Australian trans comedian Anna Piper Scott claims trans comics face ‘barriers’ at Fringe Festival
Australian comedian Anna Piper Scott has claimed that she had trouble getting coverage for her Edinburgh Fringe Festival performances as a result of being transgender.
The critically acclaimed comic made her Edinburgh Fringe debut this year with her show Anna Piper Scott: Such an Inspiration.
But, despite the show’s previous success, Anna claims that she and other transgender performers face barriers when it came to taking part in the world-renowned festival.
Anna says that, in the lead-up to her Fringe Festival run, she struggled to get reviewers to come along to shows, or management companies to help out with planning and promotion.
The award-winning performer said that she has never faced coverage problems at home in Australia, where she says being transgender is ‘not as big an issue.’
Anna Piper Scott, who won the ‘Best Emerging Writer Award’ at the 2022 Melbourne Fringe Festival for the same show she struggled to promote in Scotland, told PA News: “In terms of barriers for trans people, we’ve had trouble getting replies from some of the management companies or some of the line-up shows, stuff like that.
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“And even though I’m incredibly acclaimed back in Australia, the gigs are harder to get [in Scotland] than they should be.
“It’s hard not to think that at a certain point, it must be something to do with me being trans.”
Anna claimed that she and other talented transgender performers got less Fringe Festival coverage than comedian and anti-trans advocate Graham Linehan.
Linehan made headlines earlier this month when his comedy performances were cancelled twice due to his views on transgender issues.
After his second show was cancelled, the Father Ted writer opted to perform his set outside the Scottish Parliament, landing him considerable media attention.
“Somehow we all get less coverage than a lonely old man doing his second-ever open-mic gig,” said Scott, per The Herald.
“I can’t imagine what I could do if I was as ‘silenced’ as Graham Linehan.”
Anna Piper Scott, who holds the title of Australia’s most acclaimed independent comedian, suggested that the debate surrounding transgender rights is much more polarised in the UK than it is in her home country.
“In Australia, it’s not as big an issue. We’ve got the same kinds of people trying to make the same kind of controversy, but the thing you’ve got to realise is, they’re doing these hate campaigns to boost their profile or to make some money. Australians just don’t seem to care as much.”
Despite the hurdles that Anna has met on her Edinburgh Fringe journey, she has still enjoyed a warm reception from audiences.
Her show, Such an Inspiration, discusses ‘court jesters’ like Dave Chappelle and Hannah Gadsby, how ‘annoying it is to transition and still have an opinion on sports, and asks how you go about being funny ‘without being stuck as the punchline?’
“It’s been really good and it’s been a big boost to my career,” she said.
“I still have people coming up afterwards and want to talk for 20 minutes or give me a hug.”
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