Mrs Frankowitz – the Jewish community’s outrageous answer to Mrs Merton – is preparing for her stage debut, when she treads the boards at this year’s Camden Fringe, writes Fiona Leckerman.
The comic creation’s alter ego, 29-year-old Katie Burnetts, has co-written and co-produced Gelt, which opens on Monday for a three-night run at Etcetera Theatre.
Burnetts, who works for an independent television company, says of Mrs Frankowitz: “She was a character that I introduced a couple of years ago at the Edinburgh Fringe. It got very popular. I then started doing stand-up routines and posting videos to YouTube.”
The premise of Gelt revolves around Mrs Frankowitz’s grandson Joe (Josh Howie) and his girlfriend Emma (Liz Garland), who are desperate to get onto the property ladder.
The Jewish matriarch reveals she is dying and when she is gone they can have her four-bedroom house, but added into the mix are northern lodger Danny (Tom Newton) and her best friend Hetty (Carrie Cohen).
Joe and Emma are saved, but will her generous offer come at a price? According to Burnetts, the play “touches on the zeitgeist of what young couples are going through post recession.”
She adds: “It is autobiographical in parts and quite personal where the influences of my mother and grandma are evident.
“I am hugely astonished by the range of Yiddish I have acquired and I injected that into the writing of this play. It is an amalgamation of all the stuff that is quite lovely about growing up as a Jewish girl.”
Gelt is a farce with a heart – a funny, dark and sweet play that will hopefully leave you feeling happy.
• Gelt at the Camden Fringe from 28 July to 30 July at Etcetera Theatre, Camden. www.camdenfringe.com