Comedy blog

Kathy Lette: Edinburgh Fringe 2018 interview

Australian-born author Kathy Lette puts on her first comedy show at the Fringe.


At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?

Well, a blurb tries to be a humorous haiku – a macchiato of a message, which hints at the full, five course discourse to come. “Girl Talk” is a funny, feminist one woman show. (I just hope I don’t fall out with the cast!) It celebrates the fact that females are each other’s human wonder bras – uplifting, supportive and making each other look bigger and better. Blokes are so welcome to come along, but they will be ovulating by the end of the chat.

Who are you sharing a flat with and how will you help each other survive the month?

I’ll be bunking down at Gordon and Sarah Brown’s place, so will have a nourishing helping of politics over my porridge each morning. I love them both dearly, so it will be quality bonding time between gigs.

Any shows you’re excited about seeing?

All the comedians. Am fully expecting to be hospitalised from hilarity.

Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?

Wild salmon, Billy Connolly, Sean Connery, the Celtic football club – a lot of fantastic things have come out of Scotland, although the Scots would probably argue that the greatest thing to come out of Scotland are the English.

But it’s a funny place. The Scots eat sheeps’ stomachs of their own free will. (Haggis is a great way to diet.) They toss huge tree trunks for fun. The men wear skirts with no stockings, in that weather, (I love the Scottish summer – it’s my favourite day of the year. One needs to drink a lot of their world famous whiskey to stave off hypothermia.) It’s also home to the world’s most fishy figment of imagination. (Is Nessie a monster of marketing, or the world’s most allusive aquatic enigma?) But whenever I’ve been to Scotland, I’ve been totally won over, not just by the whiskey and the history, but also by the wit and warmth of the locals.

Edinburgh is so old they call the Georgian part of the city the ‘new town’. The city lies between two volcanoes, but it only erupts with comedy, ceilidhs and culture. Edinburgh is or was home to JK Rowling, Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, brilliant engineers, mathematicians, scientists, explorers…Yep, this is a little city that punches way above its weight. Which is why I’m so looking forward to turning up for a week to put the tart into tartan.

The Fringe’s tagline this year is ‘Into The Unknown’. What do people not know about you?

Perhaps my actual career highlights? Which are 1) teaching Salman Rushdie the limbo, 2) Stephen Fry a word, and 3) penning Julian Assange’s cameo in The Simpsons.

I’m bored of all the podcasts I currently subscribe to. Can you recommend me a good one please?

Cariad Lloyd, Griefcast. Comedians die on stage every night, but Brits rarely ever talk about real death. In this captivating podcast comedians are dead funny about bereavement. It’s perspicacious and poignant, but also pants-wettingly witty.

Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.

One hundred years since Emily Pankhurst and heroic co chained themselves to the railings and women still don’t have equal pay. We’re getting about 75 pence in the pound. We’re also getting concussion from hitting our heads on the glass ceiling: plus we’re expected to clean it whilst up there. I reckon any woman who doesn’t call herself a feminist has kept her wonder bra and burnt her brains. But we don’t whinge about it, do we girls? My only motto is – laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you get salt in your champers. Which is why, hopefully, we’ll be having a hoot at “Girl Talk.” Boys – attend at your own risqué.


Kathy Lette’s Girl Talk
Underbelly, George Sw
4-11 Aug, 3.30pm
££

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