Comedian and actress Lolly Jones brings her own unique character comedy and burlesque hybrid show to this year’s Edinburgh Festival to the Assembly Roxy venue for the month of August, Fifty Shades of May.
Lolly spoke with The Fountain about the premise of her show and offers her top tips for those in Edinburgh for the first time.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
It’s my fourth year and it gets more exciting (and stressful) each time! Previously I’ve been here as a Stand-Up but now I come as a cabaret Prime Minister, complete with two male dancers (wearing gold metallic hotpants). I look forward to it every year but I’m particularly excited to see what happens with this show. As long as Theresa doesn’t get fired, which let’s face it – is on the cards.
TF: The show certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
I retrace some of Theresa’s big moments; her leadership bid, THAT conference speech and her ‘naughty’ childhood in fields of wheat. With the help of Liam Hourican as Jacob Rees-Mogg (Tracey Breaks the News) we will discover who is really cracking the whip in Westminster. It also features a Cabaret Arlene Foster and Nicola Sturgeon doing a fan dance.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
I used to pull pints in one of Parliament’s bars around the same time that I started doing stand-up. It was impossible not to talk about the decisions being made in the Chamber above. I’d also trained in dance and burlesque so it seemed inevitable that I would draw on these to tell Theresa May’s story. Even though I disagree with her policies, she is a powerful woman who is belittled by questions about fashion and children. I hope that I’ve captured the empathy of that struggle whilst also ripping apart her political choices!
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
My plans are the same as every year: eat at Mosque Kitchen every day, don’t drink before ten and watch as many shows with drag queens in as possible! I think it’s easy to lose your head on the first year; I would say lower your expectations! Don’t take it personally if people walk out or if you get bad reviews. It will be hard emotionally but you’ll also learn to soldier through and you’ll meet the best people who you’ll see year after year. The Fringe isn’t real life; it’s a cocoon of cider, fun, glitter, graft and adrenalin!
TF: And what are your future plans beyond The Fringe?
I’d like to tour the show. It depends on the political situation obviously. I am quietly working on a Boris drag king show for when Theresa is usurped. Then, just like Jeremy Corbyn – I can be ready for every eventuality.
Lolly Jones: Fifty Shades of May, Assembly – The Roxy Downstairs, 8.50pm, 3rd – 24th August (except 13th)