Fringe preview: Clare Plested’s maternal Fringe...

Clare Plested
Clare Plested
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AS she embarks upon her third Fringe season this evening, comedian, actor, writer and improviser Clare Plested recalls her weirdest Fringe ever...

“My weirdest Edinburgh Fringe experience was last year, which is saying something if it can top 2011 when my dad died the week before I performed here. How dare he!

Honestly, he would find that funny.

Anyway, last year topped that. I came up to do a solo character comedy show and I brought my two-year-old daughter with me. Utter madness.

On the one hand, I felt like superwoman, a pioneer for all parents in the arts - we can do it all.

My daughter loved it. I took her to some incredible children’s shows, we ate ice-cream every day and drew unprecedented attention when I put her to work flyering.

But the reality for me as a performer was zero sleep, child care struggles, potty training gone to pot, hourly crying and tantrums (from me), lack of child changing facilities in venues, negotiating a buggy on cobbled streets and home by 7.30pm... cue more crying and tantrums from me.

Having said all that, I felt invincible and the tea and sympathy I got from fellow performers made me feel like a hero.

Did I learn any lessons? Yes. Parenting and performing is crazy, but, like child-birth, the mind quickly forgets the pain.

So we are here again this year doing it all over again. I’m such a silly sausage.

Clare Plested: Flock Up, PBH Free Fringe Ciao Roma, South Bridge, until 27 August, 5.50pm, free