And Kitty – Kitty Romford – the ordinary dame who works in Asda, has proven to be a great success for the character-based comedian, becoming something of an internet hit thanks to a video by popular directors the Blaine Brothers.
Cariad is a born improviser, having risen through the comedy circuit ranks thanks in part to her videos on YouTube and presence on Twitter.
“My characters have all been born from improv,” she says. “Though some – like Cariad the actress – have been inspired by people I’ve seen too – like some terrible auditions from actresses I’ve witnessed; 18 year olds trying to pretend to be 80 year old women, that kind of thing.”
Although sadly Kitty will not be making the trip, Cariad will be bringing many other memorable characters to Edinburgh this August in Lady Cariad’s Characters, her first solo show.
“I’ve always had this ability to speak made-up French,” laughs Cariad. “Then decided to do it the style of a rapper – and that’s Jacque Le Cock, who’s also a parkour expert…”
“Then there’s Cockney Sam, who sings cheesy music hall style songs about terrible, murderous things; and Alison, the worst magician with a BSc.”
Cariad is taking a break from rehearsals for Shakespeare For Breakfast, the Fringe institution which she is also directing this year, after having starred in it in previous years.
“It’s going good,” she says. “The show has some really interesting challenges, and it’s in its 20th year now. We’re guaranteed big audiences too – there’s nothing like the feeling of playing to a crowd that size.”
“The great thing about directing it is you get to see the whole thing; and it’s a great writing exercise too. This year, for example, we’ll be doing our version of Macbeth – The High School Years.”
All skills which are useful for Lady Cariad’s Characters.
“It’s a scripted show,” she says, “but I’ve left in room for improvisation with each character so it’ll be slightly different every time.. And some of the characters will have a bit of improv too – Jacques gets someone up from the audience, for instance, which you can’t script for.”
With her directorial duties in the morning, her own show in the afternoon and her appearance in sketch comedy Men Of War with fellow comics David Schaal, Steve Harvey and Gareth Kane , it sounds like Cariad will be in for a busy August.
“I love the Fringe so much,” she says. “Whatever mood you’re in, there’s always something to see. London is so big, whereas Edinburgh is such a great size – it’s great to be able to meet all my friends there. It’s just so intense – so pure.”
Cariad hopes that her characters will get a good opportunity to grow and continue after the Fringe too.
“I’ve been in serious plays in the past, but now I’m focusing on my comedy and my improvisation,” she says. “So I’ll be continuing with the characters; and I’m also writing a spoof Brothers Grimm Christmas show with Gonzo Moose Theatre for the Pegasus in Oxford.”
“But I’ve really caught the solo show bug,” she laughs. “I’m already planning the poster for next year’s Fringe show!”
You can meet Lady Cariad’s Characters at the Voodoo Rooms at 15:55 from 6-27 Aug (not 17); and see Cariad in Men Of War at the Pleasance Courtyard at 23:00 from 3-28 (not 17). Shakespeare for Breakfast is at C Venues at 10:00 from Aug 3-29 (not 16).