Q&A with Susie Corcoran

Get to know the writer and performer behind Priscilla Queen of the Disaster in this Q&A with Susie Corcoran.

Interview with Susie Corcoran

A woman with a long brown bob and heavy fringe stands smiling at the camera. She is wearing a black jumper and leopard print skirt

What is Priscilla Queen Of The Disaster About?

Priscilla is my story all about motherhood, the real story, not the curated version online, the best bits, the worst bits, the struggles, the pressure, the guilt, and the joy. It’s a comedy about the predicaments we find ourselves in as mothers and it’s also an honest account on how isolating it can be, how life changing it is and how there is no preparation for it.

Who would love Priscilla?

I think mothers, parents, new and more experienced but also anyone who has been through something life changing who wants to come along and laugh with each other about how ridiculous life can be. It’s a story about overcoming obstacles, about connection and about the importance of sharing the truth about our stories to feel less alone. We will laugh and cry together and come away having taken some time for ourselves to recognise that life can be really hard and also find the comedy in those moments which in turn builds our resilience in them.

In one sentence what should the audience expect?

To laugh and cry along with an honest account of motherhood in all it’s glory, hopefully feeling less alone by the end.

What inspired the creation of Priscilla?

I became a mother at a time when people were sharing more online about their experiences. And I wasn’t having that same experience. I didn’t see anyone who was being honest about the birth, who was struggling to cope with the massive change, who lost their patience, who never quite felt enough for their kids. I knew I loved my kids; I knew I was incredibly privileged to have them, and I was and remain incredibly grateful for them, but I also didn’t know that I could feel all those things and find it all realty hard. So, I started to write about it, initially just for me, then as a blog and with a nudge from some people I work with in a theatre, I built the show with the help of some incredible people.

I wanted people to laugh at the absurdity of it all, because I know acknowledging that helps me cope, laughing at the struggles is my best coping strategy. But also, I found myself in a position I didn’t think I would with my family and I that was something I wanted to share, for me but also for anyone else out there who has struggled, to know they are enough and always have been.

What’s your back story?

Before Priscilla, I worked and continue to work in a theatre. But also, alongside that I was a dancer and comic in those shows. I spent a decade doing that before I had the kids.

A woman wearing black dungarees over a white t-shirt stands holding a giant teddy bear in one hand, and a collection of children's toys in the otherWhat’s your favourite part of the show?

My favourite part would be the connections made. There is something really special that happens when you allow yourself to be vulnerable and share your story, your wins and your perceived failures.

In the current culture of parents, it can be very judgemental, and we can often find ourselves defending our decisions, but I feel like in sharing it all, it connects parents in a way that I have found to be incredibly important. Also, in today’s culture we tend to share the very best moments of our lives through social media etc and whilst those things are lovely, I have found in sharing the mishaps, the struggles and the guilt, it connects us all far more. Because we all know social media is a heavily curated, filtered moment and cannot represent motherhood in its entirety or even more than just one snapshot, yet even I still find myself feeling like I am falling short because of that comparison.

So, my favourite part is chatting to people after, either in person or over social media we share our stories and I get to listen to their stories. It encourages other people to share, and I feel like there is no other more significant first step in looking after our mental health than chatting about it all first.

What happens in the post-show discussion?

We all chat, about the story and I answer any questions people may have and I listen to other people’s stories.

There are some heavier themes to some parts of the show in terms of mental health and the discussion allows us all a moment to process it all, any things which may have come up for the audience member and should they need anything else, like continued support I can connect  and then either help myself or point them in the direction of resources which could help.

What is the main message of Priscilla?

That you are not alone, nor are you in competition with anyone to be the perfect parent. In fact, the perfect parent doesn’t exist.

That by saying it’s hard doesn’t mean you love your kids any less, it means you are a human and the demands on parents are relentless.

That you are enough and always have been despite what society or anyone else has told you.

And that laughing about the ridiculousness is parenting and motherhood is the key. It helps fill your cup a little, only adding to the parent you are and connects you to others, which I think might be the whole purpose of life.


About the show

'Priscilla Queen of the Disaster' written next to a woman sat on the arm of a sofa wearing dungarees and a crown and holding a mug looking upwards. Next to her are various toys scattered around the sofa.

Surviving the early years of motherhood! Motherhood isn’t just paying a photographer to take a perfect photo of your bundle of joy curled up in a basket. Priscilla Queen of the Disaster is brutally honest about being a mum. With tears streaming down your face, laugh along with the sometimes savage experiences that can be motherhood and face up to letting go of what we all thought it would be. Who knows, if we share the s**t we might all feel better.

There will be a post-show Q&A and discussion with writer and performer Susie Corcoran, which is free to stay for. 

Priscilla Queen of the Disaster will be in The Courtyard’s Studio Theatre on Friday 21 April at 7.45pm.