,  • August 16, 2019

A little about Noser 👃

Have you ever wished for a musical which perfectly captures the thrilling complexities of startup culture? The jargon, the trials and tribulations, the chaos and confusion? Perhaps on the more niche side, one which seamlessly combines technology, romance, France and fart jokes? Well, you’re in luck! 

This August, Edinburgh Fringe Festival welcomes the innovative musical parody ‘Noser: The Startup Musical’, which delves deep into the very specific entity that is startup culture. And could you imagine a better way to showcase this than through a wacky product such as an app which lets you send smells rather than emoji’s? Join Mélodie, Blue and the gang on their music-filled adventure to secure an investment from tech giant ‘Boogle’ and make their product a best-selling scent sensation. 

If you’re a startup veteran, as I’m sure many Melting Potters are, Noser is without a doubt the perfect option for festival-goers. Revel in a show which has been deemed as both “worryingly accurate and cathartic”, not to mention full to the brim with laughs. The show also appeals to those with little to no knowledge of the intricacies of #startuplife, so if that applies to you, not to worry. The lovely creators have taken care to include plenty of witty inside jokes to entertain for those in the know, while also balancing it out so there’s truly something for everyone. Even those who shy away from (or altogether avoid) musicals are in for a treat – it’s a parody of musicals too!

When it comes to this show, nosiness is encouraged. The group will be performing Noser until Saturday the 24th of August, so be sure to secure your tickets via the official Fringe website now or forever hold your peace (… or nose).

Lily and Luke in action

A Conversation with the Creative Masterminds 🧠

We were lucky enough to get the chance to chat with the brilliant minds which birthed, raised and let Noser loose into the world, London-based Lily Smith and Luke Leighfield. The pair are hugely talented and accomplished in their own right. 

Lily is a comedy writer and copywriter, hailing from the acclaimed National Film and Television Schools comedy writing programme. Her other pursuits have involved sketch comedy with bear with and improvised live comedy with Buffet. Luke is a musician, with five albums, shows performed across 15 countries, and live sessions for the likes of Radio 1.

We loved picking their brains on the hilarious realities of startups, their creative process and (of course) what compelled them to get in touch with The Melting Pot, all for your pleasure. It’s a genuinely amusing read which we’re delighted to share with you. You can only imagine how compelling they are on stage… 

What startups have you worked for, and what’s your general career background?

Lily – So. Many. Different. Startups. I’m also a comedy writer. 

Luke – I started out ‘working’ as a musician. Eventually, I decided it’d be nice to move out of my parents’ house, so I got a grown-up job at SoundCloud in Berlin. That got me on the startup train, which has since taken me to Boords, Finimize, Memrise, Monzo, Wonderbly, and a tonne of other startups.

What’s your worst/funniest experience of working in a startup?

Lily – When we won a big round of funding at the last place I worked, the CEO invested in an office sauna. It remains unused. (But it was a great place for taking phone calls!)

Luke – My favourite thing at every startup is how people always complain about the free lunches. It’s usually the developers. It inspired one of the songs in Noser, actually.

What was the creative process like for Noser? Was it one big lightbulb moment or a gradual development of ideas? 

Lily – A little of both. Luke always wanted to write a musical, and when we got chatting about it we knew pretty much straight away that it HAD to be about #startuplife.

Luke – I’d always wanted to write a musical, and knew that I wanted to base it around startup life. However, I’m a terrible comedy writer and needed someone else to come in and take the reins. Thank goodness for Lily! I asked her if she’s be up for writing it on a whim. We fleshed out the story together and, two years later, here we are!

Any good stories from rehearsals or any other part of the process?

Lily – Last year when we were rehearsing for our run at the Camden Fringe festival during the heatwave, it got so hot it nearly melted Luke’s Husky dog, Hyko. Hyko keeps an eye on every Noser rehearsal (and our snacks). 

Luke – It’s a nightmare getting all seven of us together in the same room at the same time (shout out to Doodle), and we often have to read each other’s parts in. At one memorable rehearsal, there were only three of us, all playing multiple roles. I’m not sure that it was particularly helpful, but it was very fun. If we get sick in Edinburgh, maybe there’ll be a return of the three-person Noser show.

What reception have you had from previous performances of Noser? 

Lily – Really, really lovely and enthusiastic feedback. After our first show someone even threw flowers onstage. They smelled incredible. 

Luke – Lots of laughs. And only one allergic reaction to our custom Noser scent. The best thing is that it’s been enjoyed by people of all ages, regardless of whether or not they know anything about startup culture. We tried to keep plenty of lols in there for our startup brethren, but also make it accessible enough for non-nerds.

Pitch me Noser in 5 words or less.

Lily – Technology, romance, France, fart jokes.

Luke – Jargon, pop hits, egos, love

Why come to Edinburgh Fringe?

Lily – I’m a comedy writer, so I come up every year as a punter to check out shows and get inspired, and I’ve secretly always wanted to put on my own show. There’s nothing else like Edinburgh fringe, it’s brilliant and unique and might just save us all. 

Luke – I’ve always wanted to come and check out the Fringe, but I knew that I wanted to do it by bringing a show here. Putting this together with Lily and our incredible cast is, quite literally, a dream come true for me. I didn’t think it’d be possible! 

Why did you decide to get in touch with The Melting Pot? 

Luke – We wanted to connect with some startup and tech people in Edinburgh because we think the show is extra funny for people from those backgrounds. You guys seemed like perfect potential Noser attendees! We’ve found that startup folk find the show to be an equal mix of hilarious, worryingly accurate, and cathartic.

Lily – Yep exactly. We thought our show might appeal to the diverse crowd working at The Melting Pot, and we really want to make the effort to connect with local audiences as well as fringe tourists. Hopefully we can do some business in Scotland one of these days!

First impressions of The Melting Pot (from our website, conversations etc)?

Lily – You’re really nice. And professional. 

Luke – Lily says you’re really nice.

Have you ever worked in a coworking space before and if so, what did you think? 

Lily – Yes a few! In London they really vary – but if you’ve got a friendly atmosphere, plenty of spaces for people to mingle and good coffee you’re onto a winner. 

Luke – I’ve worked at a couple. One of them smelled funny, but WeWork’s pretty good. There’s free beer and they’re dog friendly! The founder seems pretty kooky, though.

What do you think we could be doing to support and promote each other this Fringe? 

Lily – Oh Luke’s got a great idea for how we can collaborate. SYNERGY! 

Luke – If you tell everyone to come and watch the show, we’ll tell everyone at our shows that they have to come and work at The Melting Pot. As in, by attending the show, they’ve entered a binding contractual agreement. It’ll be great for business.

Don’t miss their final week!

You can book your tickets right here to this refreshingly honest and original music. Make your way to Greenside @ Royal Terrace for 13:50 up until the final show on Saturday the 24th of August, before they pack up and take Noser back to London. You can also catch them in our office at about 4pm on Friday the 16th of August, for a special sneak preview of their amazing creativity in action! 

If you’re similarly a creative and would benefit from a top notch, affordable rehearsal space, meeting room or desk, get in touch. Either drop us a line on [email protected] or give us a buzz on 0131 243 2626.