Margaret Cho is bringing The psyCHO tour to London later this year, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her back in the UK.
No stranger to using her comic platform to raise awareness of social and political problems, the three-time Grammy and Emmy nominee is preparing to hit the road for more of the same in December.
From singlehood to Boko Haram, from Bruce Jenner’s transition to female empowerment, Margaret will tackle difficult subjects with sensitivity and razor sharp insight like only she can.
We caught up with Margaret ahead of the tour to talk about performing in London, raising awareness on social media and finding the positive in every situation. Read the full interview here.
Hi Margaret, how’re you feeling about the December tour and what do you love about performing in London the most?
“I’m excited; I haven’t been in the UK for a while so I haven’t done a show there for a few years and I’m really excited to bring it back there. It’s a great show and I’m always thrilled to perform in London, it’s very exciting.”
How are your shows received in London compared to rest of the world?
“Very well! It’s not that different, sometimes I’ll be in different countries and different places but my relationship with the audience always remains the same. I always try to do new material and I always try to really engage with the audience, so that makes it very different. London is also a very international city, there’s people from everywhere there. I think the way that we understand news from social media is all very fast, so everybody is going off the same things that we’ve learned on Facebook. I think the world has gotten smaller in many ways.”
You’re very active on social media and use it to raise awareness of various campaigns, how important is this for you?
“I think social media is very effective, especially when trying to talk about social change and awareness. The #BeRobin hashtag was about helping the homeless in the same way that Robin Williams did. Robin Williams was a great homeless advocate so I used the hashtag to really raise awareness of his work and to help homelessness in a very basic way. People would come and bring money, food and clothing for homeless people and then homeless people would just come and take it. We’d all do a show on the street for several hours while this was going on, so it was busking and fundraising, but it was also a big party.”
Does being a comedian help you to see the positive in something and make the best of a situation?
“I think comedy or a sense of humour is a coping mechanism for the psyche. I think comedians in general do want to turn things into a positive for themselves and for others. What was so hard about Robin Williams was that he was somebody we, as San Francisco comedians, had all grown up with and we knew that he had depression, but we had no idea how deep it was because he was always helping others. He was always giving people money and was very engaged and loving, and you never thought that anything was wrong. I think we just needed to do something because we all felt really guilty that we didn’t catch it in time or we didn’t know how to help him.”
How does it feel that strangers can reach out to on social media and thank you for the work you do?
“It’s wonderful and it’s really encouraging. You want to be able to talk about the problems that we have in society and be able to help people if you can. That’s why the #BlackLivesMatter campaign is important to me and that’s why I think it’s important for survivors of sexual abuse to come forward. There’s a lot of different ways you can engage with people and it feels very satisfying.”
Have unforgettable shows around the world?
“I think they’ve all been really wonderful. The fact that I get to go there and work, and do shows is incredible for an American comedian and to work internationally in the way that I do. I’m just grateful and it’s always really exciting and so fun.”
Is there anywhere you haven’t been yet that you’d love to tour next?
“I haven’t done shows in Portugal or Italy; I’m not going this time but I would love to. I’d love to play more shows in Paris but this time is going to be different European cities like London. I would love to do a UK tour sometime, that would be really exciting.”
Catch Margaret Cho at London’s Leicester Square Theatre between 16 – 20 December, book now at Ticketmaster.co.uk.