Sasha Ellen’s show Creeps and Geeks is asking burning questions such as why can’t men and women be on the same team? Is it because of men with vans called Barry? Is because of killer sex robots, or it is it because of sambuca? Or all of the above? On a standard girls night out, with an equal amount of larks and perils, Sasha is all to aware of the hazards women take for granted and decides that shrugging them off isn’t good enough. ‘Men be horny’ and women feeling sex-scared all the time just won’t cut it in a post-#MeToo world, but does that mean we will always have to be on high alert? Sasha looks at the language around fear and comes up with an eye-watering solution to level-up. We talked to Sasha about how comedy and ‘life’ is improving for women and how it isn’t…
Funny Women: Tell us about your show.
Sasha Ellen: I’m doing a couple of shows this year; a solo show called Creeps and Geeks and a comedy game show called Character Building Experience.
Creeps and Geeks is a one-woman stand-up show. In a nutshell, it’s a whimsical look at sexual harassment and women’s safety. But in a fun way.
Character Building Experience is a quirky game show that’s kinda like Dungeons and Dragons, but a super simple version played for laughs. It’s pretty much comedians playing silly characters making questionable choices.
FW: The #metoo movement seems to have taken a backseat recently, so I’m glad you’re addressing it in your show, have things improved for women in comedy since you started performing?
SE: I think things have definitely improved for women in comedy over the last few years – it’s just that progress is slow and we have a lot of progress to make. There are more women getting into comedy, which gives us more visibility, which in turn hopefully makes it easier for women to get into comedy. It’s… whatever the positive way of saying ‘a vicious cycle’ is. However, there are still intrinsic hurdles, like the fact that comedy happens in the evening and the compulsory late-night journey home for male comedians is vastly different from that of female acts. That’s not really a comedy industry thing, that’s more of a life thing, but ignoring that reality or accepting these dangers as a given, unchangeable constant holds us back in a big way.
FW: How does it feel to be returning to a ‘back to normal’ Edinburgh Fringe?
SE: I’m very excited for all things Fringe. It’s been three years since we’ve had the full shebang; I’ve missed it a lot and I have vowed to appreciate this comedian summer camp this year. For the last couple of months, I’ve been asking comedian friends how they are feeling about this August and it’s all good vibes. I think people are comparatively chill and excited this year.
FW: Have you got any tips for comedians going up to the festival for the first time?
SE: Have fun. See as many shows as you can. Do one touristy thing that makes you feel like you’ve been to Edinburgh the city, not the place where the Fringe happens. Occasionally get some sleep. But not too much or you’ll miss EVERYTHING.
FW: Who are the funny women are you hoping to see in Edinburgh this year?
SE: I’m really looking forward to seeing Sikisa’s show, she’s doing her debut hour this year and I think she’s gonna really smash it. Harriet Kemsley’s shows are always a joy so I’m really excited to see the new one. Heidi Regan is always super fun and her show title is literally the most promising show title ever.