The next interview in our stagey chat series is with Tegan Verheul, who's heading to Edinburgh Fringe this year from 31st July - 25th August with her show, Chokeslam

Get yourself comfy and join us for the next segment of Stagey Chat!

Hi Tegan, how are you? Thanks so much for chatting to Stage to Page today! Would you mind introducing yourself and telling our readers how you first got into comedy?

Hello! Happy to be here! I got into comedy out of necessity because puberty was very unkind to me. I’m #blessed to have had a glow-up in my twenties but I’m still stuck with the personality of a 17 year old boy. But yes – I began taking comedy seriously in uni when I started doing improv, then transitioned to sketch and got to tour around Canada and the US doing very fun shows with very fun people. Now I do stand up comedy as well, and get to unleash the full force of my personality on various YouTube channels. I’m a very lucky gal.

Your solo comedy show, Chokeslam, is set to open at this year's Edinburgh Fringe. Can you tell us about the show and the inspiration behind it?

This show is a love letter to wrestling, and to my friends. It’s sort of an oral history of the Attitude Era, plus an introduction to wrestling for non-fans, plus me spilling my deepest darkest secrets. But I think the combination works! I’m pretty balls-to-the-wall as a physical storyteller, and enjoy taking audiences on a journey with me, and love sharing my passion for wrestling with people, so it just made sense to do a solo show about the things that are most important to me. Pro wrestling may be “fake” but there’s an honesty and beauty to it, and I’ve done my best to bring the same with this show.

I understand the production is autobiographical. How much of the show is your own experiences, and how much of it is fiction, or dramatised?

Oh it’s all very real. Unfortunately. The show follows the chronological evolution and dissolution of my marriage and how wrestling got me through it, and there are a few unexpected twists and turns which all did happen in real life. It’s real, and it’s raw. I’ll say maybe my understanding of who I was at the time of the events has evolved, and I’ve forgiven myself for a lot. But it all happened. If you doubt the veracity of any events, I would be happy to provide you with contact details of the friends who witnessed them. Or pinky promise that I’m not lying.

A question I ask everyone we chat to - my blog is called Stage to Page. But if you could turn any book, from page to stage, what would it be and why?

I’d love to turn Anna Nicole Smith’s biography into a play. She was such an icon and it would be so much fun to bring her to life. Train Wreck: The Life and Death of Anna Nicole Smith was written by her sister and despite the clickbait title it does a good job of showing her as human. She was so unique and hilarious and unapologetically herself, and I deeply admire her and want to do her story justice one day.

And finally, why should anyone reading this book tickets to see Chokeslam?

If you’ve ever had your heart broken, if you’ve ever been saved by your friends, if you’ve ever cared so much about something you’ve stood on a chair and screamed about it, you need to see this show. I think it does what it says on the tin as a big outlandish comedic solo show about sports entertainment and all the ridiculousness that fandom entails, but it touches on universal truths and has some very vulnerable moments that will move you in unexpected ways. You will laugh and maybe cry and definitely definitely leave a wrestling fan. 

Chokeslam by Tegan Verheul is on at 5.50pm at Assembly George Square from the 31st July - 25th August 2024. You can book tickets here.

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