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Charmian Hughes: She! Immortal Horror Queen's Guide To Life


Charmian Hughes: She! Immortal Horror Queen's Guide To Life

The Counting House

38 West Nicolson Street
The Attic: AUG 4-14, 16-28 at 18:00 (60 min) - Pay What You Can

Charmian Hughes: She! Immortal Horror Queen's Guide To Life

‘Live! Laugh! Liquidate!’ is message 8-year-old Charmian got from Hammer Horror film ‘SHE’, starring sexy Bond Girl Ursula Andress.

Today Charmian’s a grown-up stand-up, but those life tips have withstood the test of time.

With Evil Life Coach Queen 'SHE' as her guide, she now shares joys of Obsession, Jealousy, and Revenge: -

-Your first love won't forget you, however much they spend on therapy.

- Bad girls get remembered, nice girls get dismembered.

- Fame comes to those who hate.

-Big bazookas are a free pass.

And the most important tip of all ...…

-Never Let It Go! Ever!

With special guest The Colossal Squid.

'Combination of diminutive, delightful lady comic and Rider Haggard’s legendary, merciless temptress currently tops my list for Fringe' (Scotsman.)

‘A Comedy Masterclass’ (Elaine Blackmore, manager WholeLottaComedy)

‘Oh my gosh, so brilliant’ (Gary Colman Electric Mouse)

‘I heart Charmian Hughes’ (Bridget Christie)

'Brilliant Charmian!' (Arthur Smith)

‘Clown princess lit up room’ (Bridport News)

‘A joy!’ (Funny Women)

‘Funny and profound’ (NZ Stuff)

‘Best gags of night’ (Independent)

‘Charming ribaldry’ (Guardian)

‘Mad Aunt on Acid’ (New Zealand Dominion Post)

Best Comedy Nominee Buxton Festival Fringe 2021

Glastonbury Festival MC

British Comedian of The Year Finalist

Directed by Award Winning Amanda Baker

This year we have two entry methods: Free & Unticketed or Pay What You Can
Free & Unticketed: Entry to a show is first-come, first served at the venue - just turn up and then donate to the show in the collection at the end.
Pay What You Can: For these shows you can book a ticket to guarantee entry and choose your price from the Fringe Box Office, up to 30 mins before a show. After that all remaining space is free at the venue on a first-come, first-served bases. Donations for walk-ins at the end of the show.

News and Reviews for this Show

August 19, 2022    Entertainment Now

We’ve all had experiences in our lives that have shaped the way we think about the world and the way we act. Just for Hughes, this so happened to be when she saw the 1965 adventure fantasy feature film ‘She’, starring Ursula Andress. Now this may seem strange but it’s actually a wonderfully enjoyable influence on her journey.

The rest of Hughes’ story, as she tells so sweetly, is made up of her many interactions through life that she sees through this lens of love and jealousy. These range from the most adoring relationships such as the one with her younger husband to the rockier, like her sibling rivalry and unintentional run in with her fist boyfriend. These are equally endearing and hilarious as we hear of sisters who constantly fight, and snitch and we learn possibly a bit too much about Hughes’ ex – but she definitely hasn’t been keeping tabs on him.

Now Hughes won’t reveal her age but being of an older generation is purely the source of some brilliantly funny material. Tales of how weird and wild the 70s were are engrossing and also a little disgusting. But she is a phenomenal storyteller, you could easily listen to her for hours as she vividly transports you from place to place. Hughes is also a fan of making the younger generations uncomfortable as she asks all the important questions like where has the pubic hair gone?

Hughes is a real comedic talent; her crude and daft jokes are rib-tickling and her descriptive and soft way of telling stories is mellifluous and captivating. The show is well tied together through a string of call backs and an interesting special guest that demonstrate just how happy Hughes is nowadays. If you want an enjoyably silly stand up show then Hughes is for you, especially if you have an affinity for the 1965 adventure fantasy feature film ‘She’, starring Ursula Andress. Click Here For Review

August 17, 2022    Binge Fringe

Hammer Horror, Colossal Squids and solidly fantastic standup. Charmian Hughes has it all. She is joyfully silly and beautifully condemning, masking satirical quips with an impish charm. A true professional and a pleasure to watch.

Being really simplistic, this show explores female representation in the media, stereotypes about age and how we all should (or shouldn’t) try having a murderous, immortal queen as an inspiration. Served with a hell of a lot of mischief, clowning around, and jabbing at the right. Although, I’m not sure why you’re still reading this, go book a ticket and see it. We’re not living forever.

