EdFringe Talk: Aidan Sadler: Tropicana

“Keep an eye out for performers out on the street without huge gimmicks, big casts. Those are usually the hidden gems of the Fringe.”

WHO: Aidan Sadler

WHAT: “Join queer cabaret icon Aidan Sadler as they take you on the award-winning journey to Tropicana! Nothing is safe from ridicule so be led on an exploration of body image, heteronormativity and sometimes wearing a dress round the house on a muggy day. Here, you’ll experience belting 80’s synth-pop nostalgia punctuated with world class stand-up comedy. Featuring electrifying 80’s hits from Spandau Ballet to ABC, Tropicana returns to Fringe from its sell-out, extended run in 2021 to explore, bend and abuse the gender binary.”

WHERE: Assembly George Square – The Blue Room (Venue 8) 

WHEN: 22:20 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!

Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This will be Tropicana’s second go at the Edinburgh Fringe and my god is it a different year to last! The festival last year created so many magical connections – I still see all of the people I met on a regular basis, how crazy is that?! I feel like in the real world that never happens! We all have this joint experience (or trauma depending on the season) and we use it to connect and bond.

A great festival happens about half way through when the collective, city-wide burnout kicks in. That’s when the real fun begins and the insanity starts to unfold and everyone begins to come together to just… Make it happen! You need a toilet roll delivered to half way down the royal mile? A message is sent into the ether and there, in front of you it appears! It’s all great fun, god I’ve missed it.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

Don’t take anything for granted! Your entire life can be snatched away from you in a heart beat, and the powers that you think have it all figured out probably don’t! The reality of society is anarchy! Pure chaos! I’m rejecting all of the lessons I learned pre pandemic and embracing the new ones. How many apocalypses (apocali?) will we collectively experience? Let’s go crazy, write that show you’ve always wanted to write, make a move on the guy you’ve been flirting with for the last year, record a cover of your favourite song! Oh, and book tickets to Tropicana (duh).

Tell us about your show.

I wrote this silly little thing over the pandemic when I was in quite a dark place (no spoilers!) and since debuting last year at the fringe it has spiralled into this gargantuan creature that has toured the UK, performed an off-west end run and rocked Brighton Fringe, it’s just been insane. I have to perpetually pinch myself that this is just what I do now. From nothing to… something!

The company was created out of a handful of my friends who were made redundant over the pandemic who had also gone freelance. This was our opportunity to get out of our funk, and boy has Tropicana got us out of it! None of us had ever done anything like this before so it was an awesome (and sometimes soul destroying) journey. I feel like we’re now a gorgeous sexy dysfunctional unit, working together to make a very professional looking grassroots show happen.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

Keep an eye out for performers out on the street without huge gimmicks, big casts. Those are usually the hidden gems of the Fringe. And my god, is it lonely to try and plug and sell your wares to the general public.

My biggest recommendation is Hummus: After Dark. It’s a surrealist stand-up, monologue-y, music-y thing that is offensive, silly and will make you look at Hummus differently for the rest of your life. Some other friends – PotatoHead (bonkers), I Am Not A Gorilla (insane), Laurie Black (punky) Clementine (unhinged). For a cabaret person I sure am recommending a lot of character comedy!!!! Being on the road a lot I’ve had the joy of seeing so many awesome acts, sorry if I missed you out!