Edinburgh Fringe 2022 
Interview

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Hannah
Pilkes
A Woman on the Verge
VENUE 302 - Underbelly, Bristo Square- Dexter
Aug 3-14, 16-29, 19:15 /  Tickets
Aug 2, 2022

Hannah makes her solo debut at the Fringe and she is on the verge in more ways than one. A show that explores ego, shadow selves and adulting, as Hannah aims to determine whether a person’s mess is their strength? Or just.. well, messy. A character-driven comedy that welcomes the unhinged in whatever shape it takes, be it absurdity, angst, pratfalls or puppetry. Viva la breakdown!

 

Hi Hannah, thank you for taking the time to talk with The New Current, how does it feel to be heading to Edinburgh Fringe and Underbelly this year?

 

Exciting!! I brought a two-woman show to the Fringe in 2019, and I’m really proud of the show I have this time around. Especially after lockdown, it’ll be really wonderful (and emotional maybe?)... just me?

 

With this being your solo Fringe debut are there any nerves ahead of the festival?

 

Definitely! But I think a healthy dose of nerves is what fuels a good show. I’m a big talker, so I’ll just have to be aware of how much I’m talking in between shows, since it’s just Me, Myself and I up there. And I know a lot of comedians going this year, so that’ll be very comforting.

 

What does bringing A Woman on the Verge to the Fringe mean to you?

 

How do I even answer this! It’s like this sound: EEKS! But also this sound: Oh boy! Gulp! But mostly this sound: HELL yeah. No, seriously, I’m really excited to touch on that messy part of ourselves we judge and hopefully find the comedy in that as well.

 

If you could use one word that best describes your comedy what would it be and why?

 

I’m doing two words, because L’Oreal, I’m Worth It: I’m an Angsty Muppet. I’m drawn to the absurd, but I’m also drawn to the highly emotional parts of ourselves and satirising that.

 

What’s been the funniest comment you’ve gotten for your stand up?

 

“Too Tall.”

 

Any show/performer you’re looking forward to seeing at the Fringe?

 

So many! But I haven’t seen Mary Beth Barone’s hour yet, so I’m excited for that.

 

Can you tell me how A Woman on the Verge came about, what was the inspiration behind your new show?

 

I’m guilty of over-committing the hell out of my life, and I kind of want to examine why that is, why we all feel the need to be so busy all the time, and is it a mask for something else? And is there a way we can laugh at that, and have some sort of mass (funny) catharsis, where we celebrate our “mess.” Can we celebrate exactly where we’re at in this present moment, instead of chasing this “as soon as” mentality, because we can be on the verge in a myriad of different ways, and if we’re so focused on the result, we miss the journey to get there. Or WHATEVER, I’m a mush.

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"Theres so much bombing involved, but if you can laugh about it with your peers, you can all grow together."

How much do you think the show will evolve/change during the Fringe?

 

A lot of the show is dependent on the audience and the energy we build together that night, so I think it will take a LOT of different shapes! Which also means I hope people will come back, because it will inherently be different each time.

 

Have you always had a passion for sketch comedy and what has been your favourite sketch you’ve created?

 

I’ve always had a passion for comedy. Particularly observational comedy and zeroing in on all the really weird, micro things we do. And in that vein, my favourite character I’ve created is my Woman on the Verge character, because it’s entirely autobiographical and it was created when I caught my reflection in the mirror as I was having a breakdown and my hands were quivering like Jazz Hands, and it made me cackle.

 

Do you have any tips or advice for anyone wanting to get into comedy?

 

Build a community around you that you feel safe to “fail” in front of! There’s so much bombing involved, but if you can laugh about it with your peers, you can all grow together. I’m still working on this myself, but the less personal you can take it all, the better. Hence why my show is about a Woman on the Verge.

 

And finally, what do you want your fringe audiences to take away from A Woman on the Verge?

 

I want them to laugh their heads off, hopefully look inward a bit, and maybe like what they see a bit more! I also think that we all wrongly believe we are on an island with our struggles and chaos, and that we have to present like we have it all together, and I hope that the show can at least illuminate there’s a commonality to community. There was also such guilt associated with lockdown, shaming ourselves about being immobile for a while, which I think says a lot about what we expect from ourselves. But what are we in addition to what we put out? Maybe the show can help answer that. WEE!