Anna Piper-Scott @ House of Oz

Such An Inspiration is a beautifully vulnerable show from established Aussie comic Anna Piper-Scott, making her Edinburgh Fringe debut

Review by Polly Glynn | 29 Aug 2023
  • Anna Piper-Scott

Such An Inspiration is a laser-focused triumph from Australian comic Anna Piper-Scott. Confidently introducing us to the tropes trans women are unshakeably labelled with (punchline, villain, victim), Piper-Scott is sick to the back teeth of being called brave or inspirational. Instead, she’d rather swerve into gags about wrestling or an infamous meltdown by Kramer from Seinfeld, onlooked by (notorious trans ally) Dave Chappelle.

Underneath her wry observations on flatsharing with a chaos demon and career-defining chats with Adam Hills from Channel 4’s The Last Leg, lies a deeply vulnerable core. Piper-Scott speaks with such honesty about her time as a mental health ward inpatient, as well as abusive relationships and her pre-transition life, giving a hugely unique insight into the liminal space between gender binaries. However, you feel immediately in safe hands throughout these more vulnerable moments; they’re often delivered with a subversive line or two and a cheeky grin. She’s even delighted to experience misogyny for the first time as a trans woman, catching herself being objectified by a straight guy in a gay bar.

Her writing is sharp and punchy, tackling topics head-on which lesser comics would mistreat. Sections on trans women in sport and top-paid jobs for women wrangle humour from the most unlikely places. In doing so, Piper-Scott ensures she has control of the narrative at all times, making it a welcoming space for all with her warmth and attention to detail (she begins the show learning everyone in the audience’s names, referring to folk throughout the hour – not as daunting as it sounds).

Ultimately, Piper-Scott uses her comedic talent to Robin Hood the power wielded by transphobes and give it to the people who need it most; trans folk desperate to live without persecution and violence.

Anna Piper-Scott: Such an Inspiration, House of Oz (The Great Indoors), run ended