An Interview with Sandra Hale

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Hello Sandra, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
I live near Potters Bar in Hertfordshire until the marital home is sold and then who knows ? I shall be a free agent and can live where I please if I get a reasonable financial settlement!

You have been in the business of showbusiness for sometime now – can you give us a whirlwind summary?
Whirlwind summary of my showbiz career.. played Sidney James’s daughter for a year. Worked with some comedy greats.. Charles Hawtrey in No Sex Please we’re British. John Inman, Harry Worth, Clive Dunn… all dead now. That’s why I’ve got to get a move on! TV I’m still getting royalties for The Bill, Londons Burning, The Sweeney etc.. I often played a tart or a grass. More recently I’ve appeared in BBC 3’s Top Ten comedy shorts with Chris Stokes called Life Lessons.Things that are said to Vegans.Several commercials. One for Persil where I played a Russian Psychic and today my Virgin Games commercial has just come out where I play a laundrette worker!

Why stand-up comedy?
I’ve always loved making people laugh and when the acting work started to dry up round about the same time I did, I decided to have a go at comedy to scratch the performing itch

What are the secrets of a good joke?
The secrets of a good joke? Can’t tell you, it’s a secret!


What does Sandra Hale like to do when she’s not being funny?
When I’m not trying to make people laugh, I can be found eating. I love to eat. Love it. My mouth is always on the go. That, and reading. And fortunately the two go together so I’m lucky.

You are bringing your show ‘Self Helpless’ to the Fringe this August, can you tell us about it?
Self Helpless! is a show filled with insights that will help you get through life providing you have good looks, no opinions, and can tap dance.
Sandra Hale is a self help guru like no other. In fact she’s no guru at all. She’s survived. That’s enough.

You have also written a book to accompany the show – has that enhanced the depth & quality of the act?
My book is a complete antithesis to every self help book out there. After all we can’t all be selfless, moralistic and confident. So if like me you are insecure, needy, and a people pleaser then this book is for you. You may still have low self esteem after reading it but you won’t care. The show came first and the book evolved from it. They are both different but the theme runs true in both. Never be yourself! It doesn’t work!

What emotive responses would you like from your audience, & what do you expect?
I want my audience to love me. I need their approval and I do practically anything to get it. I have zero self respect

What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Sandra Hale?
2017 hopefully will bring me adulation, popularity and gifts..
I can hope can’t I ?

Sandra will be performing in Edinburgh this Fringe

Aug 3-26 : Just The Tonic @ The Caves (13.20)

An Interview with Ellyn Daniels

_MG_9353.jpgHello Ellyn Daniels, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
I am from Orlando, Florida but I now divide my time between Los Angeles, London and Barcelona.

When did you first realise you were, well, funny?
I remember making my first joke in kindergarten. My teacher said something to the effect of “we are going to start with step one, then move to step two, etc” and I raised my hand and said, “I don’t see any stairs in here.” And the class laughed. Terrible joke. But that was my first memorable experience making a group of people laugh.

Who are your comedy idols?
Lucille Ball, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, John Cleese, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Silverman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Russell Brand

You work as a model. How the hell did you end up getting into stand-up?
I was modeling in LA. I started getting some acting gigs in commercials and TV shows so I stayed for a while and ended up meeting several people in the business, including one well-known stand-up comedian, who told me I was funny and should do stand up, so I gave it a shot.

What is the difference between an American comedy audience & a British audience?
In my experience, an American comedy audience has less patience for set ups and nuances. They want you to get to the punchlines quickly. American audiences are also more accustomed to the traditional rhythm of stand-up comedy so they get bored much faster if you are doing hacky jokes. They want to be surprised and they won’t give you many polite laughs just for being clever. They want to be moved to big, visceral laughter. A British audience, on the other hand, listens more carefully to the set ups, they laugh much more at nuances and they give you a lot of credit for being clever. They are better listeners and they are thinking while they are listening, so they catch more information. Less is lost on them.

What does Ellyn Daniels like to do when she’s not being funny?
I like to see my friends and have long dinners or spend hours walking around and chatting. I like to write. I try to write screenplays in my free time. I like to study languages. I like to travel. And I still love taking ballet class.

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You are bringing ‘Emotional Terrorism’ to the Fringe. Can you tell us about it?
Emotional Terrorism is a one woman show which I wrote as an attempt to understand my demons and the voices in my head through a humorous lens. I explore some elements of my childhood including my parents’ irrational fear of HIV, being sexualized at a young age by ballet teachers and the modeling world, developing an eating disorder while working as a teenage model, contracting an STD from my first boyfriend, my absurd experiences studying acting in LA with an abusive, ego maniacal teacher and my descent into alcoholism and the demoralization that came along with it. It’s a dark comedy.

