An Interview with Barry Ferns

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Barry, Barry, Barry, Barry, Barry, Barry Ferns! The Mumble track’d him down to his Canal-Boat for a wee blether & an M&S sandwich… 

Hello Barry, so where ya from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
Barry: I’m from Dorset. I’m at Anarco-Syndaclist-Communes

When did you first realise you could make people laugh?
Barry: When I was 7 years old and I kept writing “3 p sweet” instead of Three Piece Suite. Much to the consternation of my teacher and the amusement of my classmates.

How did you get into Comedy?
Barry: I did my first gig when I was 15 years old in a pub called the Bricklayers arms in Poole. I’d been studying it for years, watching my favourite comedians, writing out their routines, like a real comedy egg head and trying to write my own jokes (mostly puns)

Can you tell us about Angel Comedy?
Barry: I can – it’s a club run by comedians for comedians. It’s free entry and it started (and was so successful) because the professional comedy industry weren’t giving comics the chance to perform 5 or 10 minute set in front of a busy crowd (a totally different experience to horrible open-mics). I put it’s success down to the fact that there are LOADS of brilliant comedians out there – but very few gigs willing to give them a chance to perform. Angel Comedy is one of the few clubs in the country that have brand new acts as well as the biggest acts in the UK on their roster.

What do you like to do when you’re not around comedy?
Barry: I pootle up and down the canals of London in My canal boat. I live on a Calal boat. Like a water gypsy. It’s very cheap. And very cold in winter.

You’ve got three famous figures from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starter, mains & dessert?
Barry: I would choose Robin Williams because he seemed to be (both by friends reporting it and by reputation) a very kind and gentle man. I would invite Albert Einstein and hope that he speaks English, and I would invite Elizabeth Barrett Browning – a brilliant poet from the 19th Century, just to see if she’s as interesting as she seems. I wouldn’t cook as I wouldn’t want to offend them. Maybe an omelette, I can make omelettes. And some huel. And a M&S desert. Something nice and flashy.

You are bringing BARRY LOVES YOU to the Edinburgh Fringe, can you tell us about it?
Barry: Barry Loves You is a show I’ve been working on for almost 3 years. The Bill Murray has taken up a lot of my time. But it touches the silliest parts of my life and also the deepest parts of my life. I genuinely feel that there won’t be a more connected show on the Fringe this year.


What is it about The Bill Murray that resonates the most with you?
Barry: Part of the reason I struggled and got into debt with comedy is that I didn’t have a place to work, or struggled finding a community to work with. And I ended up having to put on expensive shows just to try my material out. The Bill Murray solves those issues – people can work there for free during the week. It’s a place where comedians can meet and hang out and it’s also a thriving and massive community that is used by brand new comedians and national treasures like Frank Skinner and Simon Amstell.

You were once bankrupted by the Edinburgh Fringe; so why do you keep coming back? What is it about performing at the in the Scottish capital you love the most?
Barry: The Edinburgh fringe is phenomenal, just to see the craziness, of what all all these people are doing with their lives. It’s always so inspiring. It felt like running away to the circus for a week. A human circus. Where the animals treat themselves badly. It is truly brilliant. When you get off the train at Edinburgh Waverly the fun and crazyness is all around you. You see a contortionist dressed as Braveheart, then you get accosted by a load of students singing cocacobana, then you see an opera singer walking a tightrope. And every corner you turn there’s the mythic, timelessly Scottish sound of the bagpipes. Bagpipe players are everywhere. Every doorway you pass is a performance space. Sit down in a café and the person next you could be a trapeze artist, a ventriloquist, a Russian Poet, or a thief. Just check your bags. And all this takes place with the backdrop of perpetual rain to the sporadic beat of hearts being clogged by trans-fats. How can you not love it – it’s like no-where on earth!


