Caro Meets Comedy Interview

Gein’s Family Giftshop: Volume 2

By | Published on Monday 21 September 2015

Gein’s Family Giftshop made a bit of a splash with their Edfest debut ‘Volume 1’ and that’s where we first heard about them. Since then they’ve returned to Edinburgh with the imaginatively titled ‘Volume 2’, and proved that 2014’s success wasn’t just a flash in the pan.

geinsfamilygiftshop

So, it was great news to hear about their upcoming run at London’s Soho Theatre. I sent some questions over, to find out more about the show, the troupe, and their plans for the future.

CM: Tell us about the show. How does it compare to ‘Volume 1’? What delights may we expect?
GFG: Well, there’s a lot less jizz than in Vol 1. Don’t let that put you off though, there’s plenty of blood to make up for it. It’s another hour of what we do best, gag heavy, quick sketches and the feeling of unease that comes knowing that Kath could flip out at any minute.

CM: For those who are thus far unacquainted with your work, can you give them an idea of what style of comedy to expect? Who and what are your influences?
GFG: People always say we’re dark? We don’t think we are but then plenty of serial killers think they’re on a mission from God; I think what we’re saying is it’s very hard to judge your own work. We’re influenced as much by Jam and The League of Gentleman as we are by Vincent Price and Ed’s bad relationship with his father. We’re from the North too.

CM: The show did a run in Edinburgh this summer. How did that go? Did you have fun?
GFG: We loved it. We had another smashing year, which was a shock as we were fully expecting a backlash. Luckily no one has realised that it’s just four mates getting away with showing off and making each other laugh. They also rarely pick on the social commentary in our stuff too so it’s not a huge surprise.

CM: You lot look like a trio in your publicity shots, but in fact there’s a fourth member, isn’t there? Are you prepared to explain why one of your number is never seen? Or is it a family secret?
GFG: Because what you imagine is far better than the actual truth, however horrifying. You know that bit at the end of Tod Browning’s ‘Freaks’ where everyone has come to stare at that woman and is recoiling? Then you see her and she’s just sort of a chicken woman? That’s what Kiri looks like.

CM: Where did you meet and how did you end up forming a sketch troupe?
GFG: We met at the prestigious University of Salford. As so often happens you realise that comedy is a lot cheaper if you can split the petrol four ways, and so Gein’s Family Giftshop was born.

CM: Is ‘purveyor of sketch comedy’ what you all wanted to be when you grew up? Is this what you expected to do with your lives?
GFG: Jim wanted to train falcons and still holds on to that dream. His dream is to train a buzzard that can make brews and fetch the paper. That dream still lives. Kath always wanted to be in a sketch-group and realised if she was the only performing girl she’s get all those sweet feed-lines to jokes and every time someone needs to be a sexual object, she gets to be it; that’s a lot of stage time. Ed thought he’d be dead. Kiri thought Ed would be dead and she’d have to dress up as him every time she wanted to take his money out the bank. She lives in hope.

CM: What do you expect to do next?
GFG: We prefer the term “demand”. We demand that Creme Eggs return to their original size, that Rory Bremner calls Kath back, IN HIS OWN VOICE and that we admit that Roswell was a cover up.

CM: If you operated an actual gift shop, would it be at a National Trust property, or on a small town high street? What would you sell in it?
GFG: I’m not sure why you think that we don’t already? It’s a small, seemingly disused shop, sandwiched between an e-cig outlet and a mobile phone unlocking store. They’re in every decaying Northern town, actually, and you can only get in if you use the special handshake of pushing a well covered elbow through a darkened window. See you in there!

Gein’s Family Giftshop perform ‘Volume 2’ at Soho Theatre from 29 Sep-3 Oct. See the venue website here for more info. 

LINKS: www.sohotheatre.com | www.geinsfamilygiftshop.co.uk | twitter.com/geinsfamilygift



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