What emotive responses do you expect from your audience?
I have been performing the show as part of The Hollywood Fringe Festival and audiences have laughed, gasped and cried throughout the show. I think people’s reactions to the show depend on their personal experiences, but most people have some sort of strong emotional experience while watching it.

How do you think you will find performing at the mega-mash-up that is the Edinburgh Fringe?
I think it will be an amazing experience and I am very excited about it.

What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Ellyn Daniels?
I have no idea. I’m not one for planning very far ahead.

Catch Ellyn Daniels ‘Emotional Terrorism’ at Just The Tonic at the Caves

3rd – 26th August at (21.00) 

An Interview with Jen Wakefield

profile box image.jpegHi Jen, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
I’m from a place called Sunbury-On-Thames which borders South West London and Surrey (I like to say under the Heathrow flightpath!) but I now live in Camden.

When did you first realise you were, well, funny?
I played the role of Eliza Doolittle in my college production of My Fair Lady, and I got some good feedback about the way I’d used humour to perform one of the songs. Then when I was a teacher I used to do impressions of the funny, sweet and silly things that children, parents and others would say and I think I just enjoyed making people laugh.

Who are your comedy idols?
Chris Lilley, creator of ‘Summer Heights High’, ‘Angry Boys’ and ‘We Can be Heroes’ is a comedy genius. I admire how he uses the characters narratives to highlight the blind spots of society, and his character creations are some of my favourites to exist – especially Mr G! Harry Enfield is high on the list for his hilarious and timely sketches. Luisa Omielan for what she has contributed to comedy with her recent shows that are hugely funny, relatable and empowering, and finally Pajama Men who blow my socks off with their characters and sketches. I could watch them do the same thing over and over again and I would always nearly wet myself.

Upon which life-experiences do you draw your own comedy?
For my most recent show, personal experiences that have happened as a timeline from age six onwards. It would often come from what others would ask or say to me, and me not being able to give a simple answer about where I’m from. I became more aware of the idea of ‘labeling’ since trying to forge ahead in a performance career because of the needs of a casting criteria. The feeling of being an ‘inbetweener’ was a strange one and so I drew out all the reasons why it was strange and tried to piece it together in a comedic puzzle.

What does Jen Wakefield like to do when she’s not being funny?
Jen Wakefield likes to watch things that are funny. Annoyingly now that my hobbies have become my career choice, I need to find new hobbies! I watch lots of stand -up, Improv and Soho Theatre shows. I also write occasionally about dance and theatre productions. I enjoy keeping up with music and have been presenting my own radio show on Watford’s Vibe107.6fm. Radio is something I’m also pursuing along with polishing my comedy training wheels with The Free Association who I am training in improvisation with. I’m currently learning how to execute a ‘Harold’ which is like learning a whole new sport in itself!

Last year you performed in various places through the Fringe, did you feel overloaded or take it in your stride.
I think I took it in my stride. Compared to other people’s Fringe commitments it wasn’t too bad. Along with our own show, doing an extras role in a Pleasance Show (My sketch partner and I had small roles in the BEASTS Mr Edinburgh show at The Pleasance Dome each night) was great for meeting other comics and was socially very rewarding. So I mostly saw it as a lucky bonus.


You are bringing us your debut one-woman character show ‘Girl In Da Corner,’ to the Fringe. Can you tell us about it?
Yes I can! It is a character comedy show about identity and explores the mixed-race experience that I’ve had. I wrote an article titled Sorry, you’re label has expired about growing up identifying as Anglo-Indian and found it was met with a greater response than expected. Lots of people contacted me to share their similar experiences, so I thought it might be a topical piece to explore in a show, and I hope there might be other people who can identify with the content or it may spark a conversation. There are lots of different areas covered, but the identity crisis is laid bare through my main character called ‘Natasha G-Storm Flex’ who is delivering her ‘Grime Outreach programme-taking Grime to hard to reach areas’. So there will be three original Grime/Rap songs which I’ve written, and there are various other sketches and characters which will make for a high energy and fun 50 minutes.

Can you sum up your show in a single sentence?
A show that unearths the mixed-race experience through characters, comedy and music!

