Queer transgender performer/creative Grumms is bringing their solo show Something In The Water to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. They took some time to let audiences Have a Gander at their show, as they invite audiences into a wacky world of sea monsters in high heels and angry mobs. Something In The Waters is a queer adventure, which finds Grumms transform from an ordinary girl and into a squid monster.
Would you mind giving us a brief insight into who you are/what your show is?
I’m Grumms (they/them), a queer transgender performer/creator from Treaty 6 Territory (that’s in the flat part of Canada). I’ve created and toured queer comedies across North America and Australia for the past 5 years with my queer theatre company, Scantily Glad Theatre. I’m drawn to the Muppets (I have a Muppet), body horror, surf rock, anthropomorphic foodstuffs and turning trash into treasure.
Something in the Water is my solo show where I turn into a giant squid monster as a metaphor for my experience coming out as transgender. Then Squidie (me as the squid monster) has to disguise itself as a normal human woman to hide from an angry mob with tiny pitchforks. The show combines live feed video, puppets and comedy to explore gender, comic books and growing up normal.
How does it feel to be a part of the 75th Anniversary Fringe?
This is my first Edinburgh Fringe (in-person)! I’m so so excited.
This has been a dream of mine since I was in college. I’ve been touring the North American Fringe circuit for the last 5 years, which is a very different (and much smaller) beast. But it’s helped me find my voice as an artist, and figure out the kind of work I wanted to make.
And then we did Adelaide with Something in the Water in 2021, which was the biggest festival I’d ever done. And I definitely felt like a tiny fish in a big ol’ pond. But it went as well as it possibly good: we sold out our season and won the Best Theatre award for the festival.
So Edinburgh was naturally the next step for the show, and for me as an artist. It’s going to be challenging, I’m sure, but I can’t wait.
There are over 3,000 shows at the Fringe. So what sets your show apart?
The show has a really unique multimedia element, combining live feed video with DIY paper puppets that make it feel like a comic book come to life. There’s also a ton of other puppet-y goodness like Creature from the Black Lagoon meets the Muppets.
And there’s some audience interaction (but fear not, nothing where I’m gonna pull you onstage). And my director, Deanna Fleysher of Butt Kapinski, works a lot with audience interaction. She really helped me get very specific with the language, physicality and how to set up these moments.
Your ideal audience is in attendance, who’s watching? Or more importantly – who isn’t there…
I hope the show can reach queer, trans and questioning folks. That’s really who I made it for – so queerdo-weirdos like me can feel seen. But I also think even the most cisgender, conservative audience member can enjoy this show. We can all laugh at how ridiculous it is that my squid monster has to put on a dress and high heels to disguise themself while on the run from an angry mob with tiny pitchforks. But TERFs and transphobes should stay home.
It’s an intense month, so where you’re able, how do you plan to relax, and are there any other shows you’re intending on seeing/Recommending?
I want to get out and be in nature, away from the busyness of the Fringe, when I can. And taking lots of naps.
My partner is also taking his solo show, “Fool Muun Komming! [BeBgWunderful/YEsyes/ Hi5.4sure.TruLuv;Spank Spank:SOfun_Grate_Times]” (an obnoxiously long title, I know). It’s won pretty much every award you can win on the Canadian circuit and it’s a Fringe jewel for sure.
We’re also doing our duo show, Creepy Boys, for a few late-nighters over at Underbelly. We play 2 chaotic occult orphan twins who are throwing their first birthday party.
I can’t wait to see Shirley Gnome’s new show, “Decoxification”. The album basically got me through COVID lockdowns and I can’t wait to see it live.
And there’s also a shadow puppet show coming over that I’ve seen on the Canadian circuit that I absolutely love called “Space Hippo”, which is all sorts of wonderful, weird and fun.
Something In The Water runs at Venue 26, Summerhall (1 Summerhall, EH9 1PL) on the below dates in August:
3rd-14th, 16th-21st, 23rd-28th
Performances begin at 20.00pm and last for one hour.