Can you tell us about your show on Arthurs Seat?
Barry: The show I’ve been doing on Arthurs Seat every year since 2007 and is the spot of my best gig. Being at the top of a Volcano plug, and not being sure that an audience will show up, or be able to hear the show because of a wind, or whether it will get rained off. It’s almost the exact worst circumstances for a gig, but the first time it happened in 2007 it worked so so well and was such a lovely feeling. Everyone was happy and on cloud nine. The audience, the performers, no-one could quite believe that it happened and that it was such a good gig because of it. I think everyone left almost pinching themselves that it was possible. The experience of doing the gig itself was the closest I’ve come to skydiving. It’s just a case of jumping into it and hoping that the wind takes you. And it did.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show(s) to somebody in the street, what would you say?
Barry: If you want to know what love is – come to this show. If you want to know what love isn’t come to this show. If you just want an enjoyable hour of your life – come to this show.

What will Barry Ferns be doing after the Fringe?
Barry: Barry Ferns will be going to New York to gig – and also, quite possibly, to have a breakdown there. New York is so mental, if you have a breakdown people actually think you’re native.

Barry Loves You

Just the Tonic @ The Tron

Aug 3-12, 14-26 (21.00)


An Interview with Jacob Hatton

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Soho Theatre Young Company’s most elegant performer is bringing his second super-silly absurdist show to the Fringe. The Mumble caught up with him for a wee blether…

Hello Jacob, so where ya from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
Jacob: I’m from one of the many dullard suburban towns that orbit our beutiful cesspit of a capital. Like a lot of those places, they cover up their tedium with a veneer of respectability, so there are 3 branches of Greggs in a single mile of high street, but one of them has an outdoor seating area.

When did you first realise you could make people laugh?
Jacob: I’ve been making people laugh as a defence mechanism for ages. Although, just like with stand up comedy I wasn’t great at it at first. I remember that for a long time kids at school genuinely thought I really believed that I could shit brie, because they hadn’t realised that I’d discovered sarcasm at age 6.


Upon which life-experiences do you draw your own comedy?
Jacob: For me it’s mostly childhood. I had an odd childhood in that, despite being culturally middle class – my parents are undoubtedly middle class – due to various reasons that i won’t go into here I spent most of my childhood seriously poor and constantly on the edge of potential ruin/losing the house. Like a lot of kids I escaped into fantasy and books and well, here we are.

What is it about performing live you love the most?
Jacob: Comedy is the crack cocaine of arts. It has an instant hit and the highs are extremeley high. On the other hand, the lows are extremely low. I love that I can write something on my lunch break and work and perform it that evening. It keeps you on your toes constantly. People change, funny changes, everything changes and you have to keep producing new things.

Can you tell us about Soho Theatre Young Company?
Jacob: It’s an incubator for exciting young comic and theatrical artists in London. The best thing about it is, unlike a lot of comedy workshops which encourage a certain style of joketelling, they want you to develop yourself in your own way. Some brilliant new talents have come out of SYC including Olga Koch, Huge Davies and Jack Rooke.

What does Jacob Hatton like to do when he’s not being funny?
Jacob: I’m a bit of a raver so I enjoy “dancing” (throwing myself about a field/room/hovel) to electronic pips and squeaks. I also love reading and writing stories about aliens, wizards and heroism.

You’ve got three famous figures from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starter, mains & dessert?
Jacob: Absolutely no way am I cooking for any corpses. If Napoleon’s mouldering skeleton, or Rameses II is coming round for dinner I’m making soup and soup only just so I can see it pour through the holes in their skeleton and get the mummy bandages all wet.

Can you describe in a single sentence the experience of performing at the Fringe?
Jacob: Emotional turmoil.

How have you changed as a comedian since your first Fringe in 2016?
Jacob: I’m 1000 times more confident but also a lot more cynical about the whole thing. I went into Edinburgh 2016 wide-eyed and optimistic. Now I’m more like a jaded corrupt cop on the narcotics beat, taking the bribes and hoping he doesn’t get shot before retirement.

