ALTER EGO Q&A Caroline Burns Cooke as Yootha Joyce

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Deadline at the Fringe are interviewing performers across the festival, putting 20 questions to them – both as an artist and as their stage or performance alter ego.

Caroline Burns Cooke is Yootha Joyce in Testament of Yootha.

Actress/writer Caroline Burns Cooke returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with her third show to examine the life of glamorous sitcom legend Yootha Joyce. Testament of Yootha is a magnetic ball of energy, pastiches of period songs, and a cast of supporting roles, including Joan Littlewood and Brian Murphy, who help tell the tale of a fabulous woman and actress who “could have been a contender”.

Testament of Yootha poster
Photo submitted.

First we hear from Yootha Joyce…

1. First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?It’s alright, bloody raining though. I left Hampstead for this? God knows darling. Dragged up here by a mad actress, thinks she can revive my fortunes.

2. Does your time here bring on joy or dread?

Both. My public want me, and I’m delighted to oblige but they can be a bit grabby at times and I don’t like that at all.

3. How did you travel to the capital, and are you alone or with friends?

She got the train, me the limo with blacked out windows. You can never be too careful.

4. Where will you visit on your day off and why?
I’ll be lying in my hotel boudoir, with a glass of champers and and eye mask, darling.

5. What Scottish delicacies do you enjoy and, do any of them fill you with fear?Whisky is the answer to both, love.

6. Which watering hole will you most likely be stopping at?
Anywhere that will have me. And I’m betting that’s all of them…

7. Which other act would you be most likely to recommend to a friend?

Is Biggins here? He’s a joy.

8. Plug your show in three words.
Yootha. Unplugged.

9. Are you a newcomer or a veteran?

Ruddy cheek.

10. What do you love most about the festival?
I’ll tell you after I’ve been.

11. What do you hate most about the festival?
As above.

12. What is your biggest fear before going on stage?
Don’t get me started. I find a snifter helps. Not a tumbler, just a nip.

13. Quote yourself. What’s the best thing you’ve ever said?

I’ve often wondered what I’d do if I had a child that was dull. I don’t mind if it’s not pretty and if there was something wrong I’d love it to death. But if it was dull. What on earth would I do with it?

14. What does success and failure mean to you?

Nothing. It’s the work love, always was. I think we’ve lost that.

15. What is your worst habit?

Being too quick-tempered. Ask my exes.

16. Most embarrassing moment?

Where do I start?

17. Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

Home with my dogs. Heaven.

18. Who would you choose to be if you were not you?
Simone Signouret. Should’ve been born in France. Shoulda, woulda, coulda…

19. What is your greatest ambition?

To make people happy, and have some contentment.

20. How can we bring world peace?
Bomb the bastards and start again.

Caroline Burns Cooke headshot
Photo submitted.

And now we hear from Caroline Burns Cooke…

  1. First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?

The first is always that glorious castle on one side of Waverley and Arthur’s wotsit on the other. Heaven. I’m here to bring ‘Testament of Yootha’ to the Gilded Balloon and the world!

2. Does your time here bring on joy or dread?

Both. Trepidation, as it always does for someone with stage fright, particularly in a solo show but also delight, as I’m coming home to the Fringe. I first came in 1978

3. How did you travel to the capital, and are you alone or with friends?

Train from York as I will have done my final preview at The Great Yorkshire fringe. And originally from King’s Cross. Alone again, naturally.

4. Where will you visit on your day off and why?

North Berwick, it’s so lovely and you can do a boat trip. Last year did Pitlochry!

5. What Scottish delicacies do you enjoy and, do any of them fill you with fear?

I’ll be at Henderson’s, and any other vegan establishment. I do not fear the wiley haggis as I find him very vegan friendly with a good bowl of neeps et al.

6. Which watering hole will you most likely be stopping at?

Embarrassingly sober but there is a nice pub near the Meadows, and the Gilded Loft Bar for when I have an energy burst post 10pm – rare, these days!

7. Which other act would you be most likely to recommend to a friend?

Mary Bourke and Charmian Hughes. Both friends both brilliantly funny in totally different ways.

8. Plug your show in three words.

Fast-paced, funny, poignant.

9. Are you a newcomer or a veteran?

Veteran. First time 40 years ago, probably done at least 20 shows.

10. What do you love most about the festival?

Being part of a community of acts, many of whom I only see at the Fringe. The friendly atmosphere.

11. What do you hate most about the festival?

The nerves, the constant talking about audience numbers , reviews etc, being away from home, people being twats in public. Mind you, that’s just like London!

12. What is your biggest fear before going on stage?

Forgetting lines, who I am, where I am, running off stage and not being able to get out, don’t get me started…

13. Quote yourself. What’s the best thing you’ve ever said?

It’s just a constant stream of pearls, I couldn’t possibly choose.

14. What does success and failure mean to you?

Success is the audience loving the show, failure is me not feeling I was at my best.

15. What is your worst habit?

Self criticism, it used to be smoking… wish it still was.

16. Most embarrassing moment?

Everytime I leave the house I do something insanely embarrassing.

17. Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

Home, stroking my pussycat. Because where could be calmer and safer?

18. Who would you choose to be if you were not you?

A really good person, caring altruistic person. Or Patti Smith.

19. What is your greatest ambition?

To make people happy and find some inner peace

20. How can we bring world peace?

Be kind. To everyone.

Show Information

Venue: Gilded Balloon Teviot

Time: 12:15 (60 mins)

Dates: 13 – 26 Aug (not 19th)

Tickets: £9.50 adults | £8.50 concessions

Bookings: Here

 
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