Who? Holly Morgan
What? Holly Morgan is a Witch. Get Her!
Where? Gilded Balloon Teviot – Billiard Room (Venue 14)
What are your feelings as you enter into this year’s Edinburgh Fringe season?
You remember that feeling when you’re all lining up outside the exam hall? And everyone’s bricking it and there’s one arsehole there who claims they haven’t even read the book and then they later get an A? I’m not that one; I’m the one who really didn’t read the book.
What is the premise of your Edinburgh show this year?
The British Witchcraft Act was only repealed in 1951; the act that makes it illegal to practice magic. Up until then, we’d had a lovely time murdering women for a thing that is literally impossible. When Trump, arch misogynist and the world’s most dangerous clown since John Wayne Gacy (google it, cautiously), started tweeting about ‘the witch hunt’ against him, I realised that the patriarchy was still using smoke and mirrors to get away with wide-scale human rights abuses. Sounds a hoot doesn’t it? But I like digging into serious subject matter with my comedy and finding the ridiculousness in it. I’ve blended in musical impressions of singers such as Amy Winehouse and Kate Bush who were labelled ‘kooky’ or ‘weird’ and used their voices for some of the famous witches. Basically, I’ve made an hour of comedy to justify doing a Stevie Nicks finale.
What is the biggest obstacle you face(d) while putting this show together?
It’s pretty hard to make jokes about the estimated deaths of 45,000 women across Europe. But the way that women were literally burned for perceived crimes then is what happens now with online trolling, tabloid muck raking and even the nasty shit that we say to each other because we’ve been socially conditioned not to value ourselves as women. It’s a joyous thing to be a ‘nasty woman’ and find the comedic parallels across hundreds of years.
Has your attitude towards the Fringe changed at all in recent years?
Oh my god definitely. I used to come up as a student and essentially treated it like an all you can eat buffet – instead of sausage rolls it was insecure stand-up comics. It’s much, much harder when you give a shit.
Do you have any other Edinburgh show recommendations?
My favourite bit! Katie Arnstein’s Sexy Lamp, James Rowland’s Songs of Friendship, Lucy Farrett’s Lois, Matt Winning, Anna and Helen, Jonny and the Baptists, Josie Long, Droll, Lucy Roslyn’s Orlando, Byron Lane’s Tilda Swinton Answers An Ad On Craigslist.
Where would you like to be in a year’s time?
My husband plays my ‘familiar’ in this show – because nothing says ‘smash the patriarchy!’ like marrying a straight, white man and fitting him into your feminist stand up. We have a telly script which we’re hoping/ have everything riding on being made next year. And now I’m worried I’ve jinxed it so I better nip off and do a small blood sacrifice.