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You’re bringing ‘Ozymandias’ to this year’s Fringe. Can you tell us about it?
Jacob: “Look upon my works, ye mighty and despair!” Ozymandias is based on our endless desire to be GREAT, to want people to know us and know about us. It explores what that means, why we want it and why ultimately, it’s a profoundly useless thing to really want from life.

How does the music incorporate itself into the show & where does it come from?
Jacob: I’ve got a friend who is a fantastic composer who’s composed some music for the show – but you need to come and see it to see that.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street, what would you say?
Jacob: “Epic Comedy for Kings! Also it’s raining and the morning so why not have a cup of tea and let me cheer you up for a fiver or less eh?”

What will you be doing after the Fringe?
Jacob: Ditching the financial, emotional and administrative nightmare of comedy for the small matter of organising my own wedding haha


Just the Tonic @ The Caves

Aug 2-12, 14-26 (11.20)

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An Interview with Andy Onions


Andy Onions, what a guy, what a comic! He’s coming to Edinburgh, thank the gods, & the Mumble were lucky to catch him for a wee blether…

Hello Andy, so where ya from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
Andy: I was born in Oniontown, a district of New York. Or perhaps it was Aylesbury, UK. I am half British, half Iranian and half Onion

When did you first realise you could make people laugh?
Andy: I was watching some of my friends in a school football match. A few minutes in, I wasn’t paying attention and a waywood shot missed the old Onion bag and hit me square in the <ahem> Onion sack. Ridiculously hard. From point blank range. It was soo painful. Apparently I went down like I had been shot. I’m there, writhing in agony and they had to stop the game for a full minute as both teams AND THE REF were doubled up in laughter. One of my friends told me that when he was getting therapy over a bad breakup, he was told to think of a happy place that brought him nothing but joy and that was the first thing that came to his mind over a decade later.

Which comedians inspire you, both old skool and on the scene today?
Andy: Bec Hill – Amazing comic. You just feel sooooo good after watching her shows. Check her on youtube or see her live. Ronnie Barker – What a talent. Eddie Izzard – My first stand up love. Dave Gorman – He pioneered the genre I work in. A legend. I’d like to think he’d enjoy PowerPointless for the sheer sillyness of it. I have been compared to Dave Gorman crossed with Banzai which was a lovely complement. Rob Broderick – Go see him at the Udderbelly Sooo funny! Spencer Jones – So silly! 🙂 For quick wittedness; Frank Skinner Paul Merton. And finally, James Acaster & Stuart Lee for breaking the rules.

How did you get into stand up?
Andy: I did a best man’s speech at a wedding. A speech I did for the stag do went brilliantly, so I was a little overcocky. At the wedding the “audience” were all 30ft back from me in a massive room in the daylight. I was nervous so I had had too many beers. It went terribly. I compared the Groom’s Dad to Santa Claus as he had a massive white beard for years but for the big day he had shaved it off. I kept the joke in. Got nothing. I ended up improvising about Tony Blair and something about the Iraq war, messed up my final punchline, dropped the mic (literally) at the end and it made the comedy whistling noise and I walked off to no applause. Strangely, I was hooked.

You’ve got three famous figures from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starter, mains & dessert?
Andy: If I was to invite three famous figures from history, they wouldn’t come as they are dead. I’ll have a three course meal to myself Starter: Onion Soup / Main course: Onion Tart with an Onion Bhaji / Pudd: Caramelized Onion Ice Cream

Can you tell us about Freedom Fridge?
Andy: It’s a super friendly comedy night in a relaxed pub in Kentish Town, London. We allow everyone and all acts, and mix it up with some newbies and some with more experience. We have acts doing their first ever gig on the same night as the Perrier (or whatever it is) Edinburgh Newcomer or people who have been on Letterman. Everyone is welcome and best of all it’s 100% free.


