Amy chats to Jae West as they prepare to star in two shows at the Fringe, which they also created!
Hey Jae – here’s your chance to give an elevator pitch, can you give us a brief synopsis?
Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody, is a nostalgic musical comedy that takes you on a journey of self-discovery. You follow our hero on a quest to find their one true love. Guided by an unlikely mentor, ‘The Hairy Godmother’, you meet fairytale favourites, like never seen before (think adult themes!), who teach our young hero about society, life, and love. Prepare for a laugh, live singing, audience participation and some thought-provoking lines and lyrics.
WET, this cathartic comedy cabaret takes you into a deep dive into what it is to be a woman. You explore five components of what shapes a woman (physical, sexual, cultural, motherhood, and individual) through hilarious comedy skits, heart-filled poetry, live music, evocative dances, and even a lecture on quantum physics! Laugh, cry, get aroused, and prepare for a rollercoaster ride as we get you wet in all the right ways.
What inspired you to create these shows?
We started out as a group of friends coming together to create a fun show that explored topics we were passionate about. We never expected to be touring the world four years later with the shows we’ve created – it’s a bit of a fairytale for us!
We are all storytellers though. So, we’ve taken themes and topics that we have experienced or felt passionate about and fused them into our music, comedy and dance. We’ve found this is a fun, playful and approachable way to explore themes we don’t always openly talk about.
After creating Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody, we realised how much we loved working together. So over the last four years, we’ve written four shows together, one of them being WET!
Have you performed at the fringe before? What are the best and worst parts of performing at the fringe? Or if it’s your first time, what are you most excited about?
We’ve been performing at Fringe Festivals for the past four years in Australia, this is our first time doing Fringe in Europe! We’ve been able to do Brighton Fringe, Reykjavik Fringe, and Prague Fringe, where we were all met with open arms.
It’s been really interesting to see how our Aussie humour lands with different audiences. We try to learn about the place that we’re going to and add in some new jokes and comments on the country/place that we’re in, which also keeps things fun, fresh, and unique to different audiences.
There are so many great things about Fringe! You get to meet like-minded individuals with a range of skills and watch different expressions of art, comedy, music, dance, circus, and so much more! Getting to talk to audience members after the show is always a highlight as well. We love meeting people!
The hardest part is getting so much FOMO! There are so many opportunities, shows, and activities each day! There needs to be more hours in a day to fit it all in! Especially when you have to factor in time to get through all the admin that is inevitable when putting on a show.
What are the main themes within the productions, and what can audiences expect?
Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody
The show explores overarching themes of self-expression, love, self-love, self-discovery, and self-acceptance but in an unorthodox and playful way. We not only want to entertain but educate, touching on topics such as consent, menstruation, toxic masculinity, adult toys, and so much more! The show is very fun and frivolous, so audiences can expect a lot of laughs, live singing, an opportunity to get up on stage (if they want to), and a heart-filled message.
WET explores topics and experiences that shape a woman through a rollercoaster ride of expression. We go through five areas of womanhood (as mentioned above): physically, sexually, culturally, motherhood, and individuality. Sixty minutes is definitely not enough time to share all the things that influence a woman but we do touch on the things that have personally influenced us all, as the writers and performers of the show. Topics range from our relationship to pleasure, celebrating mothers, body dysmorphia, self-expression, sexualisation of the female form, the history of the clitoris, and more. This show is a fun, playful night out but a deeply reflective and provocative show that will have you thinking and discussing topics long after you’ve left the theatre.
Finally, with so many shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, why should people book tickets to see these ones?
Both of our shows have meanings and messages that we truly believe in. We have a lot of fun while performing on stage and promise to take you on a cheeky, hilarious and emotive magical carpet ride that you won’t forget.
Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody is on at Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose from the 3rd – 27th August at 6.30pm – find out more here!
Wet is on at Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose from the 15th – 27th August at 9.45pm – find out more here!