We chat to Seven Graham about all things Edinburgh Fringe as they prepare to take Alphabet Soup up North!
Hey Seven, here’s your chance to give an elevator pitch, can you give us a
LGBTQiA+ people feel like we are living in a war, especially trans folx, our rights are being taken away and our bodies are joked about by the most famous Elder comics looking for clicks. Alphabet Soup is being served up – at Le Monde Hotel – a fresh mix every day, to bring our diverse, beautiful community together, with our sexy allies: to laugh & celebrate our culture whilst enjoying a tasty brunch and some delicious cock- or mock- tails.
What inspired the show?
I’m a Brit comic and producer in LA, living there since 2015, to hack Hollywood to tell intersex and trans stories. I write for the LA Times and I wrote a big piece for them about trans comedy and whether 2023 would be our breakthrough year? Ted Sarandos wouldn’t speak to me. Rather than get mad that our Talent isn’t getting opportunities or being listened to in the mainstream, Alyssa Poteet and I decided to create Alphabet Soup- a show to find, develop and show off the people we think deserve to be seen, get specials and be cast in shows; and who are hilarious new voices here to entertain the millions of younger people the studios and streamers are still ignoring, at their peril.
How important is the Fringe for new work? And how does it feel to be at the
Fringe this year?
Everyone- including the creative community in LA- knows the Edinburgh Fringe has launched so many great careers and is a really intense creative crucible that can help artists truly find their voice and connection with audiences and the industry partners we need.
I’m a Graham, my father was very proud of his Scottish roots and he passed in 2001 from a horrible cancer, it was very traumatic and I fell out of the BBC- where I was a BBC Entertainment director, producer and had previously worked in development, with Lorraine Heggessey – into rehab and a long, slow path back to mental health and my creative life; via over 10 years being an addictions expert, advisor to UK Gov and helping to start the Amy Winehouse Foundation (I had helped Amy stay clean to pick up her Back to Black Grammys). So to be back here in Scotland this year, returning Home, now 21 years sober and finding myself as an authentic artist- after transitioning to be Out transmasc, intersex and no-binary- feels incredible and very emotional already (and we are still in LA). Crying is harder on testosterone shots..but it could happen..Tears of Laughter. They bloody are!
What are the main themes within the production, and what can audiences
The Alphabet Soup cast have been carefully picked by Alyssa and I. They are all brilliant diverse comics with unique voices you will be seeing on TV very soon- Hank Chen just taped a special- and Janaya Future Khan has been tipped, by the LA Times, to be the Chappelle of their generation. Fifi Dosch is the first trans paid regular at The Comedy Store, LA. Joining us on stage, every day will be a different selection of comics from the Fringe, just dropping into the mix to have fun with us; and maybe come back to LA with us for the Alphabet Soup on the road Rainbow Bus tour of USA. And you will see some major VIP surprise guests coming to do our brunch show and share a cocktail, mocktail or glass of bubbly. Drag Royalty will be adding some extra class! Le Monde Hotel really are pulling out all the stops to make a very special brunch for our audience and you can buy a VIP ticket to include this and drinks.
Finally, with so many shows at the Edinburgh Fringe why should people book
a ticket to this show?
Alphabet Soup is an LGBTQiA+ show for *Everyone. We are launching at the Ed Fringe to honor 7G’s father’s memory and because we are so grateful to the Scottish Government for standing up for trans human rights, whilst other politicians are promoting the burning of books, banning us from performing in public and preparing to put the pink (and blue/white) triangles on us, if Trump wins again. *You may not like everything we say, do, or wear, but we are using Edinburgh to create a show so funny that when we tour the Bible Belt people will pull out the guns to shoot us for the joke set-up but be laughing so hard they can’t even aim straight.
Laughter is the Best Medicine and we all deserve a bloody good laugh in these End Times; and a stiff something you fancy to start off The Best Day Ever at the Fringe. PS we, the LA posse, are taking refuge in the local Edinburgh nuclear Barnton Bunker- because the house we needed was too expensive- and we will be inviting some of y’all to our after-hours gatherings, toasting some smores, and throwing the best wrap party EVER.
ALPHABET SOUP RUNS FROM 4 -28 AUGUST LE MONDE – SHANGHAI at 13.00 hrs – tickets and info here!