What are the differences between a good comedy MC & a bad one?
Andy: Ha, this is something you learn as you progress. An MC is like the rudder of a boat, sometimes they need to steer, sometimes they need to do very little once you are going. It’s all about the boat not the rudder. When I started, I used to do loads of material. I now rarely do any actual material. I have learnt over the years that it is about building and maintaining a platform for the other comics to shine whilst making the audience feeling ready to laugh. I get them used to making noise as people are often coming from work or something where we have to keep ourselves in check. An MC needs to bring out the potential in every audience member to make them ready to laugh. The comics need to actually make them laugh, but their job is easier if the MC has got everyone in the mood for some fun. An MC also needs to keep to time and make sure the night runs smoothly. If an act is good, perhaps roll the next one on. If someone is has a great set bring the level back down. Go on. Don’t even try and be funny (This is hard as it goes against every instinct. If you have to make a joke, make it a cheesy deliberately bad one). Reset the crowd for the next act. If someone doesn’t have the best set, re-energize the crowd without referencing the fact the last act didn’t do so well, build a positive vibe. And don’t stay on stage too long. Also, a great MC will check the room out before to make sure they have sightlines and can visualize the room, plus ensure that the audience and they acts are lit correctly. There’s not often a stage manager so it is often the MCs job to set the room up as they need. I also run sound at the freedom fridge, so I try and make the next song refer to something the last act said. Wifi and a laptop makes this easier and it’s a nice touch where people go “Ahhhh” which adds a touch 🙂

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You’ll be bringing your show, PowerPointless, to the Edinburgh Fringe, can you tell us about it?
Andy: PowerPointless is the stupidest PowerPoint Presentation you’ve ever seen. It’s really silly and light-hearted (It’s 12+) and has lots of fun animation and sound and some singalong bits, some video games and some nonsense. I’ve put in over 250 hours into the slides alone!

What is it about performing at the Fringe you love the most?
Andy: The city is great, locals and tourists mixing, you can see 5 shows a day or chill in a pub then walk up Arthur’s seat. I know so many people here and there’s so much to see. It’s the world cup of comedy!

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street, what would you say?
Andy: Hi there, do you like intelligent comedy? Well this is stupid comedy! If you want to see the best show of the Fringe, DO NOT SEE MY SHOW, see Rob Broderick at the Udderbelly. If you want to see a show that moves you emotionally, DO NOT SEE MY SHOW, nobody dies and I have a great relationship with my parents. If you want to see a stupid man in Hawaiian shirt with a big screen run around with computer games and singalongs and super happy fun times. Maybe this is for you 🙂



Apex Hotel Grassmarket

Aug 2-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-26 (13:10)


An Interview with Nick Revell


Without Nick Revell the Fringe, & indeed the entire world, wouldn’t be as half as cool. The Mumble always finds it a pleasure to get together with the man for a wee blether…

Hi Nick, how has your 2018 been so far?
Nick: Hi Mumble. 2018… well, there’s been a lot of anxiety, obviously, what with the same old collective global fiasco – Syria, Brexit, Trump, bees dying out and plastics choking the oceans. But on the other hand, I bought a Magimix, which means my mayonnaise-making has become much more reliable. So, you know, on the grand scale, it all sort of evens out.

What are the processes behind the creation of one of your shows, from inception to hatching?
Nick: Good question… sorry for the pause – I’m trying to figure it out… Yeah; I look for an excuse to read loads of stuff about something that interests me, and hope a story or two start to emerge out of that. I like to let random connections happen. This year I was interested in the Silk Road – the ancient and modern trade routes between China and Western Europe, with all the strategic and cultural implications. Fascinating. Made loads of notes. And virtually nothing of that figures in the show. Of course. But it got me started.

