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April 2, 2012 / Siobhan Argent

Christopher Green on Tina C and ‘Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word’ (MICF 2012)

Published March 2012 in Beat magazine

Christopher Green is coming to Melbourne to show off his onstage persona Tina C. She is Green’s sassy American country-and-western singer, one who thinks she can solve everything from terrorism to the global financial crisis. While Tina has already aired her thoughts on post-9/11 terrorism, Tina’s moved on to Aboriginal reconciliation in the new Tina C (Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word).

Tina’s outlandish behaviour onstage suggests Green himself might love the limelight. But then, when you meet him, he’s one of the most softly spoken and polite English gents you’re going to come across. Nothing about him suggests that he has a well-known second personality (aside from several others, including Ida Barr, a rapping pensioner) that pushes more buttons than a telephone operator.

As Green notes, “[In the beginning], I think I was very nervous about being a performer, and I think what I did instinctively was I picked a character that was the least like me that it was possible to be…so I picked a woman, I picked an American, I picked someone really high status, really successful, someone who thought they were really beautiful and deserved to be looked at, you know all of these things that were very useful characteristics for me. I also love country music.”

One of Tina C’s most infamous acts includes a ‘Twin Towers Tribute’ show, with the main poster of her act using her (rather fabulously toned) legs in place of the twin towers in the New York skyline. But Green has a good reason for having Tina do things her way.

“Tina’s a really useful theatrical tool for me to do things with…I want to make shows and examine what’s going on in the world, and I’ve chosen a sort of trashy way of doing that…I naturally pick subject matters that interest me, and that people go ‘Oh, you can’t really make a comedy show about that’, and I go ‘why not?’…It all fell into place when I did a show about 9/11…I’d just been in America for two months when 9/11 happened and I just thought America’s not working, it’s really weird. It was a really sort of place, with aggressive capitalism. So I had something to say and I thought Tina was the perfect person to do it.”

For the new show Tina will be showcasing Auriel Andrews an Aboriginal country musician famous for her seventies hit ‘Truck Driving Woman’. Green explains how they came to collaborate, namely through Green seeing the Aboriginal country music documentary Buried Country: The Story of Aboriginal Country Music.

“I heard about this [documentary] and I got the DVD and I was blown away by it…I instantly thought, well, there’s a show in here, for me, because it’s about country music, and it’s how people get on…The person that I really related to in that documentary was Auriel Andrews. I thought she was great, she was really spunky and witty and warm and lovely…I tracked her down and asked her to be in the show with me, and that’s how we got to know each other.”

When Green mentions his role as artist-in-residence at the British Library, the topic of “success” comes up. Green turns bashful, the very antithesis of Tina C. “I certainly wasn’t successful when I started [playing] Tina, so that was the dynamic then.” Green says. “I think there’s a very nice heat that comes from arrogance and confidence, and it’s very un-British. It’s a cliché but we don’t do that…[The British] find it interesting to have someone who goes [with an American accent] ‘Hey I’ve won nine Grammys, doncha love me?’, because we would never do that. Now I feel really lucky, because I get to do what I’m interested in doing and I make a living out of it. And I explore issues that I want to do, so that’s a very lucky position to be in. And I’ve never auditioned for anything in my life, so that’s lucky…If I’m successful it’s because it’s on my own terms, and that feels good.”

Christopher Green will be touring in Tina C (Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word) for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 28–14 April. For more information, see


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