As a cross-cultural child, will we be seeing touches of both Indian & British humor in your set?
Yes definitely. Two characters which are becoming a bigger feature of the show come from Delhi and Mumbai, and explore the feelings they have towards each other and their own charms and prejudices. There’s also a song called ‘Biscuits and Bars’ about Natasha G-Storm Flex’s time spent with the Cheltenham Women’s Institute. It doesn’t get more British than that!

You are also a blogger of some aptitude, does this way of writing penetrate your material?
I think if you try to exercise your writing muscle it can be beneficial for helping to take the anxiety out of ‘getting started’. Comedy and blog writing are very different in style but I suppose it has helped me to develop my own voice and opinions which appear in the show.

What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Jen Wakefield?
At the moment there is razor sharp focus on the Fringe. Most of my energy is going into the show, currently and thinking about the shows life after Edinburgh, but I do have gigs planned for after Edinburgh. I’m also still pursuing radio on a different level so I shall keep plugging away at that, along with the training and involvement with The Free Association. More writing, more performing, more flexing!

Jen Wakefield will be winging in to the Edinburgh this Fringe

Aug 3-27 : Laughing Horse @ The Cellar Monkey (13.15)

An Interview with Laughing Stock

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Hello Laughing Stock, so where are ya all from & where ya’ll at, geographically speaking?
LAUGHING STOCK : Lewis is from Nottingham, Bella is from Oxford, Phoebe is from Somerset and Rhys is an army child so he’s from nowhere. Currently, we all live in London.

Rhys Bevan

So where did the idea for Laughing Stock originate?
RHYS : The sketch show was really a reaction against leaving drama school and having lots to say and nowhere to say it anymore. I grew up watching sketch comedy, and I’d done it at University, so I knew that was something that I wanted to do. So did Phoebe. So we met up a few times, roped in a few mates to workshop some stuff and lo, a strange foursome was born.

This is not Laughing Stock’s first time at the Fringe, what have you learnt in the interim about your set?
ARABELLA : A big thing we’ve learnt is not to be afraid of showing off. If you think you can pay an instrument, or sing, or dance, or move then whack it in a sketch. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching something that is both very funny, and kind of impressive. There’s something selfless about really committing, and the audiences really take to it. So I, in particular, like to get as much live music in the show as possible.

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Phoebe Higson

What is the creative process behind writing Laughing Stock’s sketches?
PHOEBE : I write it all. Joke. We all bring as much material to meetings as we are able. We present that stuff, decide what we all like, then we trial it in front of (usually non-fee-paying) audiences and see what they like. It’s really important to create stuff in conversation with an audience. They are your guide. And then only the best stuff makes it into the show. So it can be a gruelling process. And you only see the tip of the iceberg.

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Lewis Doherty

What are the ingredients to a good sketch?
LEWIS : There has to be a game, some jeopardy between the characters that makes the scene interesting and alive. The ‘story’ of the sketch. But that can be absolutely anything. And is always subservient to the funnies. E.g. if there’s just a really funny noise you can make in the middle of this really tense scene, do it – and get offstage.  Oh and, of course, my personal favourite, WACKY CHARACTERS!! (That may or may not be a joke from the show).

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What kind of audience response does Laughing Stock convoke – both during & after the show?
PHOEBE : Last year was brilliant. We sold so well, even better than we’d anticipated. And we had a very lively, upbeat show with a bit of pathos at the end. People generally came out beaming and full of emotion. We try to make the audience comfortable from the start too, so if we do get them involved (which is often) then they feel safe and ready to play.

What are the inspirations behind your own comedic input into Laughing Stock?
RHYS : On a day to day basis, it could be anything. A person I’ve met, a situation I’ve found myself in, or just a turn of phrase. More generally I think we all derive our inspiration from the sketch comedy we grew up with – our style tends to fall somewhere between Smack the Pony and The League of Gentlemen.

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Arabella Gibbins

Why comedy, what is it about being funny in front of other people that makes you tick?
ARABELLA : I think it makes everyone tick. Which can be dangerous, you don’t want to depend on it. But I’ve always written funny songs to go in amongst the more serious ones I write. When you have lured people in with comedy, something that binds the people in the room, then they are more present for the more serious stuff.

How much time do you guys spend together outside Laughing Stock?
LEWIS: Sadly, that time has got less. I’m a massive advocate for pints and pub trips, because in those conversations when you’re not worried about all the admin stuff and boring things that come with performing, that’s when the best ideas come. But you get older, and you become busier, and we tend to be quite tight for time now when it comes to our shows. But we’ll continue to make time for those trips. Who knows, maybe this year we’ll have the show in the bag by July…

Can you describe in one sentence the experience of performing at the Fringe?
LAUGHING STOCK : It’s like selling rice at the world’s largest rice market, in China – and it’s awesome.


