“I think people in Australia don’t find me as weird as they do here in Edinburgh”: an interview with Claire Sullivan
Claire Sullivan is finally playing Edinburgh Fringe after sellout shows in Melbourne, Adelaide and Prague. We talked to her about dogs, travelling the world, and being a professional weirdo.
Hi Claire! Seen any good dogs lately?
Oh my gosh I’ve seen so many good dogs lately. The other day I held a puppy, it was one of those red pointers. So soft and floppy like a Disney puppy. My favourite kind of dog is one that is like a Disney puppy – where they’re super soft and floppy and kiss and eat spaghetti and talk to me.
Your show is called I Wish I Owned a Hotel for Dogs. Where did this come from, and what can people expect from it?
Well, I give the reason why I named my show that in the show, so I can’t give it away here. But what can people expect from it? Well, it’s pretty odd. I think people in Australia don’t find me as weird as they do here in Edinburgh. A lot of dogs, no literal dogs unfortunately. Expect a variety of objects to get thrown at you as an audience member.
You recently got to be the face of Prague Fringe. What was that like? How does Prague Fringe compare to other festivals you’ve performed at?
Prague Fringe was great. It was such a small festival – only 52 shows programmed and the audiences were great. They’d just turn up! Like, it was quite hard to advertise, but people would just come anyway. I was in the main room and so I’d have it full most nights. It was a really great place to get to know people that work and perform in other festivals. I’d go back to Prague Fringe in a heartbeat.
Your comedy troupe, PO PO MO CO, has won multiple awards and acclaim at every festival they’ve played at. How does doing a solo show compare to ensemble shows? What are the best things about performing solo?
Well, with a solo show, it’s just you, especially if you’re the one producing. But thank god, for this season I have the Crowded team – Ange Devery and Tom Dickins producing me. It’s like a lot of work and do your show, and flyer and everything. So in an ensemble show we have a lot of group dynamics, but also you’re not necessarily on stage the entire time (although with PO PO MO CO’s latest Nosfer-ARSE-tu I was on stage for every scene) I guess it’s hard to compare. It’s a very different experience.
Which other acts are you keen to catch during Fringe?
John Luke Roberts, A Courtroom Play: A Courtroom Play, Clara Cupcakes in The Worst, Seen and Heard, The Travelling Sisters.
What’s next for you after Edinburgh?
Well, I’m going to a friend’s wedding in France and then I’m going to live in Tasmania in a small coastal town for the summer and live by the beach.
Finally: if you did own a hotel for dogs, what would you call it?
I’d call it Claire Sullivan’s Magnificent Menagerie for Dogs Only.
I Wish I Owned a Hotel for Dogs is showing at 22.15 at the Gilded Balloon every night except for the 15th of August. Tickets available through the Edinburgh Fringe website.