Sam has been back in touch with us about his theatre project and his plan to take it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival...

Sam, tell us about your theatre project, Truly, Madly, Baldly

Truly, Madly, Baldy is a comedic two-hander that focuses on the lives of two people who suffer from alopecia. Told through a whacky and surreal lens, we see our characters come to terms with hair loss and battle against societal beauty standards. This play was first imagined back in late 2019, shortly after I rapidly lost all of my hair due to developing Alopecia Universalis. My mother also suffers from the same condition, so I was very aware as to what was happening with my body, however it was still a huge shock and change to my appearance and life.

Remind us how Alopecia UK supported your theatre project last year…

I reached out to Alopecia UK back in early 2022 when I was made aware of their alopecia awareness funding opportunity. This seemed like the perfect chance to help get my play some early recognition among the Alopecia community and to also receive some very efficient funding. The funding went into helping to compose original music for the play.

You are now wanting to take Truly, Madly, Baldly to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. How has that come about?

I work for the Pleasance Theatre in London and they also have a huge presence in Edinburgh, being one of the main 5 venues that programme amazing theatre. I worked at the Fringe last year and this gave me a sense of how things work, with promoting ones show, and made me excited about the prospects of taking my own show up. Despite the financial challenges associated with going, the Fringe is one of the best places to showcase exciting, unique and compelling stories, and a play such as Truly, Madly, Baldy, I believe, is yet to be shown at any theatre. This was the main reason for wanting to take my show up as I ultimately want to entertain but also educate people about alopecia.

As mentioned before, the Fringe is sadly very expensive, with the basics such as accommodation being the brunt of the cost. Additionally, the pandemic was also was a huge setback for emerging writer/performers such as myself, which adds yet another barrier in front of making new work. With the help of Alopecia UK and its amazing community reach, I believe this help could make a huge difference in having a more comfortable run at this summer’s fringe. Obviously as a writer and performer I want to have a successful run at the Fringe, in order to help my early career. However, creating a kind and honest dialogue around hair loss and creating awareness is equally as important.

How can people support you?

It would mean a huge deal to me, myself and my creative team to receive any contributions to help make our Fringe run more comfortable. You can donate to my Crowdfunder here.

If anyone can offer any practical assistance such as affordable (or free!) accommodation in Edinburgh, please email me directly here.