Laughing Stock will be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this August

@ The Underbelly

3-27 (16.20)

An Interview with Nick Revell

Nick-Revell-008.jpgHi Nick, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
I’m a Londoner; born there, live there, but was brought up in Yorkshire. So, a cockney with strong Northern roots. Go figure.

When did you first realise you were something of a comedic storyteller?
When you move from London to Yorkshire at the age of seven, being able to get a laugh is very useful. Equally, setting out to be funny in that situation and then failing can be…less useful. So you have to get the techniques down fast.

You’ve been writing comedy now the the best part of four decades. Has the public’s sense of humour changed in that time
As far as live comedy is concerned, I think you still find pretty consistently distinct and different senses of humour in different parts of the country. As far as what’s on TV, radio and other media platforms, I think it’s clear styles and genres go in and out of fashion. PeopIe have way more access to more varied content so they’re probably more open to different and experimental forms than they were. On the other hand, once you scratch beneath the surface, how different is any of it in essence…so the answer is…”yes, no, possibly, of course”….I could go on like this for ages and it wouldn’t become any more lucid.  All you can say for certain is that you never know if something’s funny until you’ve run it in front of an audience. Which is great, because that perpetual self-doubt generates a constant low-level panic and stress which in turn cause a constant propensity for alcohol, tobacco and substance-abuse or neurotic behavioural alternatives which can surely only be good for your health.

Who are your comedy idols?
Ooh….so difficult: Laurel and Hardy. Lenny Bruce. The current White House. Billy Connolly. Victoria Wood. Francois Rabelais. Alexei Sayle. The Pythons. Evelyn Waugh. Richard Pryor. Dario Fo…No doubt I will think of more the minute I send this to you.

You brought ‘Gluten Free Jesus’ to last years Fringe – how did it go down?
I was very happy. A lot of people came to see it, and I got great feedback (including a very nice review from Mumble!). A lot of comedians said very kind things about it. Having an enthusiastic reaction from your colleagues and comrades is of course, particularly pleasing. I also felt I was breaking new ground. Getting outside a comfort zone is always laudable. But only if it works.

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This year you are bringing us ‘Nick Revell vs Lily, Evil Cat Queen of Earth Planet and the Laughing Fridge.’ Can you tell us about it?
It’s in a similar style to last year’s show – a surreal and structured story which runs for the full hour. And audiences seem to be enjoying it. There’s plenty of jokes, but I don’t do any audience interaction, and very little improvisation. It’s about Artificial Intelligence and robots taking over and specifically about how I saved us from my cat becoming a ruthless global dictator. Entirely true, of course, but the events I describe were so traumatic that most of us seem to have wiped them from our memory. (The plague of zombie rodents for example. You mention that to people now, it’s like it never happened.) There’s a satirical element, but it’s less head-on than in previous shows. And all the stronger for that. (I think.) I’m also very modest about my personal role as planetary saviour.

Upon which life-experiences do you draw that certain quirkiness of your comedy – or is it all from your imagination?
Well, in this case, as I say, it’s all true, and I just had to refer to the notes in my diary about the cat and its bid for world domination. But usually, my writing process is a combination of following world news, taking incidents from my own life and then crushing them up together into some kind of…er crushed-up–together-thing in the hope that enough people are frightened, annoyed and worried by the same issues to pay money to laugh at the way I see the world.

What does Nick Revell like to do when he’s not being funny?
Cooking, feeding friends, practicing martial arts, agonising about how come the stuff I just wrote isn’t funny.

How do you find performing at the mega-mash-up that is the Edinburgh Fringe?
I enjoy it. Or I wouldn’t keep coming back. It’s great to be doing the same show at the same time every day for a month. The only time in the year when comedians have a set daily routine. I really enjoy that. I find the Fringe particularly good now that I am free of the need to spend the entire month awake and behaving badly. I still do that occasionally, but it has become a choice, not a prison sentence.

What will Nick Revell be doing after the Fringe?
I’ll take a week or so off; maybe go to Italy, where some friends will be shooting a film and then it will be back to work. Gigging, writing. Next year’s show is going to be about some insects I met last week in the Scottish Highlands. Quite a lot of research to be done. And several of their languages to learn properly, obviously. What they told me is interesting, but I only got the broad gist.



