Focus: Rosa Garland | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Who are you and where are you from?
I’m Rosa, a clown, burlesque artist and theatre maker. I was born in London but grew up in Whitley Bay. I live in London again now, probably because of my masochistic streak.

What is it you do?
I make comedy and burlesque! At the moment I am taking my solo show, Trash Salad, on a mini preview tour and then to Edinburgh Fringe. I also have an environmental drag-king comedy duo called Alan and Ron, and am part of theatre collective Poltergeist, who make nerdy, heartfelt work across different media.

How long have you been doing it?
I’ve been performing since the golden years of school plays. I will always maintain that my comedy career actually peaked in sixth form when I took on the bit part of dying hag Old Sally in Whitley High’s version of Oliver. I’ve been making and touring work since I graduated uni in 2018, but my solo stuff isn’t even a year old – so it’s a really exciting new chapter. I’ve recently spent a few months training at clown school in France, and I’m ready to hit the world with some nonsense.

What inspires you?
Honestly, queers. Everything I’m making now is inspired by being in a community of people hanging out all along this big, dazzling spectrum of gorgeousness and not-normalness. I love our approach to sexiness, our resilience, our capacity for fantasy. Also, snails, jelly salads from the 60s, and the cultural masterpiece that is Jackass.

Tell us about your work.
Trash Salad sits on the fence of a few genres – comedy, cabaret, and performance art. It’s a dirty, bonkers and (I hope) beautiful clown adventure, involving strip, song and a lot of salad. Trash is my most absurd character yet, and it’s a real rush to perform as her (mostly because I wear a 50s style blonde wig). The show is inspired by the experience of navigating queer sexuality, and situating yourself in the world when you feel hypervisible in your sexual identity. It’s also designed to make a great night out – so grab some drinks and bring your friends. 

What have you got coming up in the future?
I’m doing my first hometown gig at Laurels, Whitley Bay, on 29th July. It’s a double bill with my brilliant friend Lanessa Long – we just graduated from clown school together. Her piece is called The Lanessa Show and it’s guaranteed to blow your mind. You can then catch us at Edinburgh Fringe, me at Pleasance from 3-29 August at 10:55pm, and Lanessa 4-28 at Just the Tonic, 10:50am. It’s gonna be a big month! I’m then planning to tour the show in 2023.

Where can people find out more about you?
Join my gorgeous Instagram cult at @trash_salad_ ! You can also find out more about my work with Poltergeist at

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout