My eleventh, and final, Sydney Fringe interview is Jacinta Gregory, a queer comedian and writer known for musical comedy. She wrote, and is performing in, the cabaret-comedy My Intervention, which is on at the Red Rattler this weekend.
We spoke about doing drag, her previous comedy work on Holt! The Musical, and how this show has evolved over the past three years.
Please note, interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
So, tell me about your show, My Intervention. Is this the first time it’s ever been performed?
This is the second iteration of this kind of show format, but it’s changed so much. So I performed a version of the show called Jacintavention in 2020. Which: love the name, the pun is fun, great. My plan was to do it in 2021, after doing a trial version at the Giant Dwarf.
And then the lockdown happened. And now we’re here in 2022 and it is a completely different show. Two songs out of ten songs from the original show are still in it, but the rest of it is all totally different.
And I kind of refer to the past version of it (in this version) and how much it’s changed because I’ve changed so much as a human being in the last two years, so the show has changed too.
And the pun is gone, too! I’m growing up.
This is a serious theatre show. No puns allowed!
Yeah. It’s serious. It’s serious. (Laughs)
Are you going to take it anywhere else? Do you have any plans?
It really depends on how this goes and audience response, but I was planning on taking it to Melbourne next year, possibly. I was also thinking about something like Darwin fringe, just because I’ve always wanted to do it.
I’ve never heard of Darwin Fringe!
Yeah, It’s like very country. Like, everyone goes to all the shows because there’s not that much there. And I just really want to go to the NT, but that’s not usually a part of the convenient tour route.
Yeah, because I’ve asked a lot of people and then they all say this “I’m going to go to Melbourne and Adelaide and Perth and Brisbane”, and no one’s mentioned Darwin to me. You’re an original.
So original! And I might go to Brisbane possibly as well.
How would you describe the show for people who don’t know what it’s about?
I, Jacinta, have decided to call myself out for all of my toxic behaviours and flaws in a public forum. So, I’m inviting everyone, I’ve got my refreshments and a place to air grievances to my own intervention, I’m throwing my own intervention.
What this is— is it’s basically a mini-musical where we are going through all of the reasons why I’m “fucked up” and why I deserve to have an intervention.
And it’s about mental health and your own neuroses and ego and narcissism, but it’s in a funny way, in a cute way.
I’m such a cabaret newbie so this may be a silly question—Did you write these songs?
Yeah! So, they’re all original score.
Cabaret is interesting, because I mostly do stand up and musical comedy and I’ve kind of moved into the cabaret sphere as well. So, I’m a little bit of a newbie to it as well. It’s a very fun structure, because it kind of means you can play with genre a lot more than you can in a normal like musical theatre production. So, we’ve got a very jazzy song and a very like musical theatre-y duet kind-of-number.
I feel like I should do some spoilers about the show. I was raised very Catholic and I’m also gay. And there’s a song about ‘you and your best friend being in love with each other, but not being able unravel that in your own minds because you’re both religious’.
So, you’ve written all these lyrics, and the score?
Do you have a musical background in composition?
Not really. I wrote a lot of like sketches and song parodies at Sydney Uni when we were doing revues and musicals. I wrote a musical called Holt! The Musical, that was on at the Seymour Centre in 2018. It was in the Sydney Morning Herald, and Harold Holt’s cousin came—it was psycho! It was totally psycho. (Laughs)
But, not really, all of my musical background is self-taught. I’ve got a musical director in the show, whose been writing up the scores and making it all very technical, very polished and pretty. But I write the chords and the lyrics, basically.
Why should people come for your show?
Because it’s so fun! They should come because it’s original and very relatable and very colourful and feminine and entertaining.
I feel like we’ve all been struggling so much over the last two years, and this is a show that is particularly cathartic. I’m giving audiences a window into my diary. It’s a very personal production, but also an avenue to laugh at our own pain. It’s cathartic and fun and feminine and silly.
So, this is Sydney Fringe, not Sydney Fringe Comedy?
It’s part of the main Sydney Fringe. I’ve done Fringe Comedy in the past. And the reason I ended up doing main Fringe is because this is the least stand up-y show that I’ve done.
It’s very character heavy and song heavy. It really is a musical. It has these very dark turns and a very sad ending. It’s very funny, but it’s a long-draw payoff.
Because it’s a bit more experimental than what I’ve done in the past, that’s why I decided to move into kind of main fringe where it fits better. And the Red Rattler is such a beautiful, vaudeville venue. So, it suits it really well.
Who is the ideal audience for your show?
Gay people! The LGBTQIA+ community will really enjoy this show.
I play half the show as my own ex-boyfriend and my own boss, and I drag as different characters in my own life, and do a lot of like dances. But also my main audience base is usually women. Women love my shows! They walk out of my shows and are like “I get it, girl, I’ve been there”.
Also, people that love musical theatre should definitely come.
So, tell me about you doing drag.
I’m dragging as characters in the show, but this will be very simplified makeup just because in the realm of multiple characters, I literally just don’t have time to do a full physical transformation. But I play my own ex-boyfriend and I sing a boy band number.
It sounds fun. It sounds very silly, but in a good way.
My Intervention, by Jacinta Gregory, is on at the Red Rattler in Marrickville this Saturday and Sunday night at 7:30pm. Tickets can be purchased here.
Interview conducted and edited by Jo Bradley.