DarkChat - Reviewing the Edinburgh Fringe since 2008

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So, what can we expect from " The Andromeda Paradox"?  


It’s a sci fi epic set in Britain in the 1950’s. Full of tweed and sinister goings on. But most of all its just an excuse to do lots of silly jokes.  



Is everything finshed or is it still "Work In Progress"?


I’ll be tweaking until the ticket no longer says ‘Preview’ on it. If a joke isn’t working or a beat isn’t landing I’ll work on it, definitely.



You are currently touring. How are the previews going?  


I’m not really touring. I’ve tried to do a few more previews outside of London this time, which have been really useful.  



Which do you prefer, the writing process or the performing?


I’m always surprised by how the two cross over. I’m always writing with an eye on the performance, and quite often the performance will change the writing. Also if I perform a joke that doesn’t work I have nobody to blame but myself. But when the audience enjoy it, I get to take all the credit.



As a solo performer, is complete control of the stage empowering or can it be a lonely experience?


It may seem lonely but when you take a show up to the fringe you always have people around you. My brilliant technician Damien will be in every show, so that helps reduce the loneliness.



How long, roughly, does it take you to write an hour's show?


I have no idea. I wish I could set aside a certain amount of time and know by the end of that time I’d have a show written. But it never seems to work like that.



We first saw you in 2011 as part of " The Gentlemen Of Leisure - The Death Of The Novel",  which we thoroughly enjoyed especially as I was reading Don Quixote at the time. What are you memories of this show?


That show was a lot of fun. Nish Kumar always has his birthday at the fringe, I remember one performance Nish’s agent emerged from the back of the venue holding a birthday cake, and everyone sang happy birthday. I’m pretty sure some audience members thought this was a gimmick we did every day.



The Gentlemen Of Leisure featured yourself and Nish Kumar. How did you get together and was this always a project that would only last for a limited time?


Nish and I met at University and started doing comedy there. We had a great time doing it and still perform together every now and again. But Nish was clearly always going to be a brilliant stand up, so I knew it was a matter of time before he took the stand up world by storm. And I always wanted to do one man shows. So it all worked out well.  



We thoroughly enjoyed " The Haunting at Lopham House" last year. There are not many people currently doing this kind of show. Did you feel nervous about finding an audience for this material?


I’m sure I have the same nerves as everyone else about selling well at the fringe. But if you’re doing something that not many other people are doing you always have that element of novelty. Which is nice.



What are your thoughts about last year's festival?  


I had a great time!



What is the best thing about the festival?  


Being around a lot of friends who you see rarely the rest of the year.



What is the worst thing about the festival?  


The weather.  


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 that 2 DARKCHATTERs 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 like a genius or a disastrous idea?


It’s a disastrous idea. That’s the day you’re coming to see me isn’t it?  What if their show overlaps with my show? I won’t stand for it, you hear!  (Ed - it's OK Tom, we're still coming to see you on that day too!)



Finally, how do you plan to survive that month of mayhem?


Three words: Drink water often.



Despite Tom's concerens 2 of us will be attending his show on Sunday 9th August. To join us (or go on another day) book your tickets here:






Tom Neenan

Before wowing us with his solo show " The Haunting At Lopham House" in 2014, we had previously seen Tom Neenan as part of "The Gentlemen Of Lesiure" with Nish Kumar.


To find out the highs & lows of performing a show you have written read on.