Two years ago you brought us, ‘Gluten Free Jesus’ to the Fringe, & last year the delightfully titled ‘Nick Revell vs Nick: Lily, Evil Cat Queen of Earth Planet and the Laughing Fridge.’ How did they both all go?
Nick: I was pretty happy with both of them. Audiences came, seemed to like them, and I was changing them throughout the run. Which meant they stayed fresh for me. Nothing worse than just going through the motions.

What have you got for us this year?
Nick: It’s called BrokenDreamCatcher.

What has BrokenDreamCatcher got in common with your previous two Fringe shows?
Nick: It’s in the same style – I call it magical-realist satire. Sounds pretentious, I know, but it’s as accurate as I can get. A structured story which is I hope, weird, wonderful and entertaining, clearly untrue while hopefully reflecting some kind of critical light on the real world. In this one, Vladimir Putin’s buttocks leave him, come out in Berlin and claim political asylum, while a hipster shaman vandalises native-American dreamcatchers, allowing the collective id of an entire north London borough to escape and cause mass psychic panic.

After the Fringe your new radio series, also called BrokenDreamCatcher, will go out on BBC R4. Can you tell us about how you got the gig?
Nick: They came to see Gluten Free Jesus in 2016, liked it, and so I pitched for a series in the same style.

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Now for the all important question, you’ve got three famous figures from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starter, mains & dessert?
Nick: Oooh… well; I think Queen Cleopatra would be very interesting. Profound insights on global politics, probably some good gossip, and of course, a reputation for being extremely hot, and a bit saucy. Francois Rabelais – 16th Century French comic writer, polymath and noted wine connoisseur. Jane Austen. She’d probably be quiet at first, but once she got on the wine, I reckon she’d be highly entertaining. And fearlessly sharp. I’d start with cocktails: margaritas – loosens everybody up in a good way, and it takes a bit of time to kick in. Martinis are tempting but they can mess you up too early. With these guests, you’d want the conversation to flow without descending into nonsense. Some salatini with the cocktails – tiny Italian salted pastries. Then – oysters. With a Sancerre. And soda bread, which I’d get my mate Brendan to make. Homemade pasta with a sage butter dressing and maybe a bottle of Spanish white – like a Godello; then rare steak tagliata with very thinly cut chips and a green salad. Barolo or a really good claret. Chunk of a French mountain cheese after that, or Stilton, depending on the time of year, followed by a chocolate mousse. Armagnac. Then hopefully tequila slammers, loud music and dancing.

OK back to Edinburgh, what are the staple ingredients to your style?
Nick: I try and make a surreal story which grabs people. And to chuck vivid images into their heads the whole time. I like to use a whole range of different tones of jokes from stupid to vicious, with the empahsis on playful but sharp.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell BrokenDreamCatcher as you flyer some randoms in the Edinburgh streets. What would you say?
Nick: Hello! Want to hear a bonkers story this afternoon? Lasts an hour, feels like twenty minutes. Sex, violence, a talking bear and classic 70s disco.

What advice would you give to somebody doing a comedy act at the Fringe for the first time?
Nick: Focus on the show itself. Not what might happen if it goes well. Get some sleep at least once or twice a week. Remember it will rain. See as many shows as you can. Especially by award-winning veteran comics you’ve never heard of.

What is next year’s show called?
Nick: Haha! It’s a little early to tell. But I’ll be there.


Stand 4

Aug 2-26 (15:35)

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An Interview with Sasha Ellen


In 2010 the island of Herm, a mile long body of land and the smallest island of the Channel Islands, declared a state of emergency. Helicopters went up. Divers went down. And it was all Sasha’s fault…

Hello Sasha, so where ya from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
Sasha: Hey Mumble, I live in London now but I’m originally from Essex. Don’t judge me, I got out!

What do you like to do when you’re not being, well, funny?
Sasha: I play a lot of D&D and boardgames. I’ve just came back from doing stand-up at a boardgames festival, where we camped in the woods. It was intents… was a pun made by everyone there.


