Comic vs comic: Biddy & Fiona

Aussie Fiona O'Loughlin talks to her daughter Biddy about luddites and whisky

Feature | 02 Aug 2011

FM: Biddy, you're my second child and eldest daughter. For the past decade my most hated question from journos is "what do your kids think of you being a comedian?" Finally, I'm going to pass the banner and go straight to the source. What do you think?

BM: You’re my mother? I thought you were an auntie! Dammit. I should have called my show ‘The Heckle.’

FM: Your preparation is so studied and disciplined compared to my own last-minute scribblings. I think you believe there is more honour in the craft than I. True or false?

BM: True. Though I think you can afford to be lazier than I because you're quicker on your feet. Sorry, no time to elaborate here- I’ve got a show to keep writing.

FM: Despite our many differences in our performance styles, we both share an autobiographical genre. How far are you taking the truth in your Edinburgh show - would you prefer I didn't come?

BM: To be honest (because everything else is a lie) I’m definitely playing a character. She just shares my name. I've always liked the name you gave me Mum. I hated the haircuts but I liked my name.

FM: You wrote your first play at 17 and moved to London alone at 18. Ever since then I have you as "Biddy the Brave" on speed dial. Have you ever wished I put more barricades in front of you?

BM: Don't worry, Fiona the Fearless, you did as much as you psychologically could to keep me from wanting to play in this field. (And by the way I moved to Edinburgh and I was 19.)

FM: You read Yeats and I read "Hello" Magazine. You watch the Sopranos and I watch "Deal or no deal". Has my luddite nature helped or hindered your creativity?

BM: Why are all your questions to me, really about you?  When did you realise you wanted to be a stand-up comedian and not a housewife?

FM: Hmm .... drink whiskey and laugh? or clean the toilet and cry?......I can't give you an exact date....

BM: Do you still love it?

FM: With my whole heart

BM: Do you think we women can have it all? Or is it easier for people with penises to gallivant around the world and maintain family?

FM: I really wish you wouldn't say the word penis to your mother, Biddy, but I do have an answer. It wasn't until I became an open recovering alcoholic that I realised how much inequality still exists. So many people, even people I loved, wanted me to exit left of stage and pack my shame and go home. Male "demon fighting" is celebrated beyond compare to women’s.

BM: I love you, Mum. Do you love me?

FM: With my whole heart.

Biddy O'Loughlin: The Girl Who Thought She Was Irish, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 12:45, 3-24 August (not 15, 22). Tickets From £7

Fiona O'Loughlin: Spirited (Tales from an Angel in a Bottle)Gilded Balloon Teviot, 21:00, 3-28 August . Tickets From £9