We chat to our Festival Favourite Rachel Parris ahead of her performances at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
You’re a musician, improviser, character comic, stand- up, actor, and now satirist. What do you tell customs officials you do?
Rachel Parris: I just say actor! Much easier. If pushed, I say comedian or musician. Musician is easier because if you say comedian they ask you to “tell us a joke then”. But if you say musician they don’t say “play us a concerto”.
Has writing and performing on The Mash Report changed your stand-up?
Yeah, it’s made me feel more confident to include political and topical material.
What can we expect from your Musical Comedy Club?
It’ll be a relaxed, super-fun jamboree of different musical comedy styles. Guests include Pippa Evans, Jess Robinson and Harry And Chris. I’ll be belting out a few of my favourites too, plus a couple of new ones, including a Greatest Showman-inspired power ballad!
What do you enjoy about late-night Fringe gigs?
There’s just a more relaxed, joyful and often quite drunk vibe; it can create a party atmosphere. My favourite late-night show I do is Austentatious’ cross dressing charity show, Crosstentatious. It’s usually late, lots of the audience dress in drag and it’s a totally different feel from our daytime shows.
Are improvisers more spontaneous than others?
In real life? I think years of saying, “yes, and…” on stage, of your goal being to work together to build something and to keep something going rather than “winning” a scene, does eventually seep into you and makes you more likely to say yes, in groups, in conversations, down the pub. For better and worse.
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