Who? Kate Lucas
What? Is Selling Herself
Where? Just The Tonic at The Tron (Venue 51)
What are your feelings as you enter into this year’s Edinburgh Festival season?
Fear of so many things – hills, liver damage etc. but I’m looking forward to it. The Fringe feels like exam time for comics. We all have to hand in our work and get marked but it’s so much fun to spend all that time with your peers and be in the centre of what you love. I really love the city, I think it’s beautiful and the atmosphere is great. In terms of feelings it’s like a year’s worth of gigs squashed into one month so all the highs and lows are magnified and it’s a rollercoaster. I cry every year at least once. But that makes sense, if you think about it it’s an insane thing to do. Imagine going to Glastonbury for a month. You’d go nuts and we all do every year!
What is the premise of your Edinburgh show this year?
I’m always told I’m bad at ‘selling myself’ and that I need to think of myself as a ‘brand’ so I decided to take that advice very seriously and auction off all my body parts to the audience. It’s just silly and it’s my way of questioning the influence marketing has on us all. I don’t know how I fit into the age of YouTube and social media but I feel like the lines have become very blurred. Advertising has crept into everything and I’m very suspicious of that. I read an amazing Banksy quote: ‘Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.’ It’s way longer than that but it perfectly articulates everything I feel about advertising and how kind of rude it is. It’s rude to shove yourself in someone’s way and say ‘Do you look old? This supermodel doesn’t. How embarrassing for you. You’d better buy this cream’. It’s kind of about that.
What is the biggest obstacle you face(d) while putting this show together?
This show’s a bit riskier than my last show because there’s more audience interaction so it makes it a bit unpredictable. I mock a particular advert in the show and it just so happened that the man who wrote that ad was in the audience at one of my previews. The odds of that have to be slim but I don’t think I have a fan in that man at all. He does not like me. It’s also tricky doing a musical show and trying to weave in themes because the songs are sort of like self-contained stories in themselves. It’s been challenging but fun to write a show about something I’m quite opinionated about and trying to figure out how to make it silly and not too preachy.
Has your attitude towards the Fringe changed at all in recent years?
Ha ha I had a bit of a tragic/funny moment in the Pleasance Dome last year where I was chatting to a friend saying ‘Is it me or is the Fringe much quieter this year? I feel like there’s less partying and buzz.’ and as I said that a table full of 20 year olds to the left of us burst out laughing at something and it dawned on us both that we’re just old now. I’m more familiar with the Fringe and in some ways that makes it less daunting but even though I’ve been up there a lot, this is only my second solo show so that will add some butterflies for sure.
Do you have any other Edinburgh show recommendations?
Oh dear. I hate this question. Unfortunately for me there is a massive abundance of talent at the Fringe. There are so many people I love and I’m bad at choosing. Go and see Alfie Brown, Lou Sanders, Heidi Regan, Bobby Mair, Jonny Pelham. ALL OF THEM. NOW. And then go and get truffle mac and cheese in George Square. I have been mourning that sweet junk food for 10 long months and if the mac and cheese stand isn’t there this year, well, I won’t be held responsible for my actions.
Where would you like to be in a year’s time?
Driving in my car! I’m 30 and I don’t even have a provisional license but I’m going on an intensive course after Edinburgh. It’d be great to be driving myself around to tour my show. I’ve also got some scripted projects in development and I’d like to be moving forward with those.