What can we expect from " Sketch Artist"?
Sketch, dogs and rock n' roll. This year there's an alien invasion, Military Zumba and Dynamo Adams is back with a who-almost-dunnit. I've also included a bit of Scandi-Noir script I hope will rival The Bridge for tension.
This is your 3rd solo show at the Fringe? Do you feel lie you are an established act now?
Well I know where the good coffee is (Black Medicine Coffee Co and Peter's Yard are good'uns) and I now remember to get some rest rather than get so over-excited by all the things to do and see. So I'd describe it as more battle-hardy than established. I've never used PR so I still reckon no-one has a clue who I am but audiences tell each other shows they like and people tend to find me that way.
Does it get easier to write a show as each year passes?
I believe it does, so I leave the writing later each year. This is false logic. Please tell me not to do that next year.
Assuming you are previewing this show how have they been going?
They have been lots of fun. I did a few previews in London, double bills with amazing comics Paul Foxcroft, The StoryBeast, Freya Slipper, Richard Soames and Samantha Hannah (they have shows up too and I recommend them all). I love the mess of a preview, how the audiences see the parts of the show and odd ideas that don't make it. Except for when those odd ideas work (the Scandi-Noir Detective comes out of a bit of improv in a preview that I swore at the time I had no intention of putting in the show).
You always seem to be surrounded by family members. (I think your uncle was photographing your show last year when we were in and we met your mother the previous year ).Are you a close and supportive family?
Yes. I'm half Scottish and my parents met in Edinburgh so it's a place they like to come back to and I have family near. They are very supportive (well, my mum sometimes heckles). One of my previews was with my cousin and fellow comedian Samantha Hannah, which is her true and hilarious story of trying to get a husband in a year. She's on 23rd-26th August, at The Three Sisters so please try to catch the whole family!
Most comedians at Edinburgh tend to appear in more than 1 show. Might we catch you in another show?
Yes, please do. I am an improviser so I perform some nights with improv shows: The Free Association's Jacuzii - improvised sketches based on monologues from a special guest comedian, Questing Time - improvised Dungeons & Dragons and This is Your Trial - putting the audience on trial and letting comedians prosecute and defend. It's a lot of fun being on stage having fun with your funny mates (especially when your other show is a solo show).
I believe performers get a Venue pass for other shows. Are there any particular shows you fancy watching at Pleasance?
I have a list of 83 shows at the moment that I want to see and I always add more. It's physically impossible. So at least if I narrow it down to just some of the Pleasance ones I am excited to see which include Tessa Coates, Short.& Curly, Lucy Porter, Egg, Stevie Martin, Rose Matafeo, Olga Koch, Mr Swallow and the Vanishing Elephant, Kieran Hodgson, Emma Sidi, Adam Riches, Kwame Asante, Ciaran Dowd, The Crooners (Phew!) And up for a short bit but also awesome are Birthday Girls and Anna Mann.
But there are loads non-Pleasance too like the guys I mentioned previewing with and great comedians like Lazy Susan and Tom Neenan are up again this year. So many shows to be excited about.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
My mum's advice last year sent to me in an email entitled "Have a Good Fringe":
"That asteroid's going to hit the earth so there's no point worrying about our fragile lives."
Now that the festival is within touching distance do you just want it to start or are you in a state of panic?
Excited and panicked all at once. I do think next year the Fringe Programme cover should be the Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy's "Don't Panic" in friendly lettering.
Sum up the Edinburgh festival in 5 words?
Every type of show, anytime.
What are your 5 top tips for surviving the Edinburgh festival?
1. Go see someone you've never heard of. If you like it, it's a fun new treat, if you don't it's usually still an experience you'll remember and laugh about.
2. Drink water. Apparently we need it to live.
3. Have quiet moments. Whether you like walking in Edinburgh's beautiful countryside or curled up with a book in a coffee shop, find space to have quiet time amongst the hectic atmosphere of the Fringe.
4. Be nice to the people who work at venues. They work longer hours than any performer, so smile at them when you are queuing for stuff and why not bring them cake?
5. Don't Panic.
DARKCHAT 1st fell in love with Briony Redman in “Farce Noir” (with fellow DARKCHAT favourite Richard Soames) and then “Surname & Surname” before her 1st solo show on 2016. Who couldn’t be enchanted with a performer who carted around a trophy for us (who gives a trophy to a bunch of reviewers?) for a year until we saw her last year.
We literally caught her on the train to Edinburgh where she will this year be performing Sketch Artist, and she kindly answered the following questions