Edinburgh Fringe: Holly-Rose Clegg (Sugar Baby), interview

A mother-daughter relationship is at the heart of this cautionary tale about the perils of toxic sugars which satirises the food industry. Mimi is a vegan activist. Her mother Susie is marketing director of a food giant. What happens when her company goes rogue? This comic voyage into the industry’s dark soul is seen through the eyes of Mimi. Sugar Baby is loosely based on Anne Penketh’s 2015 novel Food Fight which followed Susie’s adventures in Washington DC. Sugar Baby, set in London, is a far darker story.

AAA caught up with Sugar Baby’s Holly-Rose Clegg for a chat.

How has your Fringe been so far?

It’s fantastic to meet so many performers and lovely people who are here just to see theatre in such a magnificent setting.

Tell us about the show you’re in

It’s a one-woman comedy about a mother and daughter. I play a vegan activist, her mother who’s a marketing executive in a food multinational, and big, bad Barney, the company boss who misbehaves.

What’s the audience reaction been so far?

I feel a different energy from the audience every day. When they start laughing from the start, you’re on a roll until the end. For me, the audience reaction makes the show come alive.

Do you read your reviews? Do negative reviews bother you?

Yes, of course I want to see what people think, and the reviews we’ve had have been very encouraging. Any review for me is interesting, whether positive or negative, the feedback helps me evolve.

There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?

Because our show is a fun take on an important issue, the global epidemic of obesity and diabetes and the role of the big food companies. It makes you think but also laugh.

Are there other shows on this year you’d recommend?

C’est la Vegan by Dave Chawner, it’s thought-provoking and funny, so it kind of fits with our own show. And Meow Meow in The Little Mermaid. She’s crazy in a beautiful way. And Tutu.

What’s on your hit list to see?

I love dance theatre and Shakespeare, so I hope to see Lady Macbeth Unsex me Here, and Rosalind.

What do you like to do in Edinburgh on your day off?

It was a beautiful day on my day off, and I thought I’d go up Arthur’s Seat, but I ended up hanging around on the Royal Mile and got glitter on my face.

Do you agree with those who say the Fringe has become too big?

This is my first time here as a performer, and it’s so invigorating to be surrounded by all these creative people so I’m not complaining.

Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

There’s a great atmosphere at the Brazilian bar Boteco, but the coolest bar is Frankenstein pub. The people at Roti, an Indian restaurant on South Bridge offer a discount to Fringe performers!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in Edinburgh this year?

A drag clown eating a hot dog. It made me burst out laughing.

Sell your show in no more than ten words

It makes you think about what you eat.

Sugar Baby, Paradise in The Vault (Venue 29), 2.20pm, until 27 August, www.edfringe.com

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