Gabby Best & Will Brown: Pleasance

Estimated reading time:4 minutes, 45 seconds

Everyone has a story. Expect comic action in The Journey – a play written by a standup that takes us into space. The actors are locals, comedian Gabby Best and Will Brown, so what’s it like performing so close to home? Interview by Nicola Baird

Gabby Best is starring in The Journey – a new play by comedian Stuart Laws that you can see at the Pleasance from 22-23 November.

The Journey is a new play, written by stand up comedian Stuart Laws (@thisstuartlaws), which you can see at the Pleasance Theatre on North Road from 22-23 November. When Islington Faces talked to the actors, Gabby Best and Will Brown, who are both based nearby, they’d done some read-throughs, and were close to starting proper rehearsals.

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“I’m not allowed to give anything away at all,” says stand up Gabby Best who won the Funny Women Award in 2012. “The Journey is basically about the dynamic between a man and woman, but quite timely in terms of power. Hopefully everyone is interested in that. I’d say it’s for people into space, physics and starry. Some of it is set in space, but sadly there’s no budget to suspend us!”

Gabby, just 34, who lives in Highgate, says it’s “really rare to get to do something that local. I love it. I’ve done comedy gigs at the Pleasance, but it’s massively different following a script. It’s written by a comedian, so it’s funny which is always a bonus.” However she admits that, “I feel more pressure when it’s someone else’s words, because I don’t want to muck it up for them. I want to do the writer proud!”

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Places Gabby Best likes in Islington @best_gabby

  • Love the woods on Parkland Walk.
  • Hen and Chickens, 109 St Paul’s Road, is an old friend – I’ve performed a few times there and years ago did a trio of comedy plays. George Orwell used to drink there – it needs a plaque where he sat and worked not just where he lived.
  • Bill Murray is good. I did an hour comedy show recently there. It was full. Lovely.
  • I love Camden Passage. I bought a pair of art deco earrings from a lady on one of the stalls on a Wednesday, and a pill box for my mum.
  • I’ve done dance classes at Sadler’s Wells , Rosebery Avenue – not anything fancy, just the beginners.

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Will Brown who is in The Journey at the Pleasance this November. (C) Faye Thomas

Gabby’s co-star, actor Will Brown, 27, is a huge fan of fringe (he’s performed at six of the Edinburgh Fringe, held every August) and also pub theatres, so he’s loving the chance to on stage at the Pleasance in The Journey.

“I’ve performed at Pleasance before both at Edinburgh, and its Islington incarnation for the Charlie Harthill Award (which gives out money to theatre companies). The Pleasance is really well respected and the vibe is really similar to fringe which I love,” says Will who has also starred in the BBC’s Call The Midwife and Dr Who.

Like Gabby he’s not giving anything away about the show. The mystery only adds to its appeal.

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Places Will Brown loves in Islington

  • “I absolutely adore Finsbury Park. It’s got everything. Got amazing restaurants, great theatre scene with the Park Theatre. Really great pubs and parks. I love how I can look out of my window and there are loads of trees, it doesn’t seem like London, but I can get anywhere in 20 minutes). It’s so different to when I lived in Oval.”
  • Rowans, 10 Stroud Green Road has to be in the mix. Go and check out the basket ball game high score – it’s probably mine! I get a big group around me and show off.
  • My favourite run – I call it my own adventure – is the three park run through Finsbury Park, Clissold Park and Highbury Fields. It’s a beautiful run, especially at night time. I recently did the Hackney half (13.1 miles).
  • Islington has really great pub theatres. I love the King’s Head, 115 Upper Street, the Old Red Lion, 418 St John Street and the Hen & Chickens – I’ve been there so many times. I really enjoy intimate venues where you can have a pint, watch a play and then have another pint. On my doorstep and really well respected. There’s a similar vibe at the Pleasance which has a good pub underneath.
  • There’s a great theatre scene with the Park Theatre, the Almeida – and also comedy at the Bill Murray, 39 Queen’s Head Street.
  • All the Turkish restaurants in Finsbury Park are amazing. There are so many good ones, such as Yildiz, 163 Blackstock Road.

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The Journey promises a witty space voyage – definitely one to book. Maybe see you there?

  • VENUE: Pleasance London, Carpenters Mews, North Road, London N7 9EF
  • DATES: Wednesday 22 November & Thursday 23 November
  • TIMES: 19:45 (1 hour)
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TICKET PRICES: £8 (full price), £6 (concessions)
  • SUITABLE: 16 years and above
  • BOX OFFICE: 020 7609 1800
  • https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/journey#overview

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola