Fringe preview: Adrienne Truscott
Performance artist-turned-comic on gimmicks, Andy Kaufman and fooling around
This article is from 2015.
Adrienne Truscott has cracked the code that marks the transition from feminist performance artist to stand-up comedian. After last year’s uncompromising Asking for It, her new show is a reflection on how she clawed her way out from being typecast as ‘Gimmicky Pantless Rape Lady’.
‘It’s really different in that it’s not about rape,’ she says of Adrienne Truscott’s a One-Trick Pony, a riff on discovering her comedic voice after spending two years finding the funny in a serious subject. ‘My first show was a real gamble in terms of subject matter. I had to keep goofing and distracting the audience from the weight of the material or the hour could have gotten a bit heavy. But that requirement isn’t in this show.’
That’s not to say One-Trick Pony isn’t just as offbeat. In fact Truscott makes no bones about referencing her influences. ‘Someone I always adored was Andy Kaufman. He was always a comedian but he never ever told jokes.’ This aesthetic blends nicely into Truscott’s own comedy. A background in theatre, circus and dance gives her an elusive quality, making it difficult to slot her act neatly into any one genre.
‘There’s certainly political humour in my new show, but I don’t think I have to do anything other than write and deliver it well to make it work; so the other stuff is just having fun, being a bit of an idiot and a fool on stage.’ Sure, there are clowning elements in her work, but it would be remiss to forget that Truscott is an artist who is on the way to mastering her craft and who understands the danger that lies in getting too comfortable. ‘I still have a lot of surprises up my skirt. Literally.’
Gilded Balloon, 622 6552, 8–17 Aug, 8.15pm, £12–£14 (£10–£12). Previews 5–7 Aug, £7.50.