An Interview with Kevin Matviw

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Kevin Matviw is a Canadian comedian par excellence, & this year he doubling up with two fine, fine shows. The Mumble managed a wee blether with this very brave, & very funny, man 


Hello Kevin, so where ya from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
Kevin: I’m from Victoria B.C., Canada’s weed capital. I now live in Toronto, Canada’s wannabe capital.

When did you first realize you could make people laugh?
Kevin: I was in Grade One. We were doing a taste test while wearing blindfolds. Our teacher told us to put some apple into our mouths and I said “but what if we forget where our mouths are?”, which actually sounds like something I’d say now.

How did you get into Comedy?
Kevin: I wanted to be a very serious dramatic actor, but thrived in the improv portion of my acting classes. Next year, I’m combining drama and comedy in a my new play “Glenngarry, Glenn Ross from Friends”.

Can you tell us about your teaching work at The Second City Training Centre?
Kevin: I teach the improv “Yes And” philosophy as well as more advanced tactics, but it’s mostly teaching adults how to play make-believe.

You’ve got three famous figures from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starter, mains & dessert?
Kevin: I would have dinner with three Abraham Lincolns. What would I cook? Ha! Who’s got time to cook when you’ve got THREE Abraham Lincolns??

Why are you bringing two shows to the Edinburgh Fringe this year, do you think you can handle the doubling?
Kevin: Why not? I don’t want to live forever! Death Ray Cabaret is only running until the 14th, so it’s really only the first two weeks that will be insane. After that, everything is a cool breeze until my last show on August 26th. Right?

As for Death Ray, you are being directed by Shari Hollett, who is she?
Kevin: Shari is a well-known, highly respected director in Toronto’s theatre/comedy scene and her previous work with The Second City (home to alums such as Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey and Gilda Radner to name a few) is what drew us to her. She’s as delightful as three Abraham Lincolns!

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Can you describe your working relationship with Jordan Armstrong in a single word?
Kevin: I can’t! Jordan Armstrong is a genius. She’s been nominated for a Dora (the Canadian equivalent to a Tony Award), won a Canadian Comedy Award and can play the flute, sax, piano, clarinet and is okay on the guitar.

What are the differences between North American comedy audiences & the British version?
Kevin: Canadians spend most of their time looking out the window at snow or listening to the howl of wild dogs chasing a deer under a stark, moonlit night. As a result, the mind wanders and Canadian humour can be pretty dark and absurd. My limited experience in the UK suggests that British audiences aren’t afraid of that stuff, but they appreciate the cleverness of a good one liner too. I mean, so do we, but if it’s not about death then we’re not listening.

For your solo show, how have you chosen you sketches & jokes?
Kevin: As of today (July 20th), I have. Things will likely change as the deadline approaches and I start to freak out more.

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You’ve got 20 seconds to sell each show to somebody in the street, what would you say?
Kevin: Both shows are written and performed by alums of the legendary Second City, so you can’t go wrong! Death Ray Cabaret has fast paced, hilarious songs, beautiful harmonies and a song about Sting. Kevin Matviw: Self Defence for Cowards is a solo sketch show with everything from an Ernest Hemingway impression to sketches where the audience is the hero. On top of that, we’ve got-wait. Was that 20 seconds? Where are you going? I have so much more to sa-

What will Kevin Matviw be doing after the Fringe?
Kevin: I will likely watch from heaven as my casket is slowly lowered into the ground and chuckle to myself as the priest mispronounces my last name.


Self Defence For Cowards

Laughing Horse @ The Place Hotel
Aug 2-26th  (18.45)

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Death Ray Cabaret

Laughing Horse @ The Place Hotel
Aug 2-14th  (22.30)

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www.kevinmatviw.com

An Interview with Amy Shoshtak

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Vancouver, watch out, because Gossamer Obsessions are coming to town with sketch comedy unlike any you’ve ever seen before. The Mumble managed a wee blether with the lady member of that most fearless duo…


Hello Amy, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Amy: I was born and raised in Edmonton, and now I am based in Vancouver.

