Stand up comedian James Lorien MacDonald describes himself as a half-Finnish–Scottish–Canadian queer gender nuisance. His stand up show Gender Euphoria will be seen at Brighton Fringe Finnish season. He told us what to expect.
What made you want to come to Brighton Fringe?
“I have been performing stand up in Finland for maybe six or seven years now, but I have never performed in the UK. When I found out about the Finnish Season at Brighton Fringe, I instantly thought I have to apply.”
What inspired you to create Gender Euphoria?
“I have gone through gender transition myself. During the process I noticed that stories in the media about transitioning were mostly about how hard it is. I wanted to make a piece about the funny aspects of it.”
How would you describe the show?
“It’s super queer, but not difficult or exclusive. It’s funny even for people who don’t know anything about being transgender. In Finland, I was the only transperson doing stand up for years. I decided to use comedy as a tool to help mainstream audiences understand transgender issues.”
How easy it is to make fun of your own life?
“For me it is very easy, because I don’t take myself very seriously. I think life is so absurd all the time, and you can get much joy out of that absurdity. People are very curious about me, which I don’t mind, because that gives them an opportunity to learn something new. Usually I get very positive feedback after my show, not only from other transpeople, but also from cisgender
Brighton Fringe is the largest arts festival in England. What are your expectations of it?
“I’m expecting a lot amazing performances everywhere, and meeting tons of people. I want to see as many shows as I can. I have never been at a Fringe festival in the UK before. In my mind, I see the festival as a kind of free-floating mess of street performers and late-night poetry.”
Gender Euphoria by James Lorien MacDonald. Address: Marlborough Theatre, 4 Princes Street, Brighton BN2 1RD. Performances: 8/5 19:30, 9/5 19:30. Admission £7.50–£9.50.
Interview: Veera Heinonen
Photo: Roxy Mikkonen