Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
We are Ellie Gibson and Helen Thorn, otherwise known as the Scummy Mummies! We are a comedy double act and each have a side we always like to stand on - yes, we are just like Ant and Dec! Except less famous and successful. And with vaginas.
How would you describe your show?
It’s an evening of laughs for less-than-perfect parents - so that means all parents. We all have a lot of non-parents coming to our shows too, and they seem to enjoy laughing at our predicament. One woman said she likes our show because it reminds her to take her Pill.
Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?
It’s been our dream to perform at Edinburgh ever since we met six years ago, at a terrible gig inside a shipping container in Deptford. We haven’t made it up there due to pregnancies, babies and school holidays getting in the way, but now we’re finally doing it! We’re so excited!
What differentiates it from other festivals?
It’s the big one, isn’t it? We’ve done music festivals before, but they’re park runs compared to the marathon that is Edinburgh.
What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?
Ellie’s dad is a semi-retired comedian, and Helen’s dad is a vicar, so we grew up watching people telling weird stories that may or may not be true to people who may or may not be listening. We’re inspired by the likes of French and Saunders, of course, Mel and Sue, and our own mums (who are often funnier than our dads, ssshhh.)
If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?
Ellie was a video games journalist before comedy, and Helen worked in arts events. So we’d probably still be dicking around with PlayStations and black polo necks.
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
We have four children between us now and we are very tired. So if there’s some sort of job where you get paid for lying down, that would be ideal. Mattress tester?
What is your earliest childhood art memory?
Going on a school trip to the National Gallery, and laughing at all the willies.
Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?
Obviously it’s hard to ignore the fact that Brexit’s a huge mess, women’s rights are being eroded, and the world’s on fire. So yeah we do feel like commenting on that from time to time, in between boob jokes.
Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?
When we started out, people praised us for being honest about the realities of parenting. Now that’s become a trend and everyone’s whinging on about how hard it is, not just us - which hopefully is a good thing.
Describe the last year in 5 words or less?
Our year? Catsuits, curries, chianti, cock jokes.
If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?
Dolly Parton. We have a similar aesthetic, and we’d really like to borrow her wigs.
Why would a performer opt to do either a ticketed event or participate in the free fringe? What are the benefits and limitations of both?
We’re doing a ticketed event but that’s just what we’re used to - we already do ticketed shows all over the country. The advantage is you know how many people are coming to your show; the disadvantage is there’s no chance of a really pissed person dropping £50 in your bucket by mistake.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?
We can only speak from our own experience - the fringe is a big financial investment, so we’ve spent years honing our material and working out our dynamic before committing. We’ll see if that’s paid off soon!
When and where can people see your show?
Assembly George Square - The Blue Room, 7.50pm, Aug 1-11 and 13-25.
And where can people find, follow and like you online?
We’re on Instagram and Twitter @scummymummies and our website is scummymummies.com. The Scummy Mummies Podcast is available there or from wherever you get your podcast.
The Scummy Mummies debut at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Assembly George Square Blue Room at 7.50pm from 1st – 25th August for tickets go to www.edfringe.com