Half Woman Half Beast comes to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name of show: MARGO: Half Woman Half Beast
Venue: Assembly Rooms
Dates: 2nd – 18th August

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I’m primarily an opera singer but I do tons of satirical cabaret, Weimar cabaret and comedy.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
My show is about Margo Lion, a famous Weimar Berlin cabaret singer and her tempestuous relationship with her husband, a famous lyricist called Marcellus Schiffer. It takes place between 1928-1933 during the rise of fascism.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I started working on the project years ago but neeeed to do a lot of research and construct the shape of the piece. It sat churning in my head for the best of five years and I only took pen to paper a year ago, having read more than twelve books on the Weimar period, the politics and the social and cultural environment. Its so relevant to audiences in 2018 for two reasons; one the rise of populism we are seeing right at this moment in Europe and America and also 2018 marks 100 years since the Weimar Republic was formed.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Get enough sleep, eat well and whatever you do, don’t drink absinthe!

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I once went on stage without my corset during a production of Don Giovanni. I was in a camisole – I had taken it off because it was so hot. Luckily a colleague lent me her cloak – the audience was none the wiser but the director was furious !

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
In the cabaret world, I greatly admire Fascinating Aida. They are so clever, wonderfully prolific and each of them fabulous people. Barry Humphries is also someone I have had the honour of working with for a BBC radio 4 programme.- it was a great thrill – he made me laugh so much I had to leave the room to pull myself together !

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I drink a lot of water and subsequently run to the loo five times before going on stage.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
I adore Austentatious and think Rachel Parris is wonderful. I love Ad Infinitum as a physical theatre group and for variety Ali McGregor’s show is always great. I also love stand up comedy. I hope to see Jess Robinson, Robin Ince, Dylan Moran, Showstoppers, Marcus Brigstocke, Lucy Porter, Mark Watson, Nina Conti and Robin Morgan.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the Fringe?
Margo is a rollercoaster of a show packed into 1 hour with great tunes, plenty of drama and excitement. It’s a visual feast and its also quite thought-provoking.


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