20 OFF THE CUFF -with My Father the Tantric Masseur performer Roann McCloskey


Deadline at the Fringe are interviewing performers across the festival, putting 20 questions to them off the cuff.

Roann McCloskey navigates life as a post #MeToo queer, British-Algerian woman in her award-winning sell-out production ‘My Father the Tantric Masseur’ that promises to have you laughing, crying and pondering the name you’ve given your genitals as you’re taken on a journey of excruciating self-discovery.

We caught up with the writer and performer to ask her our 20 off the cuff.

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

I love Edinburgh, it feels like a quaint, calmer London. What’s not to love about that?

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

A mix of the two. Absolute joy as a dream is being realised. Dread because with bravery and ‘stepping into the arena’ (Brene Brown) comes room for failure. But I am trying to embrace that and learn from every aspect. So now having written it out it’s joy. JOY!!!!

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

I drove up with set in the back with my producer who I’ll be living with for the month.

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

I am thinking about driving to the countryside to lie on the grass and look at the sky and hear nothing… with some sandwiches. Or maybe Glasgow OR visit my bed for 24hrs.

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

I have been told to try something called a ‘pizza crunch’. It sounds scary as I don’t need to be addicted to another type of food.

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

I have no idea? I’m such a newb. I am really looking forward to finding my favourite watering hole. But I will hang out at the Abattoir and the Assembly members bar once or twice just so I know what it feels like to feel cool for the first time in 30 years.

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

Connie Wookey’s ‘Denied’, a one woman musical comedy show. Connie is fantastic and such a new rising star on the scene, catch her at Underbelly first! Also James Rowland’s trilogy of his last three shows  at Summer Hall.

  1. Plug your show in three words.

Sex, Funny, Poignant

  1. Are you a newcomer or a veteran?

Brand new, straight out the womb.

  1. What do you love most about the festival?

The variety of shows and the community that is created for a month

  1. What do you hate most about the festival?

The variety of shows and the community for a month…. I JEST!

I hate the inability to say no to the vast array of incredible food trucks!

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

That I’ll forget all my words and then pee and then poo on stage and I’ll never be allowed in a theatre again…. But I’m feeling super cool.

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

Everything? No…. I think ‘Trust your gut, stand your ground.’

  1. What does success and failure mean to you?

I have tried to adopt the mind-set that failure exists but it is a place of learning. So failure for me looks like not learning. Success means  being able to look back in time and see development of self.

  1. What is your worst habit?

Over analysing… But others would argue that it is never finished my drink. If it is tea, coffee, Ribena, juice. I never finish it, always leave a little dreg…

  1. Most embarrassing moment?

When I was 9 and I farted in class.

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

The garden of my family home;  if ever I feel sad or anxious, walking barefoot on that grass can help bring me back to life.

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

My sister. She is the best.

  1. What is your greatest ambition?

To make some transformative change in the arts.

  1. How can we bring world peace?

To dismantle the status quo. To unpick the racist, sexist, cissexist, heterosexist, disablist, classist, colonial, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic systems that currently oppress. Then perhaps we get world peace. Either that or elect me as President.