Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

Festival Favourites: Rachel Parris

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.


Rachel Parris’ Musical Comedy Club, Pleasance Dome, 14, 21, 23 August, times vary, £13 Tel: 0131 556 6550

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Austentatious, Underbelly Bristo Square, 15-24 August, 1.10pm, from £14 Tel: 0131 510 0395

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