Cabaret Interview Caro Meets Comedy Interview

Jennifer Byrne and Vicky Falconer-Pritchard: Yeti’s Demon Dive Bar

By | Published on Thursday 3 December 2015


The TW teams have been fans of Jennifer Byrne and Vicky Falconer-Pritchard for as long as I can remember (my memory is going a bit now, though, so that’s probably only a few years), following our introduction to their rude and raucous EastEnd Cabaret. And now they are bringing a new work in progress to Soho Theatre.
This latest show, created by the duo and their collaborator Tom Velvick, is a slightly ghoulish departure from their earlier work, but I feel sure it will be of exactly the same high quality as previous outings. I put some questions to the pair, to find out exactly what we should expect.

CM: Tell us about ‘Yeti’s Demon Dive Bar’. What the heck is it all about?
JB+VFP: It’s a strange, surreal, no-holds-barred, raucous and risque musical sketch comedy! Set in a weird little bar – a place on the edge of existence that probably sits somewhere between Frankenfurter’s house in ‘Rocky Horror’ and the infamous Titty Twister in ‘From Dusk Til Dawn’ with a dash of the Black Lodge from ‘Twin Peaks’ – a cavalcade of odd characters are boozing, playing songs, getting into trouble, trying to put on a show, and generally creating glorious mayhem.

CM: Is it random sketchery, or does it have a theme? A narrative?
JB+VFP: There’s definitely a trajectory – and the hour that you spend in Yeti’s plays out in real time, as we follow the characters in and out of the bar. There are certainly some random moments, but it all comes together in the end – we hope!

CM: What kind of characters can we expect to meet?
JB+VFP: Well, you certainly won’t miss Yeti; she owns the dive bar, and she will make sure you know it. She’ll pour you a drink and offer you a creepy snack and maybe (if you’re lucky) give you an extra large dose of yeti love. Then there’s Frankie Doom and the Furious Fang, a double act that have been booked to host the show going on at Yeti’s. And of course there’s Johnny, the severed head who can still entertain with the best of them – and who said you need hands (or a body) to be a good lover?

CM: There’s just the two of you playing them all, isn’t there..? Will that be exhausting? Or exhilarating?
JB+VFP: Indeed it is. We’re hoping it’ll be a little of Column A, and a lot of Column B!

CM: It sounds as though it might be slightly gruesome – would you say this is not for the faint-hearted…? Should those with heart problems avoid…?
JB+VFP: I would probably say those with back problems should be more worried – Yeti does like to get rather close to her customers, and sometimes it’s hard to tell whether she wants to romance them or mince them into her special secret sauce.

CM: How far removed is it from EastEnd Cabaret? Is it a completely different approach?
JB+VFP: The characters are completely different but the atmosphere of the show is the same. We wanted to keep the mayhem and the spontaneity of an EastEnd Cabaret show but put it in a world where Yetis can make love and a man can survive as only a head.

CM: Do you think fans of EastEnd cabaret will like it?
JB+VFP: Definitely- it’s as filthy as ever, so they will love it. And the hosts Frankie Doom and the Furious a Fang do bear a strange resemblance to Bernie and Victy… distant cousins, I think.

CM: What inspired the creation of this show? What made you decide to go down this slightly horrific route?
JB+VFP: We have always been a little dark and disturbed as people, and we love creating strange and surreal characters. But ultimately Yeti’s is the kind of bar you wish you would find in East London. Somewhere down a back street and under a railway tunnel, you might just find it. And you might never come out.

CM: What’s your collaborative process like? Do you sit together brainstorming ideas, or do you each work separately and then bring different things to the table?
JB+VFP: We definitely sit together, and there is almost always gin or some kind of booze involved. We all have different skills, but the three of us together is the best combination.

CM: What’s next for you? Is this just the beginning for this particular show – will it go on tour, etc?
JB+VFP: This is just the beginning – Yeti’s will be touring Australia early next year heading to Perth Fringe World, Adelaide Fringe and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and then hopefully to Edinburgh Fringe as well. Come and find us!

‘Yeti’s Demon Dive Bar’ is on at Soho Theatre from 7-9 Dec. See this page here for all the info you need.