3-27th Aug (15.35)

An Interview with John Porter

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Hello John, so where ya from & where ya at, Geographically speaking?
Well, as was once said ‘it ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at’ – which works out pretty well for people like me who can’t say much good about where they come from. I was born in Preston, schooled in Chorley, and live in Euxton. I’m as northern as they get. Where I’m at is still Euxton for home life, but most of my comedy life is spent in Manchester or visiting further-flung places via the use of Piccadilly Station.
When did you first realise you were funny?
I’m not sure I ever did! I could always make people laugh in private, small groups, or doing presentations for my degree (you need the help of humour when you do IT, it keeps people awake), but I didn’t think I’d necessarily make it to the stage.  Until the first time I tried, and people laughed.  I guess it was then.  So that’d be December 5th, 2012, at the Frog and Bucket, Preston.
Who are your comedy idols?
Let me say first that I purely have performer idols, like Springsteen and Paul Westerberg, but in terms of comedy, I knew I wanted to do it when I heard Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Sam Kinison, and Billy Connolly.  The precise definition of idol should probably mean that I sound somewhat influenced by them in their work, but I don’t think I really do, I just admired them and the way they went about it, particularly Billy Connolly, for whom it was essentially a chat down the pub in front of thousands of people.  One of the things that gets said about me the most is that I have a ‘conversational style’ – and I think it probably comes from that.
Upon which life-experiences do you draw your own comedy?
All of ’em! That’s the entire show this year.  In my life I’ve been (and still am) disabled, depressed, in love, broken hearted, inspired, lonely, and all kinds of things.  My experience of love, depression and comedy all come through in my work at different times.  In one sense I try to let my feelings out on stage, because suddenly when you can laugh at them, they don’t seem like the big deal you thought they were.
You came an honorable second in the XS Manchester Comedian Of The Year this year. Can you tell us about the experience?
To be honest, it was all a bit surreal. I went from starting a new job, about two weeks in, to doing a heat in front of Justin Lee Collins and a couple of other judges in the Old Monkey in Manchester.  To top that off, I sailed through the heat so well that Justin wanted a beer with me! (I had one).  Fast forward to the final, and I had a great time, but just got edged out by the lovely Dawn Rigby.  It was nice to finally have something to put on the CV, and there’s something prideful in me having something against my name that applies to my favourite city in the world.
What does John Porter like to do when he’s not being funny?
Desperately search for love, but I’m also hugely passionate about music – I couldn’t live without it.  Sometimes I write, and other times, I watch sports.  I’m a massive football and NFL fan.  Liverpool and the San Francisco 49ers, in case you’re wondering.
 You brought your ‘Lunatic of the Fringe’ to Edinburgh last year – how did it go down?
It was alright.  For me, it was a bit like a team from League One getting to the cup final.  Just the occasion meant the most to me, and the fact that (some) people would pay to watch me perform at the biggest Fringe festival going was quite something to think about.  The show could’ve been better, I’d do a lot differently, but it was one of the happiest times in my life.  This year, it’s more about having improved my squad, to continue the metaphor, and changed my tactics a little, I’m having a proper tilt at the title.
This year you are bringing us ‘Five Years Time.’ Can you tell us about it the show?John Porter Five Years Time Poster
Five Years Time is a show about how ridiculous the interview question ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ is.  I don’t think anyone knows the answer, although I did have a sarcastic one (one of my favourite jokes in the show).,  I had to answer it at the time to try and get the jobs I wanted, but the whole show is about having no idea how wrong I would be at the time.  In hindsight, looking back on June, July and August 2012, I had little idea where I would be in 5 months, let alone years.  The show is about comparing expectations to reality – comparing me then to me now, the person I was and who I am now, and whether I am where I expected to be.  Spoiler alert: the answer is no.  The reasons why are in the show! 
One of the things I always say about my comedic style is that I made it anecdotal purely so no one else could be me, and in this question’s case, that answer applies.  It’s my story.  It’s fun in parts, sad in others, and surprising in many.   But one thing I am sure of is that it’s totally unique.  Even at a Fringe festival, I am 100% certain there will be no one who has my story in quite the same way.  To battle a disability, while growing up, working for the first time, doing stand up comedy across the UK, then falling in love (I will spoil that that bit didn’t end well – but the story is quite funny – at least nowadays), and somehow still going on and changing your entire life in five years?  That’s a unique story, and only my show has it.
What lessons have you learned from last year?

Hmm. I think every Fringe year has some learning to it.  But last year, I think I learnt:

– Don’t go paid when no one’s heard of you.
– Know what you want your show to be.
– Know how to sell it properly.

