20 OFF THE CUFF with Rowan Rheingans


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

rowan rheingans fringe poster
Photo submitted.

Rowan Rheingans is an award-winning musician, singer and songwriter. Her solo album ‘The Lines We Draw Together’ is coming out on August 23rd 2019 and she is premiering a new, highly personal show at this years Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe.

‘Dispatches on the Red Dress’ is based on her grandmother’s youth in 1940s Germany. The show celebrates small acts of resistance and asks a troubling yet necessary question for our times: can hope for our future be found in the very darkest pockets of our history?

1. First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?
I’ve been long acquainted with gorgeous Edinburgh, but it’s the first time I’m here at the Fringe! I’m bringing my one woman show ‘Dispatches on the Red Dress’ for its first ever Fringe run and it’s a great honour to do so.

2. Does your time here bring on joy or dread?
I’m joyful and grateful to share in this cacophony of artists doing their best.

3. How did you travel to the capital, and are you alone or with friends?
I drove in my hot car and I’m here with my best friends: a fiddle, a viola, two banjos, an electric guitar and some dance shoes…

4. Where will you visit on your day off and why?
On my night off, I’m going to go and hear the wonderful Anais Mitchell sing from the heart in Queens Hall.

5. What Scottish delicacies do you enjoy and, do any of them fill you with fear?
A good single malt whisky I do enjoy. I don’t think I’m scared of any delicacy… I’ll try anything once.

6. Which watering hole will you most likely be stopping at?
My venue, the Scottish Storytelling Centre (43-45 High Street), has a fantastic cafe. I plan to feed and water myself there often.

7. Which other act would you be most likely to recommend to a friend?
I’m looking forward to seeing David Edgar’s one-man-show ‘Trying It On’.

8. Plug your show in three words.
Darkness Sings Light

9. Are you a newcomer or a veteran?
I’m a complete beginner here!

10. What do you love most about the festival?
I’m excited to perform to folks who’ve never heard of me before, to perform to eclectic and different audiences will be great.

11. What do you hate most about the festival?
Trade fairs aren’t my thing, and I admit there is an element of that which I don’t find the most beautiful. I’ll keep my head down and do the best show I can do.

12. What is your biggest fear before going on stage?
That my shoelaces are undone.

13. Quote yourself. What’s the best thing you’ve ever said?
‘Shall I get a fringe for the Fringe?’

14. What does success and failure mean to you?
Success is all about connection for me – if what I am trying to explore as an artist is genuinely connecting and cathartic or challenging for someone else then I’ve succeeded. If I am contributing to an artful, empathetic conversation, I am succeeding.

15. What is your worst habit?
Sitting for long stints at the computer, thinking ‘I’ll just do one extra thing’ until the day is done.

16. Most embarrassing moment?
I once ran over my own hand in a multi-storey carpark.

17. Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
Home, where I can breathe out.

18. Who would you choose to be if you were not you?
I’d be my parents tabby cat, free to roam in a wild garden, free to sleep long on the sofa.

19. What is your greatest ambition?
To remain happy and healthy in body and mind. What else is there?

20. How can we bring world peace?
International socialist revolution, of course. And a lot more evolution too.