In today’s instalment, our Fringe expert chats with Kate Feeney about her show Thinky Winky 


This is part of a three-week nearly everyday series wherein polyamorous ex-nun nurse nonbinary queer comedian Kelli Dunham explores all the queermost edges of The Edinburgh Fringe, performs her own hilarious and hopefully hopeful show, annoys and confuses people with her gender, and drags you along for the ride. 

Honeymooning With Hilarity and a Wee Bit of Therapy

Last week, two folks came to my show immediately after a wedding.

Not a friend’s wedding.

Not a family member’s wedding. 

Not a coworker’s wedding. 

Their own wedding. 

To each other. 

Conventional wisdom is that if you’re trying to build an audience for your show, it’s bad strategy and perhaps even bad form to actively discourage attendees. 

But they were coming to see “Second Helping: Two Dead Lovers, Dead Funny.” 

To be clear, this is not an ironic title I chose for a zany show that involves me in drag as Richard Nixon juggling sex toys while riding a doubledecker unicycle and reciting the prologue to the Canterbury Tales in old English. 

Although that’s not a bad idea for next year. 

Nope. Although the show’s theme is more represented in “helping” than the dead lovers bit, and although it’s hilarious and hopeful, it does, well, involve two romantic partners dying in a row.

But there they were, Mike and Cheryl, in CC Blooms’ basement, 45 minutes after their courthouse ceremony. 

“We did go home to change clothes,” Mike said, almost guiltily. This was wise. In a tux and gown, they’d end up (intentionally or unintentionally) part of the act. 

After the show, I queried Mike and Cheryl about their experience. 

They were enthusiastic and seemed untraumatized and maintained it was an excellent choice for the occasion: “It reminded us that life is short and you have to do what makes you happy.” 

Damn. I got something in my eye. 

Speaking of making art as therapy and therapy as art (we were, definitely) I talked with Kate Feeney about her fringing August.  

What are you doing at the Fringe? 

I’m doing a show called Thinky Winky, which is all about the lessons I learned about changing your mind from coming out at 30 and studying psychotherapy. It’s an interactive show where we try out some of the exercises I learned while training, and also features lots of character comedy – so it’s a real mix!

Who likes your show, Kate?

The show is a mixture of stand-up and storytelling – that seems to be appealing to anyone who’s felt locked in by social norms. I’m an Irish comedian, so getting a lot of Irish along to the show – and, of course, a fairly queer audience too.

Who won’t like your show?

There’s some interaction and personal reflection in the show – so anyone who wants to be completely left alone may be better off avoiding me!

What’s the most bananas thing you’ve done to get bums on seats? 

Given the theme of the show is therapy – I staged some fake therapy sessions near the venue, which gathered a few curious folks! I’ve also gone a little too deep with my flyering chat at times – I think I prompted an existential crisis by asking, “How happy is your inner child?” to one poor chap.

What’s the most heartwarming comment so far?

I’ve had a number of people say that they’ve been curious about therapy and never gone – but that they will after the show – so that was a win for me.

Kate Feeney’s Thinky Winky continues at The Street at 14.45 until August 27th. 

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