Essentially, mistakes all first-timers make.

What will John Porter be doing after the Fringe?
About two weeks after, I’m off to San Francisco for a holiday and to see my beloved 49ers – beyond that, who knows? I have an idea for a 3rd show, but time will tell if I think it’s worth progressing. One thing I am certain of is that I will still be doing comedy.  It’s a lifeblood to me and unquestionably the greatest thing I ever did for myself.  That’ll never go away.
John Porter will be performing @ The Counting House
August 14th-19th (11.00)

An Interview with Matt Price


Hi Matt, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
I’m from Cornwall and I live in London.

When did you realise you were, well, funny?
Years ago, I worked in a fish factory and from day one, I worked out that the only way to survive was to learn to be quicker than the other people working there. It was a brutal style of humour that helped to get us all through a tedious job and it proved handy on the club circuit in terms of putting down hecklers.

Who are your comedy idols?
Sean’s Hughes has an album called “Alibis for Life” and listening to that really changed how I felt about comedy. It’s hilarious and personal and a bit off the wall in parts too. As a kid I really liked Laurel and Hardy. It was very funny, but there was something slightly scary about it too. And of course, Billy Connolly.

You have worked as a ghost writer for some of Britain’s most notorious gangsters. What’s that like?
I’m really interested in people and criminals, in this instance retired criminals, are just people. They are surprisingly normal when you meet them, even though their lifestyle is so far removed from anything I have known. They do have amazing stories, which was my reason for being in their company. Active criminals go about their business without anyone knowing, which is very sensible. I haven’t spoken to active criminals about their business. This is also very sensible! The people I’ve helped to write are all retired. It was fascinating. They are funny and insightful and it’s an experience that I wouldn’t have missed for anything. I laughed a lot and I learned a tremendous amount. I actually carry myself in a different way after our lengthy conversations. I had deeply personal reasons for being there in the first place, having been on the receiving end of a crime and I’ve changed my mind about a lot of things. But mainly about how I see myself…

What does Matt Price like to do when he’s not being funny?
I really like to cook and my most recent discovery is harissa paste. Other than that, I like to relax at home with my missus.

You are bringing ‘The Weed Fairy’ to the Fringe. Can you tell us about it?
Last July I went to visit my Dad back home in Cornwall and saw that his front door had been kicked in. He’d been arrested for growing marijuana in his greenhouse. It’s evolved since then as I’ve had a few things that have happened over the last year that have impacted my life. It’s not a show about drugs. I don’t do drugs. It’s a show about my Dad and our relationship and learning to let go of the past. Without giving too much way, my Dad who is now known as the Weed Fairy to South West Police, has never been arrested before and could have lost everything. The show is a silly, fun and heart warming story that has evolved into something very personal and I hope very funny too.

Your Fringe shows have a certain quirkiness to them, what motivates you to create in such a way?
I can only really be myself on stage. That’s when I think I connect with the audience the best and when I get the best reaction. I also usually end up having a great story as life seems to hand me certain gifts in that respect. So I take a story and make it into a show. And I suppose they are bit different to the norm, but I like that. I’m the sort of person who things happen to and no matter how bad or weird they might be, I eventually turn them into material. As far as being quirky goes, I’ve been a comic for a long time and I don’t think I could change what I do. It would be nice to be more conventional perhaps, but my aim is to play the room in front of me and entertain the audience that are there and make them laugh, which is why I sometimes interact. In short, I’m constantly trying to be a better version of myself. It seems to work for me.

How do you find performing at the mega-mash-up that is the Edinburgh Fringe?
I’ve been going to Edinburgh since 2005 and I think I only missed out one year since then. I feel comfortable in Edinburgh and it’s a great city. I pace myself over the month and the aim is always to come back a better comedian and having written and performed a show that I’m proud of.

What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Matt Price?
To be honest, right now I’m just focused on this year’s Fringe and doing the best show I can every day. With something this personal to me, I want to get it right and for audiences to really enjoy it. Beyond that, I might go to Australia again.




Aug 3-27 : Cabaret Voltaire (19.45)

An Interview with Nathan Cassidy

unnamed.jpgHi Nathan, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
I’m from Birmingham and now I live in Hackney in London.

When did you first realise you were, well, funny?
I was about six and it was that atrocious bit at a wedding between the ceremony and the dinner. It was a community hall and I entertained everyone for an hour on the stage. Technically it was my first hour show. I can’t remember the detail but I remember everyone laughing and probably getting emotional at the 40-minute mark when I did a bit about marriage inevitably failing.

