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Danielle Ward: A bad feminist’s Edinburgh Fringe survival guide

By | Published on Friday 5 August 2016

Danielle Ward

“Being a teenager in the 90s was hard” notes the blurb to Danielle Ward’s show ‘Seventeen’, “but now there’s a whole new set of things to worry about”. Though, frankly, there’s not really enough time to be worrying about things during the Festival. So good news for any bad feminists out there who were worrying about how to survive the Fringe. Here’s Danielle herself with a quick survival guide.

Always carry with you a deeply unflattering raincoat.
Nothing screams “I am desperate to be accepted by the patriarchy” like a nice trench coat similar to the one Audrey Hepburn wears in ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’.

But the weather in Edinburgh is unpredictable, the venues are either hot and damp or hot and dry or cold and damp or smell like Shaun Ryder’s arsehole. Layers are important.

The most important layer is the one you wear when it rains (sweetheart, it will rain – both literally on your head and metaphorically in your heart). My waterproof coat is really horrible. Total win.

Don’t wear high heels.
Seriously babe, the cobbles will fuck your ankles. Ditto any shoes with a pathetic non-rubber grip sole. You need purchase.

Do not attempt any kind of fasting diet during the fringe.
You will need energy for all the crying. And no one wants to be your friend after two litres of green juice and some of those disgusting water noodles that have no calories, taste or place on a dinner plate.

Do some sex.
The Fringe can be a lonely place – ironic given there’s loads of people about – but nothing makes me feel alive and accepted like a bit of skin on skin contact (or even just pants down in a toilet cubicle).

Obviously feminists don’t like sex and only do it to make men sad when they withdraw the source, so it’s important to tut a lot while you’re at it.

And probably roll your eyes when he asks if you’re enjoying it before saying “Of course I am, mate. Can you go a bit quicker though as I’ve only seen four episodes of ‘Stranger Things’ and my free Netflix trial runs out tomorrow?”

If you can’t have sex for religious, ethical or marketing reasons, then definitely masturbate.
It’s even better than sex because you can stop halfway through to catch-up on what’s happening with the Labour Party or listen to your favourite podcast.

If, like me, porn really does nothing for you, you can make your own erotica out of flyers for the show of that comedian you fancy by gluing a picture of a knob/boobies to it that you’ve printed off the internet at Fringe Central.

Or simply draw some genitalia of your preferred choice on a napkin and look at that while knocking one out.

Keep an emergency snack about your person.
I prefer a banana but I know that’s the most unfeminist fruit you can buy, so you might like apples (v feminist), oatcakes (neutral) or Belvita Breakfast Biscuits (practically has its own Reddit account).

But not because the body fascists tell you to. It’s very good for your mental health/spiritual well-being. A walk up Arthur’s Seat, a jog round the Meadows. Vomiting because you’ve not sold any tickets for three days is also excellent for your core strength.

Go to the cinema to get out of the Fringe for a couple of hours.
I love going to the cinema. A real feminist would tell you to only see ‘Ghostbusters’, but I’m going to see ‘Suicide Squad’. Total bloody rule-breaker.

Don’t read any reviews.
You don’t need no dick-swinging white men telling you how to feel about yourself. Also, remind your mum to not text saying “Ooooh. Rosie from next door was Googling you and found a blog post saying you were the worst thing to happen to comedy. LOLZ. PS I’m divorcing your father xxx”.

Read books.
If you’re finding the stress of it all a bit much, or you’re hungover, sad, scared, wet or just plain broke, finding a few hours to spend curled up with a book is a lovely thing to do.

I’ve packed ‘Make Something Up’ by Chuck Palahniuk because I love his nihilistic writing and warped imagination. But he’s not a woman so I’ve put it inside the dust jacket of something by Caitlin Moran.

Danielle Ward’s ‘Seventeen’ was performed at Just The Tonic at The Caves at Edinburgh Festival 2016.

Photo by Idil Sukan