FRINGE INTERVIEW – Frisky & Mannish

Prince and Princess of Pop - Mannish and Frisky

Prince and Princess of Pop - Mannish and Frisky

“2009 was a rollercoaster!” says Frisky, sitting outside the purple cow of the Udderbelly.

“We weren’t sure if Frisky & Mannish was going to continue, so we pinned everything on last year’s Fringe – we gave it everything we’ve got.”

“It helped to create a real buzz,” says Mannish, her partner in pop. “It allowed us to take the show to other festivals all over the world.”

The talented duo certainly did create a buzz here last year. Their School of Pop show seemingly burst out of nowhere to delight anyone who saw it, with its clever and hilarious spoof pop songs and a seemingly boundless energy.

“We did actually come here in 2008,” says Frisky, “and guested on a few shows. But we were really just here to be seen – we’d sit in cafes fully made-up and try to plant the seed of what became the show.”

“And it seemed to work,” says Mannish. “People would come up to us and ask us where we were playing, so that gave us the confidence to come back a year later with the show.”

Frisky & Mannish

Frisky & Mannish


This year, the pair are back with The College Years, another fantastic slice of their unique brand of pop education. It’s playing in the Belly Dancer in the Cowgate, the same venue they appeared at last year. Given their popularity now, was it a conscious choice to return to the same – relatively small – room?

“It absolutely was,” says Mannish. “The Underbelly gave us a choice of where we wanted to play, but we really wanted to return to the same place and create the same kind of atmosphere.”

Were they tempted to ask for the jewel in the Underbelly’s crown, the Cow itself?

“We have played in it before at the South Bank in London,” says Frisky. “It was fantastic, but there is a real difference between playing in a packed room like the Belly Dancer to the same number of people in a much bigger venue.”

She’s being characteristically modest. Frisky & Mannish had no trouble at all selling out every seat in the house at the Udderbelly last night, where they played the last ever performance of School of Pop. Brilliant as before, it was quite sad in a way to see them close the school gates forever. So, what plans do they have next, after this year’s Fringe?

“There’s no grand plan,” says Mannish. “We’ll be touring after the Fringe, and playing Christmas shows in London, but we’ll just see what happens.”

“We write everything together, we’re very much in it for each other,” says Frisky.

“We’re riding the opportunities, really. And we’ll be doing it for as long as we can stand it!”

For the sake of one of the funniest and most genuinely entertaining acts on the Fringe, let’s hope that’s a very long time indeed.

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