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Interview with Marina Margarita from Odette: Baby Daddy!

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by Michael Genrich (subscribe)
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'Odette' is the cleaning lady everybody loves to love
Odette: Baby Daddy, adelaide, fringe
Odette: Baby Daddy! Image courtesy

Marina Margarita is an accomplished performer on both stage and screen. Her show was nominated for Best Comedy at Fringe World 2018 and Marina returns to Australia to bring her hilarious comedy show Odette: Baby Daddy! to the Adelaide Fringe.

'Odette!' is the fun, feisty, incredibly fertile cleaning lady everybody loves to love!

She won't let little things like the minimum wage and an ever-expanding baby bump get in the way of her lust for life - oh no! Join her for an hour of soap opera silliness as she shakes her booty to win the heart of immaculately coifed superstar Ridge. Yes, Odette is going for gold and she wants you to come too!

I asked Marina some questions about her career and the show in anticipation of her 2019 Fringe Festival season.

Tell us a bit about yourself!

A Sydney-sider born and bred, my first performing gigs were with the Australian Theatre for Young People under the watchful eyes of Rebel Wilson and Chris Mead. Over the 18 years that followed, I worked as a singer and actress both on Aussie shores and internationally before moving to London.

5 years ago I found myself in France full of trepidation, about to start 2 months of training with master of clown and modern theatre, Philippe Gaulier.

The first day challenged and inspired me so much that before I collapsed into my rural French bed that evening I'd signed up to the full 2-year programme!

This was the moment that led me to creating my solo character comedy show Odette: Baby Daddy! and I haven't looked back!

What made you want to be part of the performing arts?

It's electric! I live for those moments when the audience is on my wavelength, I'm on theirs and it feels like we're creating the show together. While I have a script and the show is structured, I'm a big fan of interactive theatre so I've built lots of it into the show.

There's lots of potential for joyous, unexpected magic to be made!

How many years have you been involved with the Fringe?

I've been touring Odette to international fringes since 2017, but this is my first time in Radalaide! Originally written for an Aussie audience, I can't wait to share it with the lovely people of South Australia!

How did you come up with the ideas for your show?

A busy mother of 4, my Mum had a lot on her plate when we were kids. She had help with some of the cleaning from a Portuguese mother and daughter team, Odette and Erbelina. In homage to them, I began toying with the idea of Odette as a character, recording several Spanish and Portuguese friends to try and develop a convincing accent. The minute I stepped on stage in costume, however, a broad ocker Aussie voice came out!

I've had a ball developing the show through trying 10 – 20 minutes at various comedy cabarets across London. She hasn't always brought the house down, but I've kept all the bits that have and woven them into an OTT tale of dreaming big and falling hard.

What kind of people come to see your show?

Lovers of comedy, theatre and song.
Cleaning enthusiasts and queue jumpers.
Your Mum.
But most of all….fans of The Bold and The Beautiful!

How would you explain your show to someone who's never been to one?

An hour of over the top, unpretentious fun with the feisty, fertile cleaning lady everybody loves to love!

What are you looking forward to the most about performing in Adelaide?

The people! I love performing for fellow Aussies, they're always up for a laugh and don't take themselves too seriously – much like Odette!

Where else have you performed your show? How did it go?

I've been performing this show for 2 years now and it's grown hugely since its unveiling at the Prague Fringe 2017.

Edinburgh, Bristol and the London Clown Festival have all embraced Odette, and last January she came to play in Oz for the first time at Perth Fringe World. I had huge fun performing for a home crowd and came away with a Best Comedy Award nomination. I absolutely love this show and I hope the people of Adelaide are ready for the fun that is Odette: Baby Daddy!

Any memorable moments before, during, or after one of your performances?

In the summer of 2017, I performed the show on The Village Butty, a narrow boat moored in central London which seats about 30. That night it seemed everyone wanted to meet Odette and as I made my entrance, running down the towpath with my furry blue clogs and neon pink wheelie trolley, I had to fight my way through the crowd to the stage. It was a hilarious show, a Viking came out of the audience to share the stage with me and a very enthusiastic woman threw on my fur coat to have a melodramatic 'bitch-off' with me – I'll never forget it!

What do you do when you're not doing the show?

Believe it or not, I'm working on a building site at the moment. Each day as I methodically tackle the administration of the site, I watch my colleagues and dream up characters and plot lines in my head – it's the quiet ones you have to watch!

Don't miss hard working Marina in Odette: Baby Daddy! at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. The show plays from the 1st until 17th of March at The National Wine Centre. Tickets start at $15 at Fringetix.
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Why? Comedy fun at the Fringe
When: 1st until 17th March - Adelaide Fringe Festival
Where: National Wine Centre
Cost: $15-$21
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by Michael Genrich on 03/03/2019
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