ED2019 Chris Meets ED2019 Comedy ED2019 Interviews ED2019 Review Edition

Kate Lucas: Is Selling Herself

By | Published on Monday 12 August 2019

Musical comedian Kate Lucas isn’t just selling her show this Fringe, she is also selling herself, literally, as she dissects the sinister side of advertising and social media with some darkly comic songs and an auction of her body parts.

The follow up to acclaimed debut show ‘Whatever Happened To Kate Lucas?’ – which she also made into a comedy album – ‘Kate Lucas: Is Selling Herself’ has a strong message, and a very quirky format for delivering it.

I threw a few questions in her direction to find out more.

CC: OK, so tell us about the premise for this year’s show!
KL: Well it’s a bit about advertising and how intrusive it’s become, and a bit about how much I’m told to sell myself and how bad I am at that. And at life in general – I have already concussed myself here at the Fringe!

CC: Where did the idea come from to make a show around these themes?
KL: My first solo show finished with a bit about how oppressive perfectionism can be and I felt like I had begun rather than concluded a long rant on the subject.

CC: Has the format evolved as you’ve been performing it?
KL: Yes, it’s had to a bit. Audiences are very good at letting you know when they are not entertained. I returned to the drawing board with this one a LOT before I think I finally cracked it.

CC: Given the auction element, presumably every show is a little bit different. What have been the highlights (and highest bids) so far?
KL: Yes, but I’ve really enjoyed doing a more interactive show. People being people are funnier than anything I could write. My flyerer, who seemed very stoned, came to the show and chipped in with some very high bids and some blissed out encouragement that tickled me.

CC: Does making a show about the advertising-branding-influencer-filled world we now live in make you think about how you sell your own shows?
KL: Absolutely. I do mention in the show that I hired PR because I do want to make money out of what I do. But with this show, I’m not so much coming at it from a position of virtue signalling, but more just acknowledging how I feel about the world as it is right now. I don’t offer solutions so much as observations and feelings.

CC: Let’s take a step back, how did you get into this performance lark?
KL: I took drama at uni and got sick of being told I lacked confidence, so I thought I’d try comedy because it’s brave.

CC: For the uninitiated, how do you describe your kind of comedy? Who are your personal comedy influences and heroes?
KL: Ha! Erm, inappropriate, dark pop/folk, but generally with an upbeat message. I love Flight Of The Conchords and Victoria Wood.

CC: For the initiated, how does the new show compare the previous one, ‘Whatever Happened To Kate Lucas?’
KL: I think the last show was mainly about trying to find a thread to string together my ideas. I did set out to be a bit braver and try to say something with this one.

CC: You turned the last show into an album. How did that come about?
KL: That’s the good thing about musical comedy – it takes a long time to write but I think it has a longer shelf life, because people want to hear songs more than once. So I recorded my show at the Soho Theatre.

CC: You also regularly play on the comedy circuit. How does doing a full hour show compare to doing spots in the clubs? Which do you prefer?
KL: I like both. Edinburgh audiences are much more patient. They’ll go “OK, weird, but let’s see where it’s going…”, whereas club crowds go “Nope – I’ve lost faith – I’m gonna wait for the next comic and get a Jaegerbomb”. I like both for different reasons.

CC: We are well into the Fringe now – what have been the highlights so far for you?
KL: The mac and cheese in George Square. They should start giving it me for free the amount of times I’ve mentioned it! It’s LUSH. When you’ve got some, then go see Jonny Pelham’s excellent show.

CC: And have you spotted any attention-grabbing advertising from within the Fringe community?
KL: Lots of shows with b**ch in the title. That definitely makes you pay attention to the flyerer!

‘Kate Lucas: Is Selling Herself’ was performed at Just The Tonic at The Tron at Edinburgh Festival 2019.

Photo: Steve Ullathorne