The audience and I really enjoyed "Minimalism" in Cardiff. How have the previews gone?
Previews are always interesting because the material isn't ready yet. Testing things out means guaranteed moments of humiliation and awkward silences. Thankfully, I'm fairly self-destructive so I thrive on that kind of thing.
I have now seen 7 previews so far and you are the most prepared comedian. Are you naturally a quick learner of material or do you give yourself a lot of preparation time?
I spend a lot of time writing and rewriting, because I'm never satisfied unless I think a joke is working as well as it could. As for being prepared, I always feel as though I could do with an extra couple of weeks. Still, there's nothing like a deadline.
A lot of your show resolves around your gig in Gibraltar. Are you often asked to perform in unusual places?
Sometimes. I had an interesting corporate gig to a room full of drunken bouncers in Leeds. That was fairly apocalyptic.
Which do you prefer, the writing process or the performing?
The performing, without a doubt. Writing is the graft of it; the hardest part. That's why some performers don't bother. They tend to produce the bad shows, of course.
As a solo performer, is complete control of the stage empowering or can it be a lonely experience?
It can be either, depending on the atmosphere in the room. The appeal of stand-up must partly be related to ego, but it's not a very healthy way to seek validation. I treat it as theatre. I see myself as playing a character largely based on myself. That seems to work for me, anyway.
As the festival approaches we are getting VERY excited here at DARKCHAT. As a performer do you feel the same way or are the opening days like sitting an exam?
I can't wait. I live in East Grinstead so any chance to get away must be a good thing.
Your show is on at 19.50. How do you plan to pace your day?
I normally run up Arthur's Seat before breakfast, then a few hours set aside for yoga, then perhaps a swim and a quick session at the gym, then I perform my show. Most of this isn't true, by the way.
Who are your comedy heroes?
I profoundly resent all other comedians.
When and why did you first come to the Edinburgh festival?
It was with a boyfriend while I was at university. We slept on the floor of his sister's flat and flooded the kitchen. It wasn't entirely successful.
What did you expect?
Lots of haggis.
How did the reality differ from your expectations?
There wasn't much haggis.
What is the best thing about the festival?
The first week, when everyone is still hopeful and full of enthusiasm.
What is the worst thing about the festival?
The third week, when everyone is fatigued, ill, and self-harming.
What shows did you enjoy last year?
I enjoyed Andy Bell's one-man show "Torsten the Bareback Saint". My favourite comedy show was probably Toby in FuzzBuzz.
Who are you most looking forward to seeing in Edinburgh this year?
My old university friend Rachel who is coming to stay for a few days.
Despite being inundated with flyers it occurred to us at DARKCHAT that as we are quite organised before we arrive we never watch a show due to a flyer. So, as a first this year we have allocated Sunday 9th August as Flyer Day. The plan is to leave our flat ( near Arthur's Seat) and start walking down Nicholson Street and go to the 1st show we have a flyer for etc, & so forth. Does this sound a genius or a disastrous idea?
It's an excellent idea. You should always take a chance at the fringe. I might do the same myself.
Finally, how do you plan to survive that month of mayhem?
Celibacy and Berocca. It's the only way.
If you think Andrew is worth a look if you're in Edinburgh (trust me, he is) then ticket details are here