Who are your comedy idols?
Growing up it was Rick and Ade, Alexei Sayle, Fry and Laurie and Rowan Atkinson. I’m slightly older than I look (I’m mid to late 20’s). Now it’s Bill Burr, Louis CK, Steve Coogan and anyone on youtube chucking ping pong balls into glasses from a slight distance.

Upon which life-experiences do you draw your own comedy?
I write a new show every year so it’s what’s going on around us now that I’ve drawn upon for my new show – I cover terrorism, politics, Syria, 2 mins on comedy criticism which silly people will say is what the show is about, and of course some obligatory dated references like the death of Dodi Fayed and Rod Hull.

Deep-PRESSIMAGE2.jpegWhat does Nathan Cassidy like to do when he’s not being funny?
I’m working with the Rat Pack Productions in making other people as funny as possible, working on their shows from a writing, directing and production perspective.

You’ve been performing in Edinburgh since 2010. How do you find performing at the mega-mash-up that is the Edinburgh Fringe?
I love it. Comedy is an addiction, we are addicts. I get no high from performing but if I don’t perform I get low – if I didn’t do Edinburgh in August I’d have to spend the month in Vegas and I’d lose my house (doing Edinburgh I just have to remortgage it).

Each year you tend to come up with a trick or two to convince folk you’re the man to see. Can you elaborate & what’s in store for this year?
No gimmicks this year, promise. That said… I am involved with something a little bit tricksy that is on paper the funniest idea I’ve had for a while, look out for something in the Potterow underpass.


You’re also branching out from comedy into theater this year – 2 shows – what propelled, or perhaps, compelled, you to do this?
I wrote for theatre 15-20 years ago. One of my first Edinburgh experiences was writing a musical ‘DIY-The musical’ about a strip club in 1997. It was on at the same time as the Full Monty and there was a double page spread in the Daily Record of me in red rubber pants. So probably the thought of that happening again spurred me on. In seriousness, something happened to me recently which made me think that a perfect love story that has happened in my life was something I wanted to talk about, and it didn’t quite fit into stand-up so I’ve done it as a one-man theatre show. People’s reactions so far have been really satisfying, people have said I really talk to them on a deeper level, and am saying things about love and life that they have been thinking but never voiced. You never get these reactions with jokes about Rod Hull.

Nathan_Cassidy_-_The_Man_In_The_Arena-2017-A3-FINALWhat is it about performing live you love the most?
That, more often than not, what happens is down to you. In stand-up and one-man theatre, people’s experiences are pretty much down to you. If it’s great it’s because of you and if it’s not you have no one and nothing to blame. Apart from maybe the hot room, the weather, an annoying heckler or cocaine.

Can you sum up your two shows this year in a single sentence each?
My stand-up show is about bravery in a volatile world. My one-man theatre show is a perfect love story in a swimming pool.

What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Nathan Cassidy?
Ooh, by the end of the year I’ll be doing scratch performances of my new stand-up show. I can’t say too much yet but I fear the subject matter of this one is going to welcome in the death of my career. So I’ll try to rescue it by writing another one-man theatre show for which I will no doubt be digging out the red, rubber pants.

Nathan Cassidy will be performing twice a day throughout the Fringe;



Aug 3-27 : C Venues (C Cubed) – Brodie’s Close (13.45)


Aug 3-27 : The Free Sisters (19.45)

Josh Howie @ the Drygate


Josh Howie, former trainee Rabbi, brings cult-edge comedy to Glasgow

Josh Howie, who’s avant-garde, geeky comedy has made him one of Britain’s cult-edge superheroes, both in the UK and around the world, will headline Gilded Balloon Comedy at Drygate, Glasgow, on Friday 07 July 2017.

Danny O’Brien, a leading young Irish comic, together with the charismatic and uninhibited Glaswegian comedian, Rosco McLelland, will join Josh Howie on the Drygate Brewery stage. Glasgow based comedian Scott Agnew, an extremely talented and entertaining compere, will take charge of the mirth-fuelled evening, keeping both comedians and audience in check.

With his ‘technical expertise in creating gags’ (Chortle), Josh Howie sees comedy as a ‘necessary function to challenge taboos’. Although he is pretty provocative and loves winding people up he’s absolutely hilarious, delivering sharply drawn and intensely personal self-deprecating stories, coupled with a succession of playful and risqué one-liners.