You’ve performed at the Fringe a couple of times before – with Signal Failure & Accidents Happen to Sasha Ellen – how did they go down?
Sasha: Signal Failure was my first show, it was a romantic comedy and that was pretty cool because after the Fringe we got to take it to the Soho Playhouse in New York, which was an experience. Accidents Happen to Sasha Ellen was my first solo stand up show, so it was a huge learning curve but getting to do it at the Soho Theatre afterwards was pretty cool.

You were classically trained in acting, so how did you get into stand up?
Sasha: I started gigging properly while I was doing Signal Failure in NY, just because their stand-up scene is so amazing.

What have you got for us this year?
Sasha: A story telling stand up show about a time I made the island go into a state of emergency.

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When did you decide your experience had enough amusing material for a stand-up show?
Sasha: As is widely acknowledged, comedy is tragedy plus time. Last year enough time has finally passed for me to tell the stupidly long story at a party and realise that it was a weird, unique and hilarious thing to have happened.

Can you describe in a single sentence the experience of performing at the Fringe?
Sasha: To quote Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, it’s like “having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick”.

No Man’s Land

Just The Tonic @ The Caves

Aug 2-12 (14:10)


An Interview with Gary Meikle


Life is funny, so they say, but Gary Meikle is taking it the next level & turning his own life into comedy gold. The Mumble managed a wee blether with the fella…

Hello Gary, so where ya from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
Gary: To us locals we call it G-Town but on the map geographically it’s Glasgow. Bar a 5 year period when I lived in Crystal Palace I was born and bred here, I don’t think there’s a pocket of Glasgow I’ve not lived in

When did you first realise you could make people laugh?
Gary: Well, I use to be a debt collector but at 5’8 and the fact that I smile too much they wouldn’t let me out the office so, I was desk bound and joined the social committee. It was my responsibility to send out emails to the bulletin board and make staff aware of events and general stats; pretty quickly I started making these funny by cracking inhouse jokes and just generally goofing around which brought a lot of praise from my peers so this is deffo where I caught the bug.

Which comedians inspire you, both old skool and on the scene today?
Gary: Old school = The Big Yin, Lee Evans, Tommy Cooper. On the scene today = there really are too many to chose from, the comedy circuit is thriving with amazing acts that all bring something different, it’s a shame that the vast majority wont get the exposure they deserve as they don’t tick boxes or look the right way. However, I think social media has already started changing this so the future looks rosy indeed.


How did you get into stand up?
Gary: After being sat at the same desk with the same computer for 7 years I finally discovered that I had microsoft word. When I mentioned this to my colleagues they replied “Gary we’ve all got and you’ve always had it” This lays testament to how much of a technophobe I am. I then just started doodling between calls, one page of jokes lead to ten. I then googled open mics for stand up and the rests history so to speak.

You’ve brought up a daughter alone since the tender age of 17, & in true Glaswegian style you’ve become a papa before turning 40. Are the bairns as funny as their dad/papa?
Gary: On stage I’m funny, in real life I’m more daft than funny but my girls are genuinely hilarious and the source of all my material. There’s something to be said about having 3 generations all under the one roof it just works and my house is full of non stop laughter more often than not being led by the other 2. So yes, they’re funnier!

A film about bringing up your daughter went viral, can you tell us about the experience?
Gary: Ha, it was very surreal, I’d received a call from a young lad who claimed to be from the BBC who quickly suggested I talk to them about how I dealt with my daughter’s 1st period. His lack of confidence didnt convince me so I told him to f*** off and hung up. A few minutes later I was called back this time by a female who apologised for her colleague’s lack of experience and explained in more detail why they’d like to chat to me about this subject. The next week they’d flown out to interview me at home and the results are there for all to see. Its crazy how quickly it went viral though, my social media took a beating and I had to change my fb name to prevent all the friend requests. I still get recognised from it which is nice but again very surreal.