... Click Here For Review

August 11, 2022    The Scotsman

Over at the Laughing Horse's Counting House, always one of the most 'grown up' venues with free shows, Edinburgh legend Brian Dobie points me at The Attic where the eternally charming Charmian Hughes’ She! offers stand up reborn as a funny and fascinating memoir, in which she (Charmian) enthuses, shares and vents in turn as she takes us back to the day her teenage self met the immortal She (fabulous cult movie from 1965). Charmian's shows always feel so relaxed and guileless that you have to remind yourself of the perfectly matched writing and performing skills that it takes to dance this comedy waltz. Life lessons from She Who Must Be Obeyed and the Colossal Squid, age gap marriage, ponies and some delightful sexual similies, make for an engrossing hour. You may never again thread a needle without thinking of Charmian. Perhaps I am biased because I, too, love She (dusty end and all), but, Ursula Andress herself could not enchant you like this.

Tomorrow’s Another Day

August 4, 2022   Entertainment Now

Tomorrow’s Another Day

Tell us about your show. Why should we go and see it?

Have you ever fantasised about bumping into your first teen love and showing them how much better than them you are now?

As a kid did you see a horror film that persuaded you obsession, jealousy and revenge were attractive qualities that would make everyone fancy you?

If the answer is yes to both then your mind is like Love Island that’s been swallowed by a colossal squid.

But if the answer is no, Then you haven’t lived! And by ‘lived’, I mean been an immortal being waiting for the reincarnation of your first love who you stayed in a hissy fit.

By the way, Why aren’t immortals ever satisfied?They have it all, literally, but they are always wanting more!

Are you flying solo or are you part of a team?

Just me on my ownsome! No PR, no door person or tech, but I have a marvellous flyerer called Shaun. Also I am sharing a flat with two other women- a feisty American stand-up and a performance artist exploring the world of a woman’s work.

What are your hopes and dreams for the Fringe?

To get an audience every day! To get through it without developing boils. I have a dodgy knee so hoping that is going to be better not worse!

What makes you laugh?

Funny things in any form! Professional or civilian! In my mind the funniest thing ever which made me feel I had appendicitis with laughing, is John Thompson’s Cheeky Monkey from Alan Partridge.He is so funny but the narrative is so painful ! We have all died on our arses in the moment of our greatest opportunity.

What is it that made you a performer?

I found something I could do well that brought me joy. To be honest I was terrible at everything else.

How will your audience think/feel differently after an hour in your company?

In New Zealand where my comedy shows are digested with great earnestness, a woman accosted me in the street the day after seeing one and said ‘You have changed my life. I’ve been writing my diary all night about how seeing your show made me realize it’s ok if I’m a failure’ I cured her depression!

Whose show – apart from your own – are you looking forward to seeing at the Edinburgh Fringe?

My flatmates.

Anne Rabbit https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on#q=%22Self%20Service%22

Maureen Langan https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on#q=%22Don’t%20Make%20Me%20Hate%20You%22

What’s the most useful piece of advice you’ve been given?

Tomorrow is another day (Gone with the Wind)

Do you have a favourite Fringe memory?

My first ever solo show, Greyfriars Bobby Speaks to the World where I channeled the wisdom of my dog Arthur while he licked his bits. Massive hit!

Who is your showbiz/Fringe idol and why.

Arthur Smith without a doubt. He does his show, he sings, he does a midnight tour, he is a legend.

Charmian Hughes She! Immortal Horror Queen’s Guide to Life, 18.00, The Counting House, Pay What You Can Click Here For Article

Morecambe Fringe Festival Relaunches

July 11, 2022    Lancaster Guardian

Morecambe Fringe Festival Relaunches

She! Immortal horror Queen's guide to Life/Charmian Hughes

You are met with a warm smile as soon as she enters the stage, emitting a lovely stage presence which automatically keeps the audience engaged. Mrs. Huges uses her charming and quick-witted sense of humour to recall her past experiences growing up. Although some parts I was too young to fully understand the references to, I was still vastly enjoying her crude jokes and excellent comedic timing. I was laughing from beginning to end, a smile not once leaving my face for the duration of her performance. She was very attentive to the audience, ensuring they all felt involved. Mrs. Huges is a woman of many talents, such as her delightful voice acting when performing her bit with the colossal squid. A truly iconic part of her performance.


Morgan Logan. Click Here For Review

A Digital Pint with… Charmian Hughes, the Immortal Horror Queen turned Life Coach at Edfringe 2022

June 10, 2022   Binge Fringe Magazine

A Digital Pint with… Charmian Hughes, the Immortal Horror Queen turned Life Coach at Edfringe 2022

Ever had a life coaching session inspired by the mysterious, murderous (but quite literally voiceless) Queen in the 1965 fantasy adventure flick ‘She‘? Today we’re joined by Charmian Hughes for a binarised beverage in the Binge Fringe Pub. Charmian is bringing her experiences with femininity, first loves, failed relationships and a colossal squid to EdFringe 2022 in her new stand-up show She! Immortal Horror Queen’s Guide to Life. Let’s dive right into our chat!

