ALTER EGO Q&A – Maddie Rice/ Miss

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

Maddie Rice has been performing in the UK and Australia as the star in critically-acclaimed, smash hit play Fleabag. Now she is back at the fringe to premier Pickle Jar, her debut one-woman show, where she plays the character of Miss, a teacher preaching safe sex and social media savviness whilst taking the morning after pill and dating someone she met on Instagram.

Photo submitted

Maddie Rice

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

This is my sixth year at the fringe and as soon as I get off the train the memories flood back! It’s beautiful, mad, and peaceful all at the same time. I am here to bring my debut play PICKLE JAR to the fringe. It is a comedy drama about a teacher struggling to cope with being a responsible adult.

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

It’s always a cocktail, bit of joy, sprinkle of dread, a touch of excitement and loads of beer. The atmosphere at the festival can often be manic but it is fun and the perfect place to try out new work.

3. Are you a happy soul or do the occasionally dreich elements make you morose?

I’m a positive realist. Coined that myself. I tend to get overwhelmed sometimes but on the whole I don’t get particularly morose. Edinburgh can be a scary place when you look at the elements of judgment and competition but if you look at it as a place to meet like-minded people who make wonderful work then you’ll have a good time.

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

Traquaire house if I can. A friend of mine took me a few years back, it’s a beautiful manor house with a maze and a little stream running through the grounds. If you go out of Edinburgh city centre on your day off you feel more rested.

5. Do you ever get jealous of other performers?

I try not to get involved in those negative emotions. Sometimes it can be hard if your show is having a hard time or if you aren’t working but you can’t compare yourself to other people without feeling rubbish about yourself or your own work. Most of the time if you feel jealous it is because you admire someone or respect them so if you spend more time with those feelings then you save yourself a load of time.

6. Did you have a happy childhood?

Yes. I have been incredibly lucky and blessed with a huge family. 20 on each side, every year Christmas is like a giant wedding. Mad. My family love the fringe and are incredibly supportive of my career.

7. What does success and failure mean to you?

I want to think of it as fulfilling your own ambitions and plans but normally it is all to do with whether I have pleased my family and friends.

8. Are you superstitious when it comes to performing?

Not really no. But I always brush my teeth before a show and do a yoga pose that I don’t know the name of but it makes me look like a frog.

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

Falling over! So I’ve made myself do it on purpose in the first five minutes of my show so the fear is vanquished.

10. What is your favourite saying?

It all comes out in the wash- it’s what my friends and I say when we are getting rounds in or lending each other fringe props etc.

11. What is your worst habit?

Not putting the lids back on things properly. It drives my housemates mad.

12. What do you love/hate about the festival?

I love performing, arthur’s seat, meeting new people and Mosque Kitchen. I hate flyering, flyering and inevitable hangovers.

13. Tell me about your most passionate embrace.

An ex boyfriend of mine came to surprise me at the airport and I’d been away for ages. I ran and jumped on him and cried like a baby. I love a surprise.

14. Do you wear knickers under your kilt?

It would be rude not to follow tradition.

15. Most embarrassing moment?

I always think I know people because I’ve seen their shows and then say hi as if we are old friends. That is always pretty embarassing.

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

My parents house in sussex. It is like a hobbit house with tiny doors and there’s so much green all around it. It’s very peaceful and my family are there which makes it very special.

17. Who would you be if you were not you?

Ella FitzGerald. Just to sing like that for one day.

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

I could eat Haggis all day. But don’t make me eat a friend Mars Bar. I’ll never recover.

19. What is your greatest ambition?

To be a good role model and a good person.

20. How can we bring World Peace?

By listening to each other and supporting each other. As soon as we see people as individuals and stop grouping people then we can empathise and help each other. If it happens from the bottom, the people at the top have to listen.

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Miss

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

It’s so romantic. Full of castles and music and gorgeous kilted Scottish men that look like they could build IKEA flatpacks without the instructions.

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

I’m fine. Always fine. Fine, fine, fine, does anyone have any Tequilla?

3. Are you a happy soul or do the occasionally dreich elements make you morose?

I feel very responsible for the kids I teach, the boys I meet, my friends and that weighs me down and then I don’t think about what I’m doing and I end up losing my memory and my keys.

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

I’ll go up and sit on Arthurs seat, look down at the city and think. My friend Laura says I think too much. She keeps getting me to eat raisins mindfully.

5. Do you ever get jealous of other performers?

I think I’m a frustrated actress. I teach PSHE lessons to my kids on subjects they clearly already know about, stranger danger, sex ed etc. I try and get it to come off the page a bit more by doing a play or a dance. The girls tease me. Like I’m one of them. One of them said that I dressed like a jumble sale on acid, and they all shop at vintage markets so that’s a compliment.

6. Did you have a happy childhood?

I grew up with my Mum in Guildford. She’s young, had me when she was seventeen. She always says she wishes she’d had an abortion. She’s joking. I think. She’s more like the kid and I’m more like the mum and she’s always calling me a prude and trying to get me to go out more.

7. What does success and failure mean to you?

I just want to be like my old English teacher Mrs Miller. She was my favourite teacher and made me feel special and seen. If I can get the girls to see me like that then I’ve been successful.

8. Are you superstitious when it comes to performing?

I don’t perform but if I did I think I’d do the lot. Crossed fingers, the Scottish play, Getting Cats to cross my path. The lot.

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

That people won’t listen. I only get on stage for end of term prizes and the girls just talk over me and giggle.

10. What is your favourite saying?

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

11. What is your worst habit?

I’m so gullible. I’ll believe everything you say and it gets me into all sorts of trouble.

12. What do you love/hate about the festival?

The atmosphere of excitement and hope.

13. Tell me about your most passionate embrace.

My ex Seb, he made me laugh so hard that I spat a canape over his face and he wiped it off, swept me into his arms and kissed me. It was like a scene from a rom com.

14. Do you wear knickers under your kilt?

Oh gosh. Yes. The wind is strong and I wouldn’t want a Marilyn moment.

15. Most embarrassing moment?

My ex called me to tell me that he’s got something and I thought he’s got me a gift but he was trying to tell me that he had an STI!

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

The school toilets. Sometimes I hide in there to eat my lunch just to have a bit of peace and quiet.

17. Who would you be if you were not you?

My best friend Mairead, she’s amazing. And mad. She goes out out on weeknights.

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

Irn Bru makes me feel like a teenager. I’ve never tried Haggis but I fear it would taste like death.

19. What is your greatest ambition?

To be a good role model and a good person.

20. How can we bring world peace?

Hot chocolate for everyone.