If there’s one thing style of comedy I love, it’s the anarchy of a clown that lacks any pretension and brims with personality and fun. And Tessa Waters is the perfect fit.
We’ve become big fans of her appearances in Laugh Out London’s more experimental run of comedy nights (her Lou Reed and Twin Peaks impressions were spot on) and we’re confident her solo show will deliver on that promise.
August is looming. How are you feeling about heading up to Edinburgh this year?
Excited, overwhelmed and totally pumped. It’s such a false sense of security this time of year, just over a month to go and I’m all like; ‘yeah I’m going to do the festival differently this year, I’m going to bake bread every day to relax and not drink and just stay really focused on what’s important you know…oh and yeah yoga tooonnes of yoga’. Of course the reality will be by the end of the first week I’ll be a mess, a big happy exhausted mess. This is my second Edinburgh and my first doing a solo show so I’m really excited, the audiences up there are always great and I’m also running the late night free programme at the Cow Café at Underbelly Cowgate this year so lots of stupid free fun to be had there from midnight each night (please see previous comment about being a big happy mess).
You’ve previously performed as part of the double-act Sexytime. What did you learn in that time?
Sexytime! in 2012 was my first Edinburgh, we came over from Australia just for the festival which was massive for us and we had a really successful season. From a creative point of view it was mind-blowing, having access to that many amazing shows and opportunities to play and show off our stuff was brilliant. From the producing side of things we worked our sexy butts off getting audiences in, I think we did 47 guest spots in 25 days or something on top of a few hours of flyering a day. That was really fun actually, we got this boom box and blasted out James Brown and the Isley Brothers while walking around Edinburgh just flirting with people, seemed to work out though.
You’re now going it alone with Womanz. How are you feeling about performing your first solo hour?
This is actually my third solo hour show, I’ve just relocated from Australia where I’ve been doing the fringe circuit since 2009. This is my first show I’ve written since doing a year with Philippe Gaulier in Paris and I definitely feel like my approach to making the work has changed. It’s all focussed on finding the games to play and making sure I find it fun, it’s a good way of getting out of my head and just trusting my idiot instincts. The character of WOMANz was born in Sexytime! and I’m really excited to be sharing a whole hour of her with audiences this year.
WOMANz is looking like a very exciting and experimental show. What can audiences expect?
WOMANz combines dance, physical theatre, clowning, and cheeky costumes to take the audience on a journey through the pages of ‘herstory’ re-writing the book on what it means to be a WOMANz today. It pokes fun at gender stereotypes and prejudices in a feisty and fun way and appeals to the inner loveable doosh-bag in all of us men and women alike. You will also learn some seriously awesome dance moves.
Who would you like to see in the audience this year?
People who are up for a party of stupid fun times, people who love comedy, dance, clown and especially when those things are combined. I stepped out on stage one night during our run of Sexytime! in 2012 and Stuart Lee and Bridget Christie were in the front row that was pretty ace, he ended up picking us in his top comedy shows of the festival. I’d like to see lots of awesome idiots please.
Are there any other shows you are looking forward to seeing this year?
I might be biased but there is an incredible list of Australian Shows this year, Stuart Bowden’s Before Us, Wil Greenway’s Vincent Goes Splat and both Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall’s oh and Josh Ladgrove aka Dr Neal Portenza and Come Heckle Christ. Other amazing WOMANz I’m excited to see are East End Cabaret, Jen Brister, Sophie Pellham, That Pair, Katie O’Brien, Cheeky Kita, Abigoliah Schamaun, Sharney Nougher and The Grandees (technically not all Women but there’s so many costume changes it’s hard to keep track). There’s tones of others but I would have to write out most of the program.
What else would you recommend to someone visiting Edinburgh in August?
Try the haggis and the whiskey at the Whiskey rooms, climb the big hill and drink a cider in the sun at Bristo Square
Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.
Dear potential audience members, please come and see my show WOMANz at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it’s going to be really ace and fun. Love from Tess x
Tessa Waters: WOMANz
Jul 31 – Aug 24, 10.10pm