The comedy duo take us through their hilarious debut mockumentary series, Lads.
The bank holiday is finally here, and while we were all set for long hot days in the park, the Great British Summertime has said otherwise, so it’s looking like another weekend in front of the TV. Luckily, this weekend is jam-packed with must-watch shows and top of our list is comedy duo Katerina Robinson and Kat Ronson’s new show, Lads. Using their time in lockdown to create the show, the duo are set to take us through the adventures of two teenage boys from east London, Dave and Charlie, as they invite us into their hilarious journey through teenage adolescence. Filming mainly in their flat using improv, the duo deliver a hilarious mockumentary series that’ll have you doubled over in laughter.
Having kept us entertained on IG this year with funny comedy skits and their witty dynamics, the show starts a new chapter for the comedians, as they revealed to us that it is definitely their biggest project to date and introduced them to the world of TV. “On IG it’s more short, punchy 1 min clips whereas making a TV Show is a full-on spectacular,” Katerina revealed. “Me and Kat really pride ourselves on delivering good content, so we really had to orchestrate every aspect of making the show. We resourced all our crew ourselves, using creative freelancers in the industry, we’d even sit with our editor for 12 hours straight until we were 100 per cent happy with the takes, so it’s definitely been a very hands-on approach.”
With their show landing this weekend on VOD, we caught up with the Edinburgh Fringe festival regulars talking the production of the show, finding their footing in TV and how they already have another project on the way.
Check out the interview below…
How’s this past year been for you? Once one thing you’ve learned? Katerina Robinson: I think the initial lockdown was very daunting for me as I’m very sociable and I love travelling all over London! However, because I’ve been stuck at home it’s actually forced me to think outside the box and it’s brought out my inner hustle. I have connected with so many different people online and if it wasn’t for the lockdown I’d probably never had made Lads, so I think the past year has brought me some joy in a dark time and made me reevaluate certain aspects of my life. Kat Ronson: Well I’ve been stuck indoors and I haven’t really worn real clothes of brushed my hair but it’s been great. The whole idea for lads and the execution of it was this past year so that’s been ace.
I’d say I’ve learnt to just have fun with things, don’t overthink it. You won’t please everyone so fuck it, you may as well please yourself.
How did both of you meet? And what sparked the interest in comedy? Katerina Robinson: We actually met on Facebook! Kat posted on a female creatives group about wanting to collaborate with other comics on a show. She then slid into my DMs, we got chatting and she invited me to her poetry night. The first night we met I watched her perform a poem about her vagina and I knew from that day we’d get on like a house on fire! For me I’d always loved playing comedy roles, I went to drama school and trained as an actress for many years then it got to a point where I wasn’t really auditioning, and I felt like I was losing direction. I started making little Instagram sketches and developing my own work, then decided to try stand-up at a couple of open mics in the hopes it would lead me to more comedy acting roles. It’s massively boosted my confidence and I probably would have never met Kat without taking that leap! Kat Ronson: The meet story is Kat’s job to explain. My interest in comedy I guess was at school, I loved making people laugh. I’d always be making up skits, characters and raps. And people would actually know my strange songs and sing them to me at break. I’d troll the teachers too. A rebel without a cause.
You’ve used the past year to work on your show Lads, talk to us about the initial idea and how you brought it to life? Katerina Robinson: We were both stuck in lockdown and didn’t really have much going on, we wanted to create something a little different and more a long form comedy idea, rather than short form. After a string of voice notes back and forth on WhatsApp we came up with these characters Charlie and Dave, we thought it would be funny to see them competing in a series of challenges to determine who’s the biggest lad. We initially made various little sketches of them eating spicy chicken wings, sending dick pics and off the back of that and the response from the public, we eventually made it into a series! Kat Ronson: We were pretty miserable from the pandemic and just wanted to do something. We’d usually meet up and make something, we had withdrawal and a lot of time on our hands. I think our minds were in overdrive. I definitely didn’t think when I was voice noting her about Dave and Charlie having an argument about a bumbag that it would ever become a TV show. You really never know!
The show is mainly improvisation, was this challenging at any point? Katerina Robinson: Me and Kat both have such a natural chemistry with each other, even if we’re saying the most ridiculous things we somehow manage to make it work! I think in comedy if you really believe in the concept no matter how wacky it is, it will make sense. Mine and Kat’s process has pretty much always been improvisational, recording ourselves on an iPad then literally just bantering back and fourth and then cutting down the footage later. It’s really nice to work with someone where it just flows and we have endless ideas between us both. Kat Ronson: For me, it’s the most fun. I actually hate reading scripts and having to force a flow that you didn’t write. When we improvise, we have full freedom, which as an actor that never happens. Even more so as a female actor. I usually have one line and my tits out in a role but Lads is purely our space. These are our characters, we’re writing it as it goes. It’s freeing and exciting, we’ll do 20 minute takes, anything can happen and there’s no one there to say it’s wrong. We do burst into laughter a lot, there are lots of bloopers!
Getting into character and creating those hilarious moments, what was that like? Katerina Robinson: I would literally turn up at Kat’s flat, no makeup, put on my Charlie wig and tracksuit bottoms then just start playing, exploring and having fun with it. I think because the process has been so free it really allows you to delve into these hilarious moments, we have so many iconic lines from the series that’s not been planned or written, it’s just naturally happened. Kat Ronson: Getting into character is literally just putting on the wig, putting on Dave’s jacket, then that’s it. When the wig is on, I’m on. We’ll be talking about the scene as girls0then the minute it’s “action” we’re straight back into it.
You’re mainly known for your hilarious clips on IG, what is it like going from IG clips to a whole TV show? Katerina Robinson: It’s definitely been our biggest, most ambitious project to date! On IG it’s more short, punchy 1 min clips whereas making a TV Show is a full-on spectacular. Me and Kat really pride ourselves on delivering good content, so we really had to orchestrate every aspect of making the show. We resourced all our crew ourselves, using creative freelancers in the industry, we’d even sit with our editor for 12 hours straight until we were 100 per cent happy with the takes, so it’s definitely been a very hands-on approach. Kat Ronson: Well it’s obviously like 100 times the workload and it has to be a much higher standard. We had to hire people, whereas usually we just do things between us. When other people get involved, there can be some butthurt egos. There’s a concerning level of men working in the film industry that don’t like taking instructions from women. So in conclusion, it’s way more fucking stressful.
You also have a sketch show called The Whoreing Twenties set for release later this year? What can we expect from this new venture? Katerina Robinson: I am beyond excited to start rehearsals for this! As you can imagine not performing live for practically a whole year has been pretty depressing and I’m so buzzed up to get back on stage. Whoreing Twenties is a stand-up sketch show, we really want to make it very post-prohibition era, fun, sexy and just the perfect post lockdown show for everyone to enjoy and celebrate! Kat Ronson: It’s actually an old venture. We were meant to perform this show last year and we’d planned the show before we ever had the idea for Lads. I get horrendous stage fright so I was really excited at the thought of doing Lads and postponing the show. However, I’m actually so excited to do the live show now and get back to stand-up. It’s completely different, this is our girly side and it’s also a chance to see our personalities and separate comedy styles.
Aside from the shows, what are you guys most excited for? Katerina Robinson: I’m really excited to just celebrate and enjoy our success a bit, it’s definitely not been an easy ride and we’re just getting started baby! Kat Ronson: It’s all been so exciting but we’ve had nowhere to go and celebrate. It’s a little anti-climactic having a drink in my flat shouting “woo” to myself! I really want a major holiday, blow off steam and celebrate properly! Anywhere hot and with alcohol.