Comedy is rarely an honest sport. I can't be the only one who, mid-laughter, has thought 'that probably didn't happen, but oh well'.
Charlotte Gallagher is different. Sharp and searingly honest, she interrupts the interview to ask "You won't be mean about me will you?".
Charlotte grew up in Little Chalfont and chose to pursue a career in acting. At just 29, she has an impressive CV having appeared on stage and screen. She enjoyed comedic acting so much, she had a word with some friends and colleagues and developed a one woman show: Carlotta de Galleon - A Fool for Love.
Carlotta is her alter ego, an acclaimed romance novelist (in her head) who has never been in love and never written a book but, with the help of the audience, creates a unique romance novel plot in every show.
Charlotte says she grew up on romance novels. "I loved them. I lived my life by them."
For her these novels really helped her manage to get to grips with who she was.
"The characters in these novels are feminists but kind of not, self-assured but also kind of not. They don't know who they are but they also discover exactly who they are," she explained.
This kind of passionate verbalisation of her love for the genre shows it's more than a gimmick.
During her first few shows, Charlotte saw her expansive library of romance literature start to dwindle as books were borrowed by like minded audience members, and the set started to thin.
A call to leading romance novel publisher Mills & Boon led to a fruitful partnership as they have teamed up with her for the show at Fringe.
When I asked Charlotte about her favourite romance authors she gave the following list:
- Anything Mills & Boon
- Nora Roberts
- Eloisa James
- Jill Salvish
- Lisa Kleypas
I've never read a romance novel, so when I asked her why she had gotten so hopelessly addicted to these authors, she said: "A good romance novel compels you to keep reading to the end".
Carlotta de Galleon - A Fool for Love will be showing every day from 4-28 August at Spotlites, Venue 278 at 3.55pm.