When did you first develop a passion for performing?
Amy: As a kid, I was always putting on “plays” and “magic shows” for my family. I loved being in front of people! But then, the self-consciousness of being a teen crept in, and I became shy, and forgot about that passion. During high school, my very encouraging drama teacher suggested I join the improv team, and the rest is history!

So, Amy, your improv skills are much sought after, you’re like the Don. How did your teaching of improv come about & where are you with it today?
Amy: Well, I don’t know how much I am like a mob boss, but I certainly do love teaching! I started teaching years ago through Rapid Fire Theatre, coaching in their tournament for high school students, and also running classes for adults and children. In Vancouver, I teach with Blind Tiger Comedy.

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Can you tell us about CHiMPROV?
Amy: It is Rapid Fire Theatre’s weekly long form improv show. It’s really excellent. Every Saturday you can catch different troupes doing very interesting improv. The troupes will experiment with editing, genre, and character in a long form setting.

Can you tell us about your trip to Monkeyfest in Bogota?
Amy: I visited Colombia several years ago to see my friends at Picnic Improv. They run a very cool improv school, as well as circus classes. Bogota was beautiful – I’d love to see more of South America one day!

What does Amy Shoshtak like to do when she’s not being funny?
Amy: I love going to metal concerts, and hiking in the mountains. I also love nachos.

Can you tell us about Gossamer Obsessions?
Amy: Paul and I started working together over a decade ago, doing improv at Rapid Fire Theatre. I really admired his approach to comedy. He always plays smart, while still sharing the joy he’s experiencing on stage. We got together to write a list of “Gossamer Obsessions”. Then we turned that into a performance. And then we wrote more, and started performing regularly. And so Gossamer Obsessions was born.
The show is framed by two curious narrators (The Vicar, and his Petulant Ward), who share parables and cautionary tales with the audience (these are the sketches). The tone of the show is purposefully whimsical, jarring, and still hilarious.

You & Paul live in separate cities. Do your creative processes involve a lot of skyping?
Amy: You nailed it! We skype every couple weeks and work on writing in google docs.

What are the secrets to a good sketch?
Amy: I think if it makes you laugh, then you are on the right track. Finding your own voice in creative work is one of the biggest challenges. Try not to worry about doing it right – just do it, and try it out in front of an audience!

Can you describe your working relationship with Paul Blinov in a single word?
Amy: Depraved.

You’ll be bringing The Morality Puns to the Vancouver Fringe, can you tell us about it?
Amy: The Morality Puns is our third full-length Gossamer Obsessions sketch show.

Where have the sketches come from?
Amy: The ether.

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street…?
Amy: Saturday Night Live meets a fever dream. A critic once called Gossamer Obsessions “19th century stoner humour”.

What will Amy Shoshtak & Gossamer Obsessions be doing after the Vancouver Fringe?
Amy: After Vancouver Fringe, I’ll be working on my Dialogue and Civic Engagement Certificate at Simon Fraser here in Vancouver, and helping produce The 20th Vancouver International Improv Festival. Also, Halloween!


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The Morality Puns

Revue Stage, 1601 Johnston St.

Friday Sept 7: 8:45pm – 9:45pm
Saturday Sept 8: 10pm – 11pm
Sunday Sept 9: 1:45pm – 2:45pm
Tuesday Sept 11: 9:30pm – 10:30pm
Friday Sept 14: 5pm – 6pm
Saturday Sept 15: 4pm – 5pm

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www.amyshoshtak.ca

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.

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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 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!

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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)

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www.barryferns.com

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.

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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


Ozymandias

Just the Tonic @ The Caves

Aug 2-12, 14-26 (11.20)

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An Interview with Andy Onions

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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.

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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 🙂

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Powerpointless

Apex Hotel Grassmarket

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

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www.andyonions.com

An Interview with Nick Revell

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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.


BrokenDreamCatcher

Stand 4

Aug 2-26 (15:35)

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www.nickrevell.com

An Interview with Sasha Ellen

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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.

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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)

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www.sashaellen.com