Sophie Willan Q&A – Edinburgh Fringe 2016

Edinburgh, the Fringe, why bother?

You get to meet loads of exciting new people, make friends, see shows, meet industry, showcase yourself and your show; It’s ‘Scollywood’ !

What have been the nuggets of inspiration behind your show this year?

Last year I turned the tele on and watched five minutes of Loose Women. A woman called Josie Cunningham had had a boob job on the NHS and over night had become the poster girl for everything that is apparently wrong with welfare and the NHS. She’d come from one of the roughest estates in the country, lived in poverty alone with her two children and had an absolute horrific life… but of course none of that was mentioned. Myleene Klass was the host and she was more than happy to take the moral high ground. She interrogated Josie to the point where it felt more like bullying. It was basically Klass saying, in her well- educated, middle class way, ‘you’re a shit-bag Josie, don’t you agree?’.

I was noticing so much classist, anti-welfare attitudes and it was making me mad. I wanted to redress that balance in this show. I think my writing is always inspired by my anger and my optimisim really.

Stand-out Fringe moment to date?

This will be my first fringe going up as a stand up Comedian but I’ve been going up for years as an audience member or with theatre shows. A few years ago I climbed the Arthurs Seat with my boyfriend at the time and had a picnic. It was a new romance then so was a very special and lovely day!

When you wished a hole had opened up in the ground and swallowed you up?

A few Fringes ago, I’d hustled myself into a private members bar with my 6ft odd cousin. Forgetting that I couldn’t quite drink as much as him at 5ft3, I got really drunk, tripped up, went flying across the bar and spilt a cocktail over Al Murray! He then had us removed from the bar!

Three shows you must see this Fringe? 

Tez Ilyas’ follow up hour. After the explosive year he’s had, it’s bound to be another fantastic hour! Bourgeois and Maurice – I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE those guys – a must see! Josie Long is back with a full show so I’m really excited to see that! Apparently it’s somewhere between stand-up and journalism – very intriguing!

The one person you’d love to see your show and why?

I really want to continue to reach groups and people who will relate to the issues in the show. Not just Festival goers!

The reason why one should come and see your show?

It’s funny, wild and honest. I think even though the experiences maybe personal to me, everyone will relate to the show and the themes in it.

The one thing in Edinburgh you must do? 

Eat a square sausage!

Sophie Willan – On Record at the Pleasance Courtyard Cellar each day at 4.45pm 



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