CHEAT reveals the story of a female cardsharp from the 1920’s, I will share with you some of the techniques she used to part the suckers from their money. Be enthralled and entertained as I lay bare the life and secrets of one of the world’s few female card sharks.

The one thing in Edinburgh you must do? 

The one thing I would recommend is to see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Ah sorry, you’re dead. But least you can have that dinner party you’ve always wanted. Who are you inviting? 

I would love to invite to my dinner party, Jim Morrison, Stephen Fry, Oscar Wilde, Freddy Mercury and the female card cheat Geraldine Hartmann.


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