Meet the 2015 Adelaide Fringe ambassador: Kitty Flanagan

Comedian, writer and actor Kitty Flanagan has been announced as the 2015 Fringe Ambassador.

Comedian, writer and actor Kitty Flanagan has been announced as the 2015 Fringe Ambassador. Flanagan is the third Fringe Ambassador following Paul McDermott in 2013 and Katie Noonan this year. Flanagan, who made her Adelaide Fringe debut in 2011, won Best Comedy at Adelaide Fringe in 2013 and is currently starring in the ABC comedy Utopia. In her role, the Sydney-based comedian will promote the Adelaide Fringe to a national audience.   We caught up with Kitty to find out more about her new role.   Given you’re an Adelaide Fringe Best Comedy winner, was it a no-brainer to take the role of Fringe Ambassador for 2015? Pretty much. For me, getting that award was like Adelaide saying, “We love you!” So now this is me saying, “Well, guess what Adelaide, I love you right back!” Is part of your brief to promote the Adelaide Fringe interstate before the Fringe begins next year? Yes and it’s not exactly difficult. I genuinely think Adelaide is a great city and it only gets better during Fringe. Only last week I talked a couple of friends out of going to Melbourne for the weekend and convinced them to go to Adelaide instead, so I’ve been practicing my job already. To you, what is the Fringe Ambassador’s main role? Well apart from getting my own float in the opening parade, which is 10 kinds of wonderful, I guess part of it is to let people outside of Adelaide know that Fringe is actually happening. I don’t know what it’s like in other cities but Sydney’s hopeless. We’re very inward-looking; we never know what’s going on unless it involves fireworks on the Harbour Bridge. What do you want to differently to previous Ambassadors Paul McDermott and Katie Noonan? And have you talked to them about what they did when they were Ambassadors? I’m just hoping I can maintain the standard. Katie and Paul both have real skills – Katie and that extraordinary voice, not to mention her incredible poise (I love her, can you tell?). Then there’s Paul, who not only sings and does comedy but is also a talented artist. With me, I guess Fringe gets their first non-singing ambassador. And my special ‘skill’ is talking a lot. So that’s my plan. Talk a lot about Adelaide and Fringe and hopefully get people to come along and ‘experience something new’. Away from the Ambassador role, will you be performing a show next year? Can you give details about it? Yes, the pressure was on the minute I agreed to be Ambassador. I thought, “Oh god, I really do have to come up with a new show now”. So I’ve been working on it for a while and am currently touring it around the country so that by the time Fringe rolls around, this show will be tight as a nut. It’s called Seriously? and it’s my most personal show to date. This is the show that could get me into a lot of trouble if certain individuals ever come to see it. I may have to leave the country… or at the very least leave Sydney and go into hiding. Maybe I could move to Adelaide. I could easily live here you know. The lack of humidity, it’s heaven for a woman with curly hair. What are your earliest memories of the Adelaide Fringe? And what is it about the Adelaide Fringe that is different to other fringe festivals interstate and overseas? It sounds twee but I think it’s the people of Adelaide that makes Fringe such a success. It’s the way you get behind your city and support the arts. ALL of the arts, not just comedy, not just music, everything – the intense performance art stuff, the kooky cabaret stuff, puppets, nude people, dancing dogs, anything goes at Fringe because Adelaideans are willing to support it. It’s also great the way Fringe is everywhere – all over the city from one end to the other. On the streets, in theatres, in clubs, restaurants, parks, on soapboxes in pedestrian malls, in tents, you can’t miss it. If you’re walking around Adelaide you’re experiencing Fringe. The only other place I’ve ever had that feeling is Edinburgh. The big difference is a lot of the locals in Edinburgh skip town when Fringe is on, whereas the good folk of Adelaide strap in and enjoy themselves…for the whole month and that’s what makes it great.

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