Following a sold-out award-winning run in Soho, playwright Yolanda Mercy’s debut On the Edge of Me is heading to Wandsworth Arts Fringe in May.

The play tells the story of graduate Remi and her struggles with unemployment and mental health issues and since 2015 it has gone from strength to strength: rated four stars sold out in Soho; and winning the Rich Mix Small Story Big City Emerging Artist Programme Award.

Yolanda would have been suspicious of anyone making such a prediction at the beginning, and yet after every performance people from the audience would approach and praise her for telling their stories.

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On The Edge of Me is a solo performance, with Yolanda playing all of the characters. How would it feel, performing on that stage alone in front of so many people, holding the sole responsibility on your shoulders? To Yolanda, it has always been terrifying.

“I always went to my director Jade and I would say ‘Jade, I think we should recast, I’m too scared, I’m too nervous’ and she would say ‘You’ve got it. You’ve got it’

“But I’m not just acting, I also wrote the piece and it’s terrifying but in a way I think I’ve been preparing myself subconsciously for it.

“I remember my first ever performance where I had a solid monologue at the Globe Theatre and I was doing a Shakespeare piece.

“Being up on the stage, at the Globe and having to say it out to everyone, first of all I thought it in my mind and I just delivered, and that was when I thought to myself, ‘You can do it!’

“But it’s definitely scary because I’m not just playing Remi but eight other characters who will be interacting with each other and the audience so I have to think about theatricality, I have to think about my voice and all the other stuff, so you never know what you are going to get.”

Yolanda is planning to tour the UK and even bring On the Edge of Me to Australia, while writing a new play to tackle the issue of bullying in school.

Yolanda Mercy’s On the Edge of Me is at The Bedford, Balham, on May 15. Tickets cost £5. Go to wandsworthfringe.com

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