Written by Susan Ford
Feisty and fierce comedian Gemma Flynn is coming to town for the Edinburgh Festival with her brand new show ‘Trap Queen’. I’d normally say something like, “take a chance and discover Gemma now…” but there is no risk-taking here, Gemma is an absolutely brilliant performer. And if that hasn’t persuaded you, maybe the fact that Gemma’s show is a free one will help? As the Festival countdown heats up And Gemma begins loading up on carbs, I caught up with her to discuss the Edinburgh Fringe.
Hello Gemma, how are you?
I’m great! 10/10! Next Q!
Are you excited about performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year?
Let me answer your question with a question; did you know that the rapper T.I. has a section in his Wikipedia called ‘Rescue of suicidal men’? The rapper T.I. has rescued numerous men from suicide, enough men that it merits a section in his Wikipedia page. In conclusion, yes.
How many years have you performed at the Fringe, and what does the Festival mean to you?
I’ve performed short sets every year since 2011, but I’ve lived in Edinburgh and attended the festival every year like a bloody trouper for 11 years. The Festival means so many things to me, ranging from ‘oh god there are suddenly so many jugglers outside my house’ to ‘oh god there’s Jim Davidson in my Sainsbury’s’.
Tell us about your debut show ‘Trap Queen’?
It’s gonna be fresh to death, if you will. The central focus is feminist issues in the midst of rampant Neoliberalism and the recent upsurge of hope in the Scottish context. But told with a million lols. Guaranteed NOT to include: I’m a new dad and don’t kids say the funniest things, I just turned a certain age and isn’t that weird, I contrived a wacky adventure so I’d have something to talk about, bitches be crazy.
What preparations do you have in place for the lead up to the Fringe?
Lotta carbo-loading. Also I heard on a WTF podcast once that to be good at stand up you should quit your job so I’ve been burning bridges left and right tbqh. Super interested to see if there will be any follow-up consequences but none so far!
What’s the best and worst audience reaction that you have experienced whilst performing at the Edinburgh Fringe, and how do you deal with hecklers?
The worst reaction was from a room of about 100 Spanish tourists and I can only describe it as a sea of sad face emoji. Imagine giving a lecture to the bitchy resting face hall of fame. Best gig, every other gig. *Drops mic, peace fingers, Gemma out*
I’ve only ever been heckled once and it turned out it was three small kids one on top of each other inside a big coat so I just let it go. Live and let live!
How important is audience interaction to you whilst performing?
It’s not really an important part of my show, I like to reassure potential audience members that I’m a real cutie to the core and I never pick on people. Mostly I might ask audience members questions like ‘do I have anything in my teeth’ or ‘habla usted Inglés?’
What is your favourite thing about the Edinburgh Festival?
I have to say, my favourite thing is seeing a youth theatre adaptation of Hamlet in an outdoors setting, maybe set in a war zone or some kind of dystopia and the pull back and reveal at the end is that it’s present day oh shiiiiiiit! Just kidding. It’s actually puppetry. Just kidding. It’s actually when comedians refer to us as ‘you Scots’ and make cool regional jokes about the Royal Mile. Just kidding. It’s the atmosphere.
What other acts do you recommend we catch at this year’s Fringe?
See Phil O’Shea and Joseph Morpurgo and see me a couple of times, see me mature before your eyes like a good cheddar.
Catch Gemma Flynn 8th-29th Aug (except 17th) at 3.15, in Cowgatehead, Venue 32.
Follow Gemma on Twitter @GemmaFlynn