“It can cause pain, be terrifying but it’s wonderfully delicious at the same time” | Rebekka Turner on channelling her quirks into Bex’s Chainsaw Moussaka

Tell us about your show, Bex’s Chainsaw Moussaka.  

I’ve always been interested in doing a show that was more creative and which didn’t rely on a big ‘moral message’ or ‘ being relatable’ to sell its appeal. The stand-up in the show is separated by three characters who explore how I’ve dealt with social situations when I was younger, now and in the future. At the end of the day, life’s a Chainsaw Moussaka.  It can cause pain, be terrifying but it’s wonderfully delicious at the same time… 

What inspired you to write a show exploring neurodiversity?

During the various lockdowns in the past 2 years and spending time online I was more and more aware of my own quirks and so I came to the realisation that maybe I should embrace my social difficulties head on. This helped inspire the creation of my show. 

What is your trick to exploring those personal topics in a comedy setting?

I’m not sure that there is any particular trick, I know for me that it takes a lot longer to know how to incorporate personal topics. I feel that experience helps. For example, when I first started to perform stand-up about my PCOS, I initially had a very short joke and then it slowly developed to have many related factors. Maybe I can suggest that you take time exploring a personal topic. What’s the rush? 

How did you get into doing impressions?

I’ve always been incredibly interested in accents, dialects and how they were formed throughout history. Also when I was younger I was really into sketch shows and so they also built my fondness to do impressions. 

What is your favourite impression to do?

The one that gets the best response is my one of Su Pollard auditioning for the Godfather. However my favourite is when I used to do the actress Julie Walters. 

What are key things you focus on when crafting an impression of someone?

Usually it’s mannerisms to begin with and then it might move onto memorable phrases. If I’m asked to perform a regional or foreign accent then I’ll usually look up videos from that region on YouTube to remind myself how I should mimic the accent. 

What’s your process for creating your unique characters?

My process for making characters will come from a single concept and then I’ll try to apply drama exercises such as ‘hot seating’ to develop them. The character Ramesis III (Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh of the Dunny) came from a chat with a comedian about how funny an Ancient Egyptian Australian comedian would be. That’s how Ramo got started. 

How are you feeling about performing the show after a rocky couple of years for comedy as an industry?

I feel that trying to get onto comedy lineup shows is highly competitive due to the low availability of gigs. It was frustrating for all of the comedians as we lost out on various opportunities and chances to progress.  

What do you hope people will take away from the show?

I hope that people who find it hard to socialise will feel less like outsiders in a world built for extroverts, I hope that they have a fun time that might just leave them thinking ‘WTF?’. That’s my goal – spread the weirdness… 

What are your hopes for the show after Brighton Fringe?

I have plans to take my show to The Edinburgh Fringe. In a dream world I’d love to have a Soho Theatre run as I’ve always been a huge fan of the venue. I’m always looking for ways to progress, specifically with an agent of some type or at least with some sort of personal backing. 

Do you have advice for anyone looking to get into comedy?

Never perform on stage if you are feeling sad or angry, the audience can sense something is off. I’ve done this lots of times and then regretted it afterwards. 

Rebekka Turner: Bex’s Chainsaw Moussaka is on 6th, 7th and 8th May, 6pm, at Junkyard Dogs @ The Round Georges (downstairs) 14-15 Sutherland Road BN2 0EQ, Brighton as part of The Brighton Fringe. The show is non-ticketed with free entry; donations are encouraged.

You can keep up with Rebekka by checking out her website and following her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.