You’ve got three famous figures from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starter, mains & dessert?
Gary: Cosby, Glitter and Fritzl, starter = prawn cocktail laced with rat poison! main = meatballs injected with cyanide & if they make it to desert = chocolate fudge cake sprinkled with my particles of my own shit!

What does like Gary Meikle to do when he’s not being funny?
Gary: I’m not a huge football fan but I love playing it, I organise 7 asides for the comedians of Glasgow every week and its without doubt my favorite past-time. I also befriend/support a young lad in the community once a week which I’ll never give up regardless of how far comedy takes me. Bar that comedy consumes me & I wouldn’t have it any other way.


You’re bringing your debut solo show to this year’s Fringe. Can you tell us about it?
Gary: It’s called ‘Before All This’ which pretty much allows me to talk about my life story, which is exactly what it is from my early days moving from country to country to being taken into childrens homes, to then becoming a young single father all the up to now becoming a papa whilst still in my 30’s and all the madness that ensued around it. To most, my life story is crazy and I’ve been through a lot more than most. However, when you’re living it, it doesn’t feel that way, it’s just normality to you! I think I’ve an interesting story to tell and I hope that everyone enjoys it for what it is.

Can you give us a hint of the topics and themes covered by the show?
Gary: Haha yeah, I’m known for my editing on stage, there’s no fodder in my show its bang bang bang all the way with over 20 different real stories I get to the punches pretty quickly but topics you can expect to hear me rant about are, living up to stereotypes, moving and changing accent a lot, a pervy uncle, dyslexia, how Maggie Thatcher became my mum, homelessness, house parties with a bang, young fatherhood, awkward tattoos, thongs, eyebrows, daft questions, a phonecall from the police no father wants, how to deal with your daughter’s boyfriends & much much more.

What is it about performing live you love the most?
Gary: I love it all, from arriving at the venue to the unsettling feeling at the pit of your belly, sitting back stage and pacing up & down going over what you might talk about, and the adrenaline of walking up on stage, removing the mic from the stand and saying hello not knowing how it’s going to go is a rush like no other, but then when you get that 1st laugh it settles down and you just flow through your stuff enjoying the instant reward of immediate laughter. I can’t express how amazing the feeling is of seeing and hearing a room full of strangers laugh at your life, its better than any drug and is hugely addictive. I’m a very lucky man to do what I do and the fact that it now pays my bills is just crazy.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street, what would you say?
Gary: Save the hardest question until last OK. Erm, I’d say “If you’re looking for a fun packed gag filled true life story about how a kid defeated the odds by surviving care to then go on and raise a daughter without her mother from a young age then this is the show for you. Its a feel good show where I discuss all the bits others wouldn’t and all the trials and tribulations that came along the way. I don’t try and gloss over sh** I tell it how it is but most importantly you’ll laugh non stop at all the carnage that my life;s thrown at me yet still I’ve came out smiling, as will you if you come see my show”

What will you be doing after the Fringe?
Gary: I’ve genuinely not thought about that too much. My diaries packed with some great clubs up and down the country I don;t have a free weekend until November. However, with the money I’ll hopefully ‘fingers x’d’ recoup from the show I’ll be taking my girls for a long overdue and well deserved holiday to somewhere hot for xmas where I can switch off for a week 🙂

Before All This

Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Aug 1-27 (19:15)


An Interview with Rosie Sings


It is a rare gift indeed to be funny AND sing like an angel. The Mumble were honored, then, to catch a wee blether with Rosie Houlton…

Hello Rosie, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?

Rosie: Hello Mumble, well I was born in the city which lacks all culture – Milton Keynes! I now live in the city where culture thrives – EDINBURGH!

When did you first realise you could sing really well?
Rosie: When someone told me they thought I could and then I asked someone to teach me how to try and do it well.

Which singers inspire you?
Rosie: Oh SO many singers are inspirational and I am constantly learning! However the artists I’m listening to at the moment would mainly be Morgan James, Shoshana Bean and Anne Marie.