Jake: Hi Charmian, you’ve mentioned that the impetus of your show starts way back with you seeing a mysterious and murderous queen in the Hammer Horror film ‘She’ – tell us about your experience and your relationship with Ursula Andress.

Charmian: As kids, we’re so impressionable; and films we thought amazing then, we’d find ridiculous now..and maybe that’s the same with relationships.

So when I was 8 I saw a Hammer Horror film called ‘She’ and thought it was the most frightening thing ever. Basically, x-bond girl Ursula Andress, the sexiest woman on the planet, plays ‘She’, an immortal mysterious gorgeous queen of a lost kingdom somewhere in Africa that gets discovered by some British explorers. One of them turns out to be the reincarnation of her dead love – she has been awaiting his return across the centuries! So that’s a lucky coincidence.

‘She’ is a proper evil cow, but she gets away with everything because everyone fancies her- a bit like my beautiful older sister. Also she is two thousand years old, and at the end of the film she becomes her real age, starts wrinkling and greying in front of our eyes, shrivelling, grimacing and ending up a skeleton then a pile of ash. I was terrified!!

But that wasn’t the scariest bit! The scariest bit was that this beautiful woman with all that power and immortality should waste it longing for her old boyfriend to come back.

In parallel, Ursula Andress had everything: beauty, intelligence and a great film career. But she wasn’t allowed to use her real voice in the films ‘She’ or in ‘Doctor No’. She was dubbed as it was too German sounding and bossy! She literally had no voice.

So, There’s no point being jealous of people who seem to have it all. Sometimes when it comes to real personal power, we already have it all.

Jake: In your show you run into “that old boyfriend” – how did you find extracting the humour from that situation and how does it link back to your younger self coming to understand her feminine/feminist identity?

Charmian: You never forget your first horror film and you never forget your first love and the two can get confused.

We comedians turn trauma and shame into laughs. We’ve all fantasised about running into old loves, looking our best so they regret us forever.

The reality is we bump into them when we don’t expect to, popping to the shop in the middle of dyeing our hair, plastic bag on our head and red gunk dripping down our forehead.

Then a lightbulb moment shows us the strong, interesting individual we are now would not have been happy with that first love and that if we had stayed with them we would not be the strong person we are today!

Jake: You’ve been described as “a mad aunt on acid”, what’s your comedy style and what can the audience expect?

Charmian: I am an older person myself now after over thirty years in stand -up, and I wear my age with pride. I started my performing life in clowning all those years ago, and that expressive eccentric physical essence is still in me. I want to be dignified and sophisticated but I can’t stop gurning. I want to have fun on stage and share that with my audience so they have fun too.

Jake: The show is a self-described “immortal horror queen’s guide to life” – are you willing to share a nugget of wisdom with us?

Charmian: Yes! Being dumped by your first boyfriend shouldn’t define your life and if you are an immortal goddess use that time to have fun and learn! Don’t waste it in what-could-have-beens.

Also you will get away with everything if you are an old person.

Jake: Now that we’re gearing up for Fringe season, what are you most excited for?

Charmian: We’ve all been shut in for too long. I can’t wait to get to Edinburgh and perform a solo show again. I can’t wait to see loads of shows and share a flat with other performers.

Jake: Where in all this does the Colossal Squid come in?

Charmian: In 2020 I went to New Zealand to perform at their festival. I was sucked into their lockdown after just two performances! I still managed to visit the museum in Wellington and see their most famous exhibit, The Colossal Squid, (deceased) the largest non vertebrate animal on Earth and the only captured specimen. Like our memories of First Love and like the immortal Queen in ‘She’. The Colossal Squid is trapped in a moment in time. Can I break her out and let her move on?!

Charmian Hughes: She! Immortal Horror Queen’s Guide to Life lands at EdFringe 2022 between August 4th and 14th, then again between the 16th and 28th at Laughing Horse @ The Counting House: The Attic. Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.

Jake Mace
Jake Mace
Our Editor-in-Chief, Jake is a theatremaker and playwright interested in political theatre, new writing, comedy and international theatre. Jake has a particular interest in the post-Soviet space, Queer performance, British grassroots politics and Scottish new writing. They started their Fringe journey in 2018 and is an avid festival-goer. Their favourite drink is an IPA – no hops held back.

 Click Here For Article

She! Immortal Horror Queen's Guide ....

July 21, 2021   Buxton Fringe Review

She! Immortal Horror Queen's Guide ....


