An Interview with Fiona O'Loughlin

Published on 15 March 2022

An interview with Fiona O'Loughlin

According to Fiona O'Loughlin, the "getting of wisdom" has been a long time coming, and these days nothing is off-limits: dating men in their sixties; teaching grandchildren 'C' words; throwing hissy fits in public. Buying herself something she'd only ever dreamed of in a new top lip from a Glenelg GP. Some things have come right out of left-field for the veteran of Australian comedy, like finding out she'd been missing a third of her mind, or unintentionally coming out as asexual and an atheist - oops!  But Fiona is facing her sixties full throttle, and is embracing taking her seat as - in her words -an elder. We sat down to chat with her ahead of her upcoming show FIONA O'LOUGHLIN LIVE here at CPAC on Tuesday 29 March.

Can you tell us, in a nutshell, about your new show ‘Fiona O’Loughlin LIVE’? 

This is the most fun I’ve had. It feels like this is the lightest show I’ve done in years! It’s about my sixties, grandmotherhood – it's looking back on my life but also looking forward. But it’s all new material.

My show will be every bit as “she didn’t say that did she??!” – something audiences have come to expect, but not for shock value – it’s just that I’m loving life. I love being sixty. I’ve never felt better, I’ve never felt better looking. It’s crazy. I’m like, "I’m going to have a hot year-to-decade!"

Other topics raised in the show ?

I want to speak on behalf of us more mature women. We’re the new elders, and we don’t look like we’re supposed to. It’s a slap down to post-modernism. They honestly believe that we're going to get dumber as we get older and start becoming more right-wing. There’s no reason for any of us to be fighting about anything. We’re all on the same page.

Do you think it’s like at a certain age women are meant to be more invisible? Is it about finding that, in fact, you’re not invisible, you’re actually visible and you can be listened to? Is that what it’s about?

Yes it is, and the beauty of it is that the older I’m getting I'm finding it so much fun. It’s really just me, it's my true self on stage with this show.

Is it about freedom, Fiona?

It is freedom, yeah.

You were Queen of the Jungle on "I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!"  Do you wear your tiara on occasions?

My tiara was taken by customs at the airport!

Tell me about your writing world and your stage world.

Well, the worlds of writing and live comedy are literally oceans apart, because the thing I love most about stand-up is that it’s the spoken word and it’s said and it’s gone. I don’t have many recordings of myself, I’ve only made one DVD, because I believe the craft of stand-up really belongs in the live moment - and that’s the joy of it - but a book is forever. It has cost me dearly, but here I go, I’ve begun the third book! I look back on that second book...I mean, I stand by it, but I didn’t have all the information.

Any more books in the planning?

Absolutely! There'll be another book by the end of the year. I can’t wait to write the third book. It was always going to be based more in the metaphysical, because I started praying two years ago and it worked. Like, I dare you to tell me that there’s not something out there. It's a wonderful thing, at the end of the day, to have a book. To know that I’ve penned something.

Addiction is something that you've personal experience with, but you're also very supportive of others suffering too.   

Everything I’ve said about the subject of addiction (on stage) is something I've said amongst friends. And it’s true. Everything I’ve said. I’ve been a step ahead of myself unknowingly. I’m a genius (laughs). I’m the dumbest genius I’ve met because I’ve never realised, I tell the absolute truth of the matter, about a year before in my stand-up, and then it reveals itself to be accurate.

I remember saying two years ago. I have no intention of ever getting an IQ test - have no intention of finding out how close I am to needing a carer. And then, low and behold, when I was diagnosed with ADHD it was said, there in writing, that I need an element of care. Not the hyperactivity. That’s why I was misdiagnosed. I thought "Oh it couldn’t be ADHD, I haven’t gotten off the couch in nine years!"

Are you finding a need now to share with people and assist people – not just with a night of entertainment and having a laugh, but actually be able to share with others about this experience?

Absolutely. It’s such a delicious subject. What I want to find is more people like me, more interested in the joy of finding out. You know, we can waste our whole lives in regret, or wake up finding out that the story of our lives is eighty percent better than we thought it was.

What can audiences expect from Fiona O’Loughlin Live

I’ve found another gear. Look, it was something I’ve always dreamt of. I used to watch Billy Connolly tapes and I said if I can only get to the point where you transpose the complete part of yourself to the stage – GREAT!  It works. This audience, I love them, because when we all laugh, we get it on. It’s a real communal feeling.

Tickets for FIONA O’LOUGHLIN LIVE are on sale at the CPAC Box Office, by phone on 4993 4266 or online here.


Tagged as: