Karen Cogan talks about bringing her dark comedy DRIP FEED to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I am a writer performer in theatre and tv. I started making work a few years ago with two other actors I trained with at RADA. My first solo play The Half of It ran in Dublin last year. It was an extravaganza of terror and joy so looking forward to doing it all over again. At the minute I’m developing several TV projects and some new theatre for next year.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
The show is called Drip Feed. It’s a dark comedy about a gay 30-something woman in Cork, 1998.

She is stagnating and trying her best to deny it. It’s about feeling stuck. You know that feeling when you need to move forward but something in you is blocking you? It’s that. With jokes.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I wrote Drip Feed in a fast and furious few days last year and this year Soho and Fishamble came on board to produce after it was shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award. I’m working with a ridiculously gifted team and the play has been elevated to more than the sum of its parts.

It’s relevant to anyone who has ever felt that there is a magical key to life that someone forgot to give them. It’s a story of a queer woman trying her best but being a bit of a cluster*beep*

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
I haven’t done the Edinburgh Fringe in 10 years so I’ll be scouring this series of interviews to get advice from other performers. But my general long-run advice is yoga, supportive friends, tea, ginger and milk thistle and Drag Race in the afternoons.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
One time, some years ago, a wonderful actor who I won’t name, and I were having a heart to heart in the dressing room of a large theatre and clean missed our scene. I heard someone on stage saying one of my lines in a slightly pained voice. It was not bloody funny at the time but it’s been a while. I don’t recommend it.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
People who tread their own path outside of the tight parameters of the industry. Those in education and outreach who are enabling young people to enter arenas they think are not open to them.

Also, Annie Baker, Beckett and all those good-at-writing ads.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I do a yoga and a small panic and then another yoga. I run lines and check everything and do a list of things I’m grateful for. It’s good to zoom out sometimes and remember it’s only a fecking play. It’s easy to forget that. Also jaegerbombs. Not really.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
I want to see as much drag as possible. Underground Railroad Game which is also produced by Soho Theatre sounds extraordinary. Also looking forward to finding Irish theatremakers I don’t know and supporting their work.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the Fringe?
It’s honest and sharp. It speaks to heartbreak and being a disaster of a human sometimes and it’s been brought to life by excellent people who are weirdly good at their job.


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