Hello Siân, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Hello Damo ! I’m at my Edinburgh flat trying to find some clothes. I moved house the week before the Fringe, which was very, very stupid. I had about twenty minutes to pack for Edinburgh before getting on the train, so what I’m wearing is a mix of stuff that I didn’t think was important enough to keep at home. Meaning I now mainly have to wear stuff that makes me look like a primary school teacher who’s just had a nervous breakdown and gone to Ibiza. But anyway – I grew up in Belgium, but I’ve lived in the UK for ten years now, and it looks like I’ll be staying on this island as it disappears further and further into a locked capsule hell of its own making.
When did you first realise you were, well, funny?
I think I did my first ever stand-up set when I was ten or eleven, mainly to avoid a weird man. It was some kind of summer camp type thing and we had to do an end of term talent show, and this dude who’d been following me around wanted us to rehearse and perform a tango. So I told him I couldn’t because I was doing stand-up instead. I can’t remember what I said or did for five minutes. But that particular kids summer camp on the West Coast of the US have never got in touch to ask me back to headline a gig, so they must have known I was going places.
Who are your favorite comedians, & why?
I love Lou Sanders, she’s all-round absolutely dementedly brilliant. I love how Maria Bamford combines little skits and sketches into stand-up comedy. There are so many others – Mae Martin, Chris Betts, Tiff Stevenson, Paul Currie and Evelyn Mok are the acts I’m most excited about at the Fringe this year. And I guess the first comedian I ever properly got into was Dylan Moran – the little offshoots of ideas he peppers through his set are like tiny beautifully-crafted comedy baubles on a dour, existential Christmas tree.
Can you tell us about the night you run, “Sextroverts.”
Sextroverts is a comedy night I run with a sexual health clinic, to promote better sexual wellbeing in the LGBTQ community. We get a mixture of pro comics and completely new acts to come along and do jokes about sex, love, intimacy, relationships, being a shuffling queer, being a flamboyant gaylord – whatever. It’s always big, messy, wild and fun. It’s a weird one because it’s about building community as well as a comedy night, which gives it a pretty unique vibe. It’s my baby and I’m extremely proud of it and excited to get it back up and running in September.
What is the London comedy scene like in 2017?
Well, I’m just a fledgling little comedian on the DIY scene, but that’s a really fun one to be part of. It’s suprisingly easy in London to set up and start running your own night. Me and Zoë run a mixed media alternative comedy night with our friends Sam and Tom, and our director Jon Bailey, where we bring all our favourite acts to come and try new stuff out. That’s loads of fun. London is absolutely teeming with brilliant new nights all the time. There’s something for every weirdo out there.
What does Siân Docksey like to do when she’s not being funny?
I like to sit with my parents and try to convince them I’m funny, and have them reciprocate by trying to convince me to try and get a real job.
You’ve been washed up on a desert island with a solar-powered DVD player & three films. Which would they be?
But I’m A Cheerleader, Nina Forever, and a constant live-stream of David Beckham sleeping.
What is it about performing live you love the most?
Stuff lands completely differently with different audiences. Because I’m such a new solo act I feel like I have so much freedom, so I’m having loads of fun this year just trying out ideas on people and seeing what happens. The first time I saw Tiff Stevenson perform I was blown away – I’d never seen a comedian make stand-up look so effortless and chatty. I saw her kind of by accident, and then brought all my friends to see her again the next day. They both LOVED it.
You are bringing the rather fabulously titled SIÂN DOCKSEY’S TOTALLY CASUAL AND FREEWHEELING MYSTIC COMEDY: LEMON TORPEDO to the Fringe. Can you tell us about it?
It is a stand-up show about me turning myself into a lemon, and persuading everyone that this is the only sensible option.
You are also doing show called Sugar Coma Fever Nightmare with Zoë, what’s that all about?
Sugar Coma Fever Nightmare is a sickly sweet horror-comedy sketch show burped out from our horrible dreams. And some of the audiences’ dreams, if they dare. It’s the third sketch show we’ve brought to the Fringe together and it is the darkest and best.
This is not your first time at the Fringe, what are the secrets to surviving the Edinburgh in August?
Don’t panic. Focus on doing as much promo as you can manage, but mainly on doing your show(s) every day as well as you possibly can. And make time to hang out with other acts and see shows you wouldn’t come across otherwise. There is this consistently cool thing about the Fringe : apart from how HORRIBLY EXPENSIVE it is to come up here, which is shitty, Edinburgh has this kind of mystic quality where you get back what you put into it. If you stay focussed, do a good show, put the effort into marketing it and remember to have fun, then it will be great.
Aug 3-27 : Laughing Horse @ 48 Below (12.00)
Aug 3-27 : Just the Tonic at The Community Project (18.45)