Performer: Tracey Collins Photograph by: Vessi Ves Show: Tina T'urner Tea Lady and Friends Venue: Frankenstein Pub Promoter: Indie
Tell me about your Edinburgh show.
I’m returning to The Fringe with a character comedy show featuring Tina T’urner Tea Lady and her unhinged friends including the melodramatic Audrey Heartburn, Milk Jagger and hair brush wielding Flo. It’s a fast-paced hour featuring simply the best tea, tears, milk and music.
Tell me about your first gig.
The first time I wheeled the golden tea trolley onstage was at Stoke Newington International Airport. I didn’t know the character at all as it was just an idea of an unhinged tea lady at first, but there was still something there. It was exciting and gave me the nod to keep developing the idea.
Do you have any rituals before going on stage?
I like to do things in order: Makeup, costume, wig, warm up voice. Then, just before I go onstage, I hunch my back and run around so that I’m out of breath as I hobble on.
Tell me about your best and worst review.
My favourite reviews are always from the audience. When I performed my debut show in Edinburgh in 2014, I got chatting to a woman in a pub who recommended my own show to me. I was out of costume at the time. That was a great review. My worst review was when a man fell asleep on the front row. The horror!
During this Edinburgh run, do you plan to read reviews of your show?
Yeah, it’s interesting and can be really helpful. Good or bad, I always find them motivating. Ultimately, its how the audience reacts which matters most, but an interesting quote about your work is a good thing to have.
How do you feel about reviewers generally?
I’m grateful for the reviews I’ve had, and I like reading reviews by people who are passionate about comedy and cabaret. Its nice to see another side of things.
In April 2018, YouTube comedian, Markus Meechan (aka Count Dankula) was fined £800 for training his girlfriend’s pug dog to do a Nazi salute with its paw, in response to the phrase ‘Gas the Jews’. Do you believe Meechan committed a criminal offence, and why?
I don’t know enough about it to comment, I haven’t seen the video, but remember it being discussed online.
Are there any subjects that are not suitable for comedy?
I have an open mind: as long as there’s tea involved.
Have you ever gone too far?
My characters are so different to my own personality. This is freeing at times, but there have been moments where its been too much. I broke a man’s glasses dancing on him once, he didn’t mind, but I was mortified!
Looking back over your time as a comedian, tell me about the best gig of your career.
Bestival was one of the highlights. I had 40 minutes to roll around in the sunshine with the most wonderful, rollicking crowd. Its also nice to think that the best gig is yet to come.