I started performing comedy and spoken word sets on the small-scale cabaret and comedy circuit. I premiered my debut solo show, Reshape While Damp, at the Edinburgh Fringe. Following a great reception, I took the show to FIRST: a Festival of Solo Performances, at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London. I also headlined Change, a festival of new writing for Pulse Ensemble Theatre in New York.
I’ve gone on to write and perform my own work across the UK. I enjoy experimenting with style and content and finding out what works well for audiences in different settings. My performance incorporates monologue, spoken word and song, and my stories can be poignant, surreal and funny – sometimes all at once.
In 2018 I had a very successful 2-week run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with my solo comedy theatre show, Despite Everything, Price Still Includes Biscuits. I also toured a story-cabaret show Truth and Truffles during 2017-8 through Live and Local, performing songs and true-life stories in rural venues with storyteller Cat Weatherill.
2019 was also a busy year. I toured the solo show to Wolverhampton, Leicester, Birmingham and Burton-upon-Trent. I had a great run at the Brighton Fringe in May and the Buxton Fringe in July, with brilliant audiences all round. I had another excellent 2-week run in August at the Edinburgh Fringe.
In July, I delivered a creative travel writing piece and performed poetry at the Borders and Crossings conference at the University of Leicester. In the autumn, I co-organised and performed in the very successful ‘pARTy Lines – a Literary Cabaret’ for Birmingham Literature Festival. You can read a blog about it here
I also took my solo show to South Scarle Community Centre near Newark and performed a work-in-progress ‘Whose Christmas is it Anyway?’ for PILOT Nights at Warwick Arts Centre. I performed the piece again in Loughborough and Burton-on-Trent to very appreciative audiences.
2020 began with a great show in Leicester at the Cosy Club. Sadly, since then, so much has been cancelled or closed due to the spread of Covid-19. If you are reading this, I hope you are safe and well.
I’ve recently had a wonderful time as part of Live and Local’s ‘Living Room’ project. During August and September I worked collaboratively with residents in the ‘new’ village of Meon Vale in South Warwickshire to create a spoken-word piece for the community. Entitled ‘Snapshot Stories,’ the piece is based on true-life stories and experiences during the pandemic and also celebrates the place and its environment. We had a great response from the community and we collected material, recorded and filmed in Meon Vale during the 2-month period.
BBC CWR have recently featured the project on ‘Coventry Creates’ and you can listen to Rachel New’s piece here at about 38 minutes in.
I hope to be able to resume shows and workshops in 2021 when it is safe to do so.
Listen to an interview with Paul Levy of Fringe Review about my work – both writing and performing – recorded in Edinburgh in 2016. There is a more recent interview recorded at the Brighton Fringe 2019 here