Using drag and gig theatre, multi award winning performer Joe Strickland will incite a rebellion against everything that holds us back in life, initially aimed at those in power but slowly turned inward onto the masks we put on ourselves. The show presents itself as a collection of protest songs, interspersed with spoken word over live looped backing music. And this will be coming to Edinburgh Fringe this August. Joe spoke with The Fountain about the show as well as offering tips for first time performers.

TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?

Yes, we are so excited to be able to bring the show up to Edinburgh for the summer. We hope everybody enjoys it and has as much fun watching it as we’ve had making it!

TF: Polly: A Drag Rebellion certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise? 

Polly has figured out how to make everyone in society equal and is going to fight tooth and nail in order to get into a position of power so that they can enact their plan to save the world. Using the power of spoken word, live music, and drag tom-foolery, multi-award winning performer Joe Strickland will take the audience on an entertaining and enlightening journey full of protest songs, politics and personal honesty.

TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie? 

I previously wrote a political character as parts of another show that was reviewed well and it was suggested that I grow the character into a full blown show. Having seen a lot of shows at last year’s Fringe incorporating music, and having written songs and not done anything with them for almost a decade, I knew now was the time to revive the character and put a guitar in their hands. Also, I’ve been wanting to perform in drag for a while now and making the character a drag queen fit perfectly. Drag is inherently political and being a drag queen means that Polly can approach the themes of the piece from a different angle and with a different understanding.

TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?

Make time to see other shows; don’t get so into your own show that you ignore the thousand of other shows happening around you. Some of the best art being made in the world this year will be just down the road from you, so don’t miss out. 

Also, try and be environmentally minded while taking part. We’re a part of Staging Change, an initiative to cut down on the environmental impact of making and presenting theatre, and I know how disposable certain elements of the Fringe can be. Have people take pictures of your flyers rather than handing them out, meal prep each day and carry it around in reusable Tupperware, find ways to recycle your set, props and costume once your show is over. Little changes can add up fast if you plan ahead!

Lastly, don’t forget to take breaks as and when you can. Chill out and relax so that you can give your performances and shows all of your energy without crashing half-way through your run. Pace yourself and don’t forget to have fun. If you’re not having fun, why are you doing it?

TF: And what are your future plans beyond Polly: A Drag Rebellion

We definitely want the show, or at least the character in the show, to have a life after the Fringe. We’re going to keep an ear out for any and all feedback on the show that we can get, regroup after Edinburgh and take it from there. Tour the show? Write a new show? Record an album? All we know for sure at the moment is that Polly won’t be going anywhere without a fight!

You can see Polly: A Drag Rebellion at Greenside Nicolson Square from 2nd – 24th August (not 11th or 18th August) at 21:00. For tickets, please visit