Comedian Freya Parker is about to take to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival stage alone with a brand new show, after finding success in 2018 with the Lazy Susan duo’s hit show, Forgive Me Mother!. We sat down with Freya ahead of her Edinburgh run.
Interview: Freya Parker
Hi Freya, how’s life going at the moment?
Oh hello! It’s full of light stress and snacks, but I can’t complain.
You’re about to return to the Edinburgh Fringe with a solo show – can you give us an elevator pitch for the show?
It’s about trying to stay cheeky and optimistic when the chips are down.
You previously performed there as part of the Lazy Susan duo. How are you feeling about the solo Fringe debut?
Excited, terrified, tired!
What’s it like performing alone vs as part of a duo?
I love both, though solo is a totally different beast. Admin-wise, much easier to just have one brain to deal with, but jokes-wise, it’s all on you.
What made you want to take the show to Edinburgh?
I’ve always wanted to try it solo, but wanted to wait until I had a show I was burning to do.
What are you doing to prepare in the lead up?
Gigs, gigs and more gigs, then even more, and then lying down at home thinking about the gigs.
How do you generally psych yourself up to perform?
I try to learn my material as much as I can, and then stand backstage and look at my Fitbit as my pulse goes through the roof.
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Did you always see yourself going into comedy?
I wanted to be either an archaeologist or an actor – I didn’t realise comedy was an option. I started out in acting and always fancied comedy, then fell into it by accident.
When did it start seeming more realistic?
Celeste (my double act partner) and I did our first fringe together approx 10,000 years ago, and we got nominated for Best Newcomer. Then we thought ‘OK, maybe there’s something in it’.
Who is your favourite comedian to watch?
Mae Martin. I loved their last special so much.
What has been your favourite project to date?
This Edinburgh show, and the Lazy Susan sketch show for the BBC.
What’s something you haven’t done yet, but would love to do in the future?
Do an insane action film and go on a steam train trip. Actually, ideal if those two could combine.
How do you find balance in your personal and work lives?
I don’t! But I’m trying. I like to block out some quality Alone Time – I go to the gym, which is very boring but weightlifting is annoyingly very good for keeping you sane.
If you could give advice to your 15-year-old self, what would it be?
Stop trying to be thin and pick up a skateboard.
How can we all live a little bit better?
Reuse, recycle, and overthrow the government of course.
Anything fun in the pipeline – professionally or personally?
I’m in the new Wonka film – or at least I am if my scenes don’t get cut. You never know, it’s all part of the thrill/anxiety.
I’m tuning into… The Bear series two – saving it for the Fringe.
What I’m reading… Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
The last thing I watched was… Barry. I miss the mad bastard.
Favourite film of all time… The Muppet Christmas Carol. It’s perfect.
Band/singer I always have on repeat… Paul Simon. Yes, my finger is on the pulse
Cultural guilty pleasure… Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
What’s next for me is… Who knows!
Freya Parker: It Ain’t Easy Being Cheeky is at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August. Tickets from tickets.edfringe.com