When did you first develop a passion for performing?
Rosie: Being born a Princess I’m no stranger to performance. I grew up touring the UK with my Dad in the circus and I often got asked to help with his act which I found fun and got to have a small taste of ‘showing off’. It wasn’t until I started Rosie Sings where I found the passion because I can just express who I want to be in the ways I want. It’s more of a true and honest passion.

You’re washed up on a desert island with an all-in-one solar powered DVD/TV combo & three films, what would they be?
Rosie: Three movies to pick me up if I was ever to be bored of the sea and sand would be – From Up on Poppy Hill, Moulin Rouge and Batman Begins.

Last year you were performing at the Fringe. How did it go?
Rosie: Last year was my first show at the fringe however a lady from the audience after one of my shows did came up to me and say ‘I come to see you every year – but this year you were the best you’ve ever been’… so I’m going to go with what she said and say – I was the best I’d been!

What have you got for us this year?
Rosie: This year the show is about all the men from my love life… or as many as I can fit in within 60 minutes.

Your show is quite a mish-mash of styles, just what exactly ARE you?
Rosie: … I’m me Bitch … I love everything from Old School Garage to Whitney.

How much of Rosie Houlton the person is there in Rosie Houlton, the performer?
Rosie: All of the stories in my shows are factual. How I perform them and the confidence I have on stage is the Rosie I inspire to be in my day to day life… but usually I just spend my time eating oreo cookies while I bathe.


Can you tell us about your band?
Rosie: The band well … the band are what bring my show to life and add the unique character and sometimes aroma most boys bring along with them. I’ve been a very lucky Princess indeed as I’ve had a wonderful time working with different musicians throughout the year which has helped adapt the show creatively. The arrangements for the show have mostly been worked on with my Fairy Godmother Neil Metcalfe, if you live in Edinburgh and work as a musician you will know or want to know Neil, he is a genius and I wouldn’t have a show at all without him. During August I’ll have the wonderful Doug Price flying over from Canada to take on the role of Musical Director for the Fringe. Doug and I worked together last year and it will be so much fun to have him back by my side to see what we can get up to this time! I’ve also worked with Linda Stewart who stepped in on keys Sunday 1st July who has been working with the musical Wicked and touring the world on cruises. But the boys who make me smile and often wet in my pants are the very tall, sexy Scottish duo you got to see me perform with recently – Damien Quinn and Callum Morrison. We will be seeing more of them alongside Rosie Sings in the future but for now my lips are sealed!

How do you select the songs for your show?
Rosie: The songs I select can be for a number of reasons. Most importantly I have to like the songs I’m using and make sure that they have relevance to my story. Sometimes the song comes first because it reminds me of a story and other times I have a story and have to find a song to go along with it.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street, what would you say?
Rosie: I’m the voice of an angel with the mouth of a sailor. I will sing some of the greatest love songs to compliment the stories of my turbulent yet fruitful love life… and I just discovered Gin, which has nothing to do with me turning 30.


How will you know & feel when you have just given a good performance?
Rosie: From how it effects my audience. I’m always pushing myself out of my comfort zone and encouraging others around me to face their fears. With this show being specifically about the trials and errors of my Love life, I’ve already found in my previews it is connecting with some people who can relate to a mutual experience. The show is to entertain through being honest about who I am. I’ve made some mistakes and I’ve learnt some things and when an audience member connects with that and tells me afterwards, I find that really rewarding.

Can you describe the experience of performing at the Fringe in a single sentence?
Rosie: Last year I caught a photographer taking photos of me and so I stopped to smile at him, he said, ‘No don’t stop, I’m just here to capture your struggle.’

What will you be doing after the Fringe?
Rosie: I’ll be getting on the next plane to the hottest place where I will stay until someone pays for me to come home … and eat cheese.

Rosie Sings Facts About Love

Fingers Piano Bar

Aug 4-26: (16:20)