We talk to Colin Hoult’s alter ego, Anna Mann, about their new Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, How we stop the Fascists.
Hi Anna, tell me about your show.
Well Like a lot of us I’ve been shocked by the rise of fascist thinking throughout the western world lately. It’s back in a big stupid way. Then, after a particularly frenzied cheese and sex party in Camden I had an awful nightmare of a future Britain where I was executed just for being wonderful. I knew I had to tackle these bastards head on. I’ll be playing a variety of true Brits I met. It was very interesting to meet real people again. I hadn’t really spent time with any since they stopped delivering milk in the 90s. But they were really rather marvellous. Except the ones what thieve.
What does Edinburgh mean to you?
Oh good ness so many things. The place I met my 7th husband Saucy George, the place I went black from too many poppers. So many failures so many successes. But mainly failures
Who inspires you and why?
My first husband (and the only one I really loved) John Smells (Smellsy) my lover my inspiration my muse, my muesli, my coco pops, my bran! A good man!
Describe your best or worst experiences on stage.
Probably my worst was when I played Titania in T’Dream (northern version) the director demanded I wear a real life owl as a headdress. It was kept in place with bird seed in my hair. Nearly pecked out my eye. Good actor though. For an owl.
Describe your best or worst review.
My best is probably from the Chiswick Times who called me ‘a monster giving birth to itself’ which i thought very clever. Probably my worst was ‘what a waste of my life’ – mother.
If you weren’t a performer, what would you be?
Good question. I think probably a bandit. Or a tailor. I’d love to work in a car wash. For a bit.
What was the last book you read?
Sadly, I never learnt to read, no time with all the acting. I have to have all my lines read to me a thousand times. Takes ages. I have a student called Steve do it. He’s here now, he just read that question in fact.
Anna. Are you more well known for your theatre work or your television work?
Imagine that the BBC have asked you to produce a primetime show. What would it be and who else would be involved?
I’d love to do something like Noel’s House Party but set in an abattoir. I’m very passionate about animals and only eat meat killed humanely by humans. I thought I could highlight animal cruelty but also have a bit of knockabout fun with some celebrity guests. And yes I have copywritten that idea before you steal it!