Fiona O’Loughlin in The Scotsman

Our lovely Fiona O’Loughlin was on the cover of The Scotsman’s Edinburgh Festival Pull-Out today, a few days ago she chatted to Susan Mansfield about finding humour in the darkest hours…


WHEN leading Australian comedian Fiona O’Loughlin lost her battle with the bottle, it was hardly a secret. Not only did she collapse on stage in Brisbane in front of 600 people, she was also a contestant on the Australian version of Strictly Come Dancing at the time. But even before she left rehab, she knew she had found the subject of her next show. “There was never even a question in my mind that I wouldn’t talk about it. I’m a very autobiographical comedian and I couldn’t wait to get back on stage. My mother was horrified – apparently it’s alright to be an alcoholic, but you don’t have to go telling everybody.”

Because of the public nature of her meltdown, it made no sense to hide it.

“Some people have said I was being very brave going public. I’m not brave, I was caught with my hand in the cookie jar. I knew I couldn’t lie about it any more. I was advised by the [television] network to say I was suffering from ‘exhaustion’. But I’d told an audience of 600 people to go f*** themselves just before I collapsed, I couldn’t call that exhaustion.”

Spirited (Tales from an Angel in a Bottle) is a frank account of her ten-year battle with alcoholism. “It is quite horrific, a bit shocking. I talk about depression, alcoholism, agoraphobia, I really made myself a very sick person. It doesn’t sound like a funny show, but always there’s a funny side somewhere in it all.

“Some of the stories I’m telling weren’t funny at the time, but they’re funny now. I’m highly embarrassed about some of the things I got up to when I was a drunk, but I’m not embarrassed about having the disease. And rehab is a gold mine of material – I laughed myself inside out just watching what goes on. It’s very cathartic, very liberating, being able to laugh about it and having people laughing with me.”

read the whole article here

learn more about Fiona’s show here

Buy tickets to see Fiona here

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