As if making her Edinburgh Fringe debut wasn’t stressful enough, comedian Rhiannon Shaw has also been immersed in planning for her wedding just one month later.
Fortunately, it’s also the basis for her show, titled Wedding Night, where she invites the audience into an immersive wedding ceremony.
She takes on the role of not just herself, the bride, but also Caroline, the attention-seeking French flower girl, Elsie, the elderly Scottish mother-of-the-bride, and Kyle, the Kiwi officiant who’s more used to funerals…
How are you feeling ahead of your debut at the Fringe?
Nervous and excited in equal measure. Also hungry. I’m craving all the excellent food Edinburgh has on offer.
What made you want to do a Fringe show?
I’ve been doing comedy for a while now, I love the Fringe, and it felt like it was now or never to just get over myself and do it. Also, I want to make lots of people laugh in the most beautiful city in the world.
What is your show about, and what inspired it?
My show is about getting married, because while I was writing it I was also planning my real wedding. I’m inviting you all to this special Fringe edition of my wedding, which is filled with silly characters who help you understand a little bit more about me and how I’m feeling about the whole shebang.
Who are some of the show’s main characters?
The main character is me, the bride, but I give a lot of stage time to Kyle, the neurotic Kiwi wedding officiant who’s more comfortable running a funeral. Also Elsie, an elderly Scottish widow I’ve been doing for years and who is a loving tribute to my mum.
Do you have any regrets about planning a wedding just a month after the Fringe?
Financially? Yes. In terms of my mental wellbeing? Yes. But I’m also getting everything out the way at the same time. 2024 will be more relaxed, I hope. Unless things go downhill fast and I end up getting divorced and having to do a show about that.
Have you been to the festival before? What are your favourite memories?
I’ve been to the festival twice as a performer (just in student productions) and loads of times as a punter. One of my all-time favourite memories is the night of the Chortle Student Comedy Awards Final 2018. I didn’t win, but someone snuck me into the Gilded Balloon bar afterwards and I felt like sort of a big deal for the first time.
If you were put in charge of the Fringe, what changes would you make?
It needs to be cheaper, but I’m hardly the first person to point out that it’s prohibitively expensive. To be different, I’ll say I’d make Edinburgh flatter. I’m living in New Town this year and already dreading daily walks up The Mound.
How would you describe how you feel when your walk on music hits and you take a step out onto the stage?
Exhilarated. The nerves just melt away and I start having fun.
Who else are you looking forward to seeing at the Fringe?
So many people! Stuart Laws, Ian Smith, Alex Franklin, Will BF, Heidi Regan, Siân Docksey, Bilal Zafar to name a few. Also a big shout out to some other brilliant debuting character comics: Kathy Maniura, Rosalie Minnitt, Lorna Rose Treen, Charlie Vero-Martin.
What’s your favourite one-liner?
Huge fan of everything Glenn Moore has ever said or tweeted, but probably: ’Turns out saying “Oh what, this old thing?” is not an appropriate way to introduce an elderly relative.’
Who’d be your dream…
Podcast co-host / guest
Bob Mortimer. I want to talk about cats with him.
Wrestling tag team partner
Comedian to split an hour with
Maria Bamford. We could both do our impressions of our mums.
Rhiannon Shaw: Wedding Night, Bedlam Theatre, August 15-27 (not 21). Tickets here.
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