Credit: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society
Sneek-a-Peek

Chelsea Manders - Dont tell my Dad

Pre-fringe interview with this slick, funny woman from Toronto.

Venue: Assembly George Square Studios
Chelsea Manders is bringing her combination of music and comedy to the Edinburgh fringe in a show called Don't tell my dad which is ironic because Mom and Dad are coming. So now that we have established we can't trust a word she says, here are some more... Good luck Chelsea.

Interviewed by Laura Jeffrey

You are obviously a talented musician Chelsea, but at what point did you decide that you would mix that skill with comedy?
"The problem with playing the accordion in the nude is nipple-chafing. Is that you meant? I'm a classically trained actor and musician - thought I would play all the Shakespearean ingénues by the age of 20. But this all changed during my graduation show “Red Noses” by Peter Barnes, when I was cast as a tap dancing mute flagellant during the medieval plague. I was onstage for 3 minutes in a play that was over 3 hours long. Backstage, I started to write dirty songs and that became more popular than the show. So much for that 4-year Fine Arts degree. I now know every word that rhymes with cunt (that's a compliment in Scotland, right?)"
How would you describe your upbringing? Your comedy is clearly a rebellion against it, were you also a rebellious teenager?
"I had a wonderful middle-class upbringing on gorgeous Vancouver Island on Canada's West Coast in the provincial capital of Victoria, BC. It's the home of the newly-wed and nearly-dead. Seriously, that's our town motto. Very quaint. Incidentally, “Very Quaint” is our town sex position. I was a naughty teenager, but somehow still made valedictorian. When you get straight A's you can get away with a hell of a lot. Plus I always knew the correct ratio of water to add to your parent’s vodka in order to avoid freezing it."
One of your songs is called ‘Anne of Green Gables who Dances on Tables’, do you see a bit of yourself in Anne?
"In Canada we FUCKING LOVE ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Of course I want to be her. Without her, the entire province of Prince Edward Island would cease to exist; it barely exists now. My song imagines what Anne would be like if she'd had a chance to liberate herself from the pages she was written into. She had personality and was a fire-crotch ginger which is pretty damn hot. "
The show you're bringing to the Edinburgh Fringe is called ‘Don’t Tell My Dad’, how do your parents actually feel about your humour?
"They wish I was a doctor, but I could never cut through skin in a straight line. So it's all for the best. They love it! In fact, they are coming to Edinburgh with me. I said they were supportive, right? Yup. Point: mummy and daddy. I had to work super hard to screw my perfect life up and so I could become a comic, especially with them always clapping from the front row. They were a bit hesitant about my song “Masturbating in Mama's Bed” but I said it was a modern feminist anthem. My sweet mum now unintentionally knows more dick jokes than I do. "
What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done on stage?
"Once I fellated a maraca in time with a metronome beating at 72 Andante: a walking pace. "
Your music seems to me a bit Monty Pythonesque, was it part of your inspiration?
"Ooooo yes. Eric Idle is one of my idols. His was the first live concert I ever saw when I was 15 years old. I was obviously a super hip kid. I grew up on Monty Python. When I was 6 years old I used to run around my house singing “Life can be fine if we both 69...” It's only later that I discover how true that was. I also watched Meaning of Life with my grandma. She liked the booby parts at the end. "
I love how your song ‘Bountiful, B.C’ contrasts the sickly sweet and incredibly catchy tune with the subject of polygamy. Is it real satirical criticism or just a bit of fun?
"As Canadians we're always compared to America. I wanted to stand up and say: we have polygamy, too! America has Utah, and we have this degenerate place in the Creston Valley of British Columbia. "
On your website you list ‘sloths’ as one of your favourite subjects and one of your songs is dedicated to the Giant Sloth, as someone obviously full of energy whats the reason behind a love for one of the slowest animals on earth?
"I adore sloths. They are gentle, kind and patient and need our protection. Plus they only defecate once a week and have green algae growing in their fur which is awesome."
Though you list many talents on your website perhaps the most impressive is your occupation as a ‘Dodo Bird’, any explanation?
"The dodo bird needs all the support it can get. Being extinct, and all. It was too trusting and that's what ultimately led to its downfall after it was eaten to extinction by Dutch and Portuguese sailors - I can relate, I also trust sailors way too much. The dodo bird was a silly and sad animal; it makes me laugh and cry. Someone has to carry that torch… that dead bird torch. Long live the Dodo!"



T: 0131 623 3030
Assembly George Square Studios
George Square
Edinburgh
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