Rowena Hutson from the cabaret trio answers our questions.
Hello. How are you today?
I’m pretty ace thanks. Sitting in Melbourne in the winter sunshine listening to my new playlist (it’s an all-femmes playlist about taking up space and drinking gin – I’m not going to lie, it’s totally rad). I finally fly to the UK this week to join the other Fringe Wives and I’m so excited my skin is tingling from the tips of my toes right up to my head! I cannot wait to get to Edinburgh again.
At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?
Very closely! Though I I say it myself, we are all indeed fierce, feminist and furiously funny. We’ve been touring the show for a year – tweaking, getting fierce, funnier, and more feminist and flamboyant. It also means, we know the show inside-out and so the blurb reflects that. We are going to rock out with Edinburgh conSENSUALLY and I cannot wait.
Who are you sharing a flat with and how will you help each other survive the month?
I am super excited about this actually. We’ve got two flats for our team (I know – we’ve made the big time!), so Tess and Vicky will be living with the hilarious Australian comedy clowning duo – Two Little Dickheads (Two Little Dickheads), and I’ll be living with cabaret queen Carla Lippis (Midnight Marauders) and circus powerhouse Jess Love (Notorious Strumpet & Dangerous Girl). I suspect there will be a lot of cross-flat late night dinner parties and drinks. Each of us Fringe Wives enjoy cooking and baking and drinking up a storm for and with our friends, and during crazy busy fringe seasons it’s all the more important to Stop, Eat, and Listen (to each other’s break down of the day.) It’s all about having a good safety net of friends to help you celebrate the good times and get through those tough rainy days, as well as eating good food cooked with love and served with cocktails.
Any shows you’re excited about seeing?
Hells YES! I took last year off from Edinburgh so this year I am raring to get out there and see shows and be inspired. I already have a list of shows I want to see a full A4 page long – and I can only see it growing the more I hear about other shows. The ones right at the top of my list are: Hot Brown Honey (Gilded Balloon) – I saw this in its first season in Australia and it blew my mind. I can’t wait to see it again and see how it’s developed and grown. Each and every of the performers in the show is a feminist powerhouse in their own right and I just can’t love them or recommend their show enough. Jonny Woo’s All Star Brexit Cabaret (Assembly) – I think it’s going to be simultaneously scathing and hilarious. Freeman, and A Clown Show about Rain (both at Pleasance) are both shows digging deeper into mental health issues that I think will be incredible. Wil Greenway: Eitherside of Everything – Wil is a master storyteller and manages to make me laugh and cry every. single. time. I will no doubt be ending most nights rocking out to some cracking cabaret like Midnight Marauders (Carla’s voice just makes my body go wild) or Briefs: Close Encounters (oh my god these boys. SWOOOOOON). I could keep going and going! Keep checking in with us all fest – we’re always happy to keep recommending the gems we see.
Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?
This is going to sound weird – but I always miss that strange malty scent in the air in Edinburgh when I’m not there. It gives such an intense sense of place! I’m also really, really looking forward to catching up with our much loved Fringe family – people we’ve been on the same tour circuit with for years and years. Each new festival feels like you’re walking back into the warm, welcoming bosom of a beautiful, eclectic (and slightly sweaty) house party full of good hearts and even better gin. It’s pretty special.
The Fringe’s tagline this year is ‘Into The Unknown’. What do people not know about you?
About me personally – I’m a secret Weegie! I was born in Glasgow in the 80s and then whisked away to Australia (so no passport. Gutting!) – but I’ve always felt my Scottish blood pretty strongly and it starts throbbing pretty hard when I cross that border north. And about us Fringe Wives Club babes – the premise for this show was cemented over Bloody Mary’s and smashed avo (#brunchdiaries!) at Checkpoint in Edinburgh exactly two years ago. It was possibly the best brunch in the history of the world (for the fruits it brought forth!).
I’m bored of all the podcasts I currently subscribe to. Can you recommend me a good one please?
There’s a really incredible Australian podcast called The Pineapple Project by comedian Claire Hooper. It’s actually about finance – but bear with me -I promise it’s hilarious and really fascinating. ‘Pineapple’ is aussie slang for a $100 note, and the project was Claire’s way of investigating the way women have traditionally been locked out of being financially educated. So how do we learn to control and improve our own finances if we haven’t actually learnt anything about it. I feel like my brain is expanding every time I listen to it! And obviously – if you haven’t listened to The Guilty Feminst – get on to it now. It makes me laugh and cry and cheer every episode.
Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.
I’ve been pretty loquacious already! So all I’ll say here is: get out and take a chance on a show you’ve never heard of. Still see your big name favourites – but also take a chance on something new that catches your eye. See as many femme-IDing and feminist acts as you can! Or shows by POC or about race, the experience of LGBTQI community members or mental health, or about a topic you know nothing about or are unsure how to feel about (like the mess that is Brexit?!). Edinburgh is the best place, quite literally in the world, to see something that will blow your mind, or make you think, or make you rage, or swell your heart to breaking point. Whatever your response – you’ll know you’re alive and it’ll probably keep you thinking for days! VIVA la inclusive art revolution! x
Fringe Wives Club: Glittery Clittery
Aug 1-26, 8.50pm