I have very strong memories of watching the film, She – Hammer Horror’s foray into derring-do adventure – on TV one Saturday afternoon in the 70s. It featured the reassuring presence of Bernard Cribbins amongst the cast, as well as Peter Cushing and the impossibly glamorous Ursula Andress. It made quite an impression.

Not as much of an impression as it made on the 8-year-old Charmian Hughes when her teenage sister took her on an illicit cinema trip to see it. It made such an impression that she has based her latest comedy show around it.

The plot of She revolves around a virtually immortal queen (She Who Must Be Obeyed) who has spent the last 2000 years searching for the reincarnation of her lost love. Charmian uses this as the jumping-off point to talk about looking up ex-boyfriends, having a younger husband (only 8 years, not 2000, but still …) and feeling a connection with the Colossal Squid she encountered in a New Zealand museum.

Charmian’s show is full of nice detail for anyone of a certain age (such as duvets being referred to as ‘continental quilts’), the jokes and anecdotes come thick and fast and she has a good rapport with her audience. She also, gamely in the heat of a Buxton summer, wears two dresses simultaneously – something even the all-powerful She might not have the courage to attempt.

Robbie Carnegie Click Here For Article

An Evil Immortal Controlled My Life

June 6, 2021   Beyond The Joke

An Evil Immortal Controlled My Life

When I was a kid, I saw a terrifying Hammer horror film about an immortal evil beautiful white queen of a lost African kingdom. In petrifying hissy fits, she throws screaming love rivals down bottomless pits of fire. In the nightmare finale she shrivels to her real age of two thousand years old in front of her horrified young lover. Gross!

The film was called ‘She’. It starred 29-year-old Bond Girl Ursula Andress as the two-thousand-year-old temptress, John Richardson as the posho sap who pursues her, and Peter Cushing as the voice of common sense in the madness of her irresistible beauty.

Her irresistible beauty drove me mad too: She got away with everything! She was loved and worshipped because she was gorgeous- people fancied her even as they tumbled to their fiery deaths.

Yet I, a plainer mortal, always got blamed for the slightest thing! It was so unfair.

Worse! This ‘She’ person wasted her gifts. She could have been so happy without killing people. ‘She’ had everything! Brains! Beauty! Riches! Queenly Power. But her greatest gift was her immortal life. ‘She’ had infinite choice!

But she wasn’t interested! All she wanted was a boyfriend, preferably the one she had chucked two thousand years before. And by chucked, I mean stabbed to death in a jealous rage. Thank goodness for

‘She’ spent her immortality just moping around till he turned up again in a new bod.

But while I hated her, her values secretly drip fed into my very soul, much like an ‘’influencer’’ of today.

But I don’t think Kim Kardashian would recommend making Jealousy, Obsession and Revenge your motivational forces. Or setting men deadly quests to make them fancy you. Which became my signature copping-off technique at 17.

The film ‘’She’’ was released in 1965, the middle of a decade of massive British cultural convulsions: Christine Keeler brought down the Tory government (with her irresistible beauty); we were beginning to hear about Women’s Lib in the mainstream, and Britain lost the last of its colonies.

But the 1965 film was based on H Rider Haggard’s book – written in 1887 when Empire and Patriarchy reigned supreme.

And the message was the same - Look what happens when women have power- - their hormones will destroy the world. Or Like Lord Byron said – ‘’Man's love is of man's life a part; it is a woman's whole existence’’. . Yuk!

But here am I - in my grown up wisdomness. So lucky to be born into the modern age where women can experience freedom and have real choices about who we love and how we work. I want to be a good person, a fair person, a reasonable person.

How can a monster like ‘’She’’ have any influence on me now? Well, running into my first-ever boyfriend for the first time in over 40 years was enough to trigger the sleeping ‘’SHE protocols’’.

And to remember the rules of ‘She’
- You NEVER forget your first love.
- You certainly never forgive them!
- Better to torture yourself over what might have been instead of seeing the wonder of the life you have built.

But what really happened and what will happen next? Click Here For Article

Kate Copstick: Brief return of live comedy is a reminder that online shows are no substitute

June 6, 2021   Scotsman

Kate Copstick: Brief return of live comedy is a reminder that online shows are no substitute

I have plans to watch the adorable (apologies if that sounds patronising, but it is the adjective which eternally springs to mind) Charmian Hughes in her 2020 offering She, part of the Free Festival’s online programme. The combination of this diminutive, delightful lady comic and Rider Haggard’s legendary, merciless temptress is almost as irresistible as Ayesha was herself. But the great charm of Charmian is the woman herself, in warmly personable person. So I shall save myself and see her in the flesh. She currently tops my list for Fringe . Click Here For Article

Press & Media for this Show

Charmian Hughes: She! Immortal Horror Queen's Guide To Life