Maureen Lipman: Really up for it

Maureen Lipman is back at Edinburgh Fringe after 50 years - and she's "bricking it"


Political correctness, growing old, the Me Too campaign and public toilets, are just a few of the things Maureen Lipman will tackle in her Edinburgh Fringe show, Up for It.

The actress’s show marks 50 years since she first came to the festival and she promises audiences at the Assembly George Square Theatre, an evening of “rave, rollick and rant".

“I thought I should do something frightening and challenging but, at the time, I didn’t realise I would be working on another project.

“I’m bricking it.” 

Her stand-up show, which will run in the first two weeks of August, will feature live music from Jazz musicians Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood and she has even invited her friend Harry Shearer, the voice of Mr Burns in The Simpsons, to play bass.

Lipman says she will be singing and dancing and will “do away with political correctness.

“One of the themes of the show is that you can’t say anything any more without someone accuses you of something.

“I think jokes are important but people are becoming less interested in humour and more interested in no platforming people like Germaine Greer. I think that is wrong, people should spend less time doing that and more time thinking about what she did for women.”

The hour-long show will include her own musings, monologues, and anecdotes about her life and popular culture and she hopes to keep an air of “improvisation about them.

“I’ve done lots of speeches at dinners without preparing, I’m used to talking in public, I just hope when I get up there I don’t forget what I’m meant to be saying.”

Lipman, who began her career at the Fringe in 1965 with a play called The Burn by Kerry Crabbe, and has worked with actors such as Julie Walters, Anthony Hopkins, and Hugh Jackman, says she still gets nervous.

“That never stops. No matter how much of a seasoned pro you are, you always feel nerves. I’ve practised it in front of  the odd friend but never in front of an audience.”

She decided not to touch on antisemitism as part of show because she did not want to “bore” people. 

“Let’s be honest,” she said, “what the Labour party are doing at the moment means they are not even worth 10 minutes. Plus I don’t want to be overtly political.”


Up for It is at the Assembly George Square Theatre, August 1-12

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