Josh Howie is the son of legendary PR guru Lynne Franks, the woman who inspired Jennifer Saunders’ character Edina in Absolutely Fabulous. He is an ex-public schoolboy, raised as a Buddhist, before living with Native Americans and finally settling down as a trainee Rabbi. However he was kicked off the programme for being caught with a naked (non-Jewish) girl.

Danny O’Brien

County Wicklow’s Danny O’Brien has a warm, chatty, anecdotal style that was honed whilst performing in tough Dublin pubs. Memorable Danny O’Brien moments have included having to physically wrestle a semi-naked man off his stage and seeing a woman glass her boyfriend in the front row. Fortunately for this Irish charmer, he’s very funny and can leave the less salubrious venues behind, instead drawing in an audience and bringing on the big laughs with ease.

As Winner of Scottish Comedian of the Year 2016, Rosco Mclelland, has proved himself as a rising star. He is leading the way in the Vanguard of Glaswegian alternative comedy. Tall, bearded and messily dressed, this rangy comedian, with a gravelly and animated onstage presence, is loud, in-your-face and full of chaotic energy. His naturally humorous delivery and surreal observations of Glasgow’s citizens emit continuous laughter from his audience.

As compere for the evening 6’5” powerhouse Scott Agnew’s easy-going, laid back delivery and friendly approach to stand up will lull the Glasgow audience into a false sense of security before he spins yarns of general misadventure, mixing tales of nightlife, gay life and tramp life, that will both shock and have them laughing uncontrollably. In recent years Scott has taken the Scottish comedy scene by the scruff of the neck proving that gay comedy doesn’t have to be camp to be funny.

An Interview with David McIver

33062995130_a37396737e_o.jpgHello David, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
I was born in Oxford, then went to university at Warwick, where I helped found the Warwick Revue. Now I live in London; Leytonstone specifically.

When did you realise you were, well, funny?
I was part of the Writing Society at university and during one session we had to try to write something funny. I tried and the half a dozen laughs in the room felt like a rip-roaring success. I later wrote a five minute routine about how police commissioner Cressida Dick has a funny name, and performed it to an overly generous audience at an open mic night.

Who are your comedic inspirations?
I’m pretty inspired by loads of the people I know on the alternative comedy scene. I’m a big fan of the Weirdos collective and the acts who do gigs like the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society. From the traditional comedy canon I love Chris Morris and I think The Simpsons is quite good.

You have studied clown at the prestigious Ecole Philippe Gaulier. For you what makes a good clown?
Clown is so difficult and ‘good’ is far too high praise. I try to have loads of fun performing and do material that makes me laugh, and that helps me be playful and ridiculous. I’m pretty stupid and I don’t worry about looking like an idiot if I think it’ll be funny.

You are a part of the London comedy scene – what’s life actually like being a capital comedian?
I eat a lot of supermarket meal deals on the tube and my skin is pallid. Apart from that I think it’s probably the funnest thing I could be doing with my life. I don’t perform at the big weekend clubs but the alternative comedy scene in London is great and growing. I run a night called ‘Oh Boy, Comedy!’ which keeps me pretty busy.

What does David McIver like to do when he’s not being, well, funny?
Nothing, such a moment has never passed, and never will. I do however like dancing badly to indie pop at poorly-populated club nights in London, and going for lengthy procrastinatory runs when I should be writing.

You have performed comedy on BBC Radio 4 Extra, how did you find that?
It was part of the BBC New Comedy Award, which I was selected for in 2015. I had a great time, the audience was packed out and they were kind souls. I kept worrying I would accidentally drop an f-bomb and get banned from the radio forever, but I kept myself in check. Well done me.


You’re bringing a show to Edinburgh this August : “Stop It, David, We Are Having Too Much Fun”. Can you tell us the thinking behind its inception?
At the moment I think the show is a spiritual journey of self-acceptance told through the medium of absurdist stand-up and character comedy. I’m interested in mindfulness, and I think in some ways it holds the key, not only to happiness, but to being a good comedy performer, and I wanted to explore that in the show. Mainly though it’s just an excuse to put on revealing costumes and do some really stupid characters.

What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for David McIver?
I have literally no idea. My life revolves around the Edinburgh Fringe and so I only plan as far as August. I imagine in September I’ll start working on next year’s Edinburgh show. My life is sad and there is no escape.

David McIver: Stop It, David, We Are Having Too Much Fun
Venue: Southsider (PBH Free Fringe)
Dates: 5th-26th August (not 15th)
Time: 8.15pm (45 mins)