As Australian comedian Tania says, in the early 90s she was so famous she couldn't walk down the street without being mobbed. Dubbed the 'enfant terrible' of Aussie TV, she soon became 'enfant unemployable' for being too mouthy, she admits.
Now things have moved on. She believes there's a good chance she'll get away with it this time. She might have been too naughty for the nineties but that was then, this is now and she's decided she can be 'enfant anything she wants'.
“Catch a Falling Star is a show about the fabulous life I led as a celebrity, way back in the 80’s and 90’s in Australia. I think everyone has wondered what life is like for the famous. In my show, I tell you all about it. And yes, the service is better when you’re a ‘somebody’. Oh, and you get heaps of free stuff. There’s no queues, no admission fees and all those menial tasks you hate doing, your ‘people’ do those for you. Life was a breeze and gosh, it was fun.
“After being unceremoniously fired though, things changed. That fabulous life I was leading disappeared. It got real cold, real fast. Just like fame builds, it also peters out. It’s kind of slow and demoralising, and I didn’t have the skills or maturity to deal with it. And that’s what this show is about.
“But wait, there’s more! It’s also about an era when women in television had no real power and female comedians were still seen as an anomaly. Being a 24 year old woman in a world of powerful, white, men was not easy, often downright unpleasant.
“And all this is wrapped up in one neat and tidy bundle called ‘Catch a Falling Star’. It’s funny, it’s poignant and it’s streaming for Brighton Fringe.
“I had intended to perform the show live at Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe in 2020. I raised money through Indiegogo to mount the shows, I was set. And then the world capsized. Like most people, I thought it would all be over by now. When I saw things didn’t look like changing anytime soon, and so very tired of the anxiety, I decided to use the money I had raised to film the show and stream it. I put together a skeleton crew and we filmed it at the Kookaburra Club in Berlin a well known and respected home to English speaking comedy in this great city. I was also lucky enough to garner the support of ‘The Wall Comedy Club Berlin’. I have been so grateful for the comedy community here, they really have supported and embraced my endeavour. In such a big city, it’s nice to know their loving arms have held me up.
“I found my confidence in Berlin. I had locked myself away in Australia. I’d been steadily working as a writer, a respectable career, but somewhat convenient too, because truthfully, I had lost all belief in my ability to perform. When I left Australia in 2015, I slowly came to realise how the weight of expectation had kept me locked in a time-capsule for so many years. I was able to break free from that here, and thank God I did. I found the guts to write this show, to write about my experience with fame and celebrity and the truth about how I dealt with it. And of course, the truth about the kind of treatment I received at the hands of some unscrupulous people. The irony in all this is that once I decided to step back into the world, the world went into lockdown. Egads! Timing.
“I think people will watch this show with a sense of curiosity. I also think they will be surprised with how much they identify with it. The setting might be the world of entertainment, but the themes are universal. Success and failure, I mean, it’s part of life, right? And like they say, it’s not how many times you get knocked down that count, it’s how many times you get back up.
Tania Lacy: Catch a Falling Star: Streaming May 28 - June 6. Bookings brightonfringe.org