Chelsea Manders is a mischievous comedic folk singer. This August she will make her Edinburgh Fringe Festival debut with her show Don’t Tell My Dad.
“Don’t Tell My Dad is about how I overcame a supportive middle-class upbringing to become the disturbed girl I am today. I guide the audience through the meaning of my life through stories about early-90’s orthodontics and drowning – spoiler: I survived. I also sing heartfelt songs like Existential Baby Lullaby, Slutty Cousin Bossa Nova, Cannibal in Love, Anne of Green Gables (Who Dances on Tables), The Plaguey Princess Song, and Talk Dirty En Francais.”
What reaction do you look for in an audience and what are your best and worst experiences on stage?
“I like allergic reactions. I don’t mean like pollen, I mean like a really dangerous peanut allergy to a person that can’t be anywhere near peanuts. The best experience on stage was when I put two afternoon drunks in the ‘naughty chair’. They loved it a bit too much. Also, they were my parents. The worst experience was when I sang a new song to a crowd of earnest folk music fans about a fight between a Crackwhore and a Nun. I think I lost them when the Crackwhore won.”
Are you a comedian or a folk singer at heart? Which came first?
“All folk artists are comedians. It just depends on the look in your eyes and choice of instrumentation. To me, a miniature novelty conga drum from a four star resort in Veradero, Cuba adds pathos and privilege to any song.”
Have you been to the UK before? Have you visited Scotland?
“I’ve been to the UK. I studied for a year in East Sussex and learned a lot of important cultural skills, like binge drinking. I saw my first bar fight in Cardiff, Wales. I’ve been to Edinburgh and toured the castle with the audio tour. I imagine that’s what having friends feels like – audio tours.”
If you were curating a stand up show for television, who would be your guests?
“Tim Minchin, Sean Cullen, Eric Idle, Loretta Maine, Bo Burnham and Celine Dion. “