FROM rags to riches, from Liverpool to London, from Nabzys to Nandos… The Rise and Fall of The Hamburger Queen is a one-woman comedy show on at The Unity Theatre as part of Homotopia Festival next week (November 3 to 5).
The brainchild of city-born performer Ashleigh Owen and Paul Burke, the show tells Ashleigh’s real life journey in trying to make it as a performer and the struggles along the way (“the term ‘real life’ is one to be taken with a huge pinch of salt,” they say).
And it’s inspired by Ashleigh’s cabaret piece A Fat Girl’s History of Dance, which won her the crown at a talent competition and beauty pageant for plus size people called Hamburger Queen.
The result is “a one woman parody, with original musical numbers, outlandish characters, several dance routines and a killer script”.
Ashleigh says: “This show explores being an outsider; building on the experiences and the challenges competing for work in commercial theatre brings through their obsession with size, age and ‘beauty’. But don’t worry too much about the serious stuff, you’ll be laughing and tapping your feet too much to notice.”
Ashleigh’s professional performances have included Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the International Shakespeare Festival in Gdansk, Poland. In 2011 she co-founded Catfish Theatre, and performed an earlier version of the Hamburger Queen show in Liverpool performance at the old Lantern Theatre.
Ashleigh looked to expand upon her solo comedy and cabaret work and applied to the much lauded Hamburger Queen Competition which was a highlight of London’s alternative live art & cabaret scene. She went on to win it: £600 prize money, and a slot to perform at Bestival.
Since 2013 Ashleigh has been collaborating with writer Paul Burke on creating a one woman show inspired by her real life experiences of leaving Liverpool to become a performer in London and the turbulent world of auditions.
For tickets and more information, see the Unity’s website or www.ashleighowen.co.uk.