DarkChat - Reviewing the Edinburgh Fringe since 2008

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Tell us about the new show


Free Egg came about when I was ill in bed for 3 days, my internet was down and I was left with in the house was my mind. When you are ill everything becomes a herculean task and my mind is a weird place at the best of times. The show is written but there is room for manoeuvre. Today has been a writing day, when the ideas come I have the opposite of writer's block, my recording device can't keep up with my thoughts. I was a little late tonight due to writing a section about milk. However, I must stress this show is not only about dairy products. There will be audience involvement and once it is made ( I used to be a Theatre Designer) I will appear in a Seagull beak.


If that doesn't sell tickets nothing will!



 Who were  your early comedy heroes and how was your introduction to comedy?


I made up my 1st joke when I was 3. How does an elephant cross the river? Splish Splash. I was brought up on the greats, Spike Milligan, Peter Cook, Les Dawson and Tommy Cooper. I like old-style accessible comedy though I love Vic & Bob and it was a joy meeting Bob Mortimer during "Show Me The Funny". Currently, I love the anti-comedy of Tony Law and Stewart Lee and although he is not a big name check out Brian Gittins on Youtube.



How is life as a 'real' comedian?


You sleep late, normally waking around 10.00 am, watch daytime TV, travel, drink (within reason) & stay in B&B's. For a late show, I will start preparing about 9.00pm. Comedians are exaggerated versions of themselves, it is acting and showing a part of yourself no-one else normally sees. It is fun being challenged and when you win over an audience it is more fulfilling. I am normally a calm,relaxed guy but I do get nervous before a gig so you have to learn to hide your nerves. To quote fellow Welshman Elis James " Embellishment is all".


You don't have to be a control freak, just set the ball in motion and adapt to your audience eg I recently did a fun gig  at the National  Museum of Wales for kids aged between 11-16. as part of National Literature week and enjoyed working out what material would work. Oddly, it mainly involved sticks.



Tell us about your previous Edinburgh experiences and what are your feelings about this year's show?


I first went in 2004 and ending up staying with a Slovenian Folk band, including a musician who could play 2 flutes at the same time with different nostrils. When I arrived I had no accomodation booked and slept on a park bench, awaking to discover someone had left a Rustlers burger by my face.

This year I will be staying with Alfie Moore (fellow Show Me The Funny contestant) and his wife. I will try and cook decent food throughout the run but I know I will indulge myself  with Southern Fried Chicken, especially Miss Millies and the occasional battered Pizza slice. This sounds as if I could put on a lot of weight so I have already paid for Gym membership for a month so I have no excuses not to use it.  I am epileptic so I have set myself a 4.00 am curfew.


This show is a dream come true. I want to know I did well and did a good gig every night, whether the audience is big or small. Just seeing my picture in the Edinburgh brochure gave me a great thrill. Bit it adds pressure. The first two nights are preview nights, and as reviews are vital will be scared shitless, especially as everything depends on the first five to ten minutes. My sets normally last up to forty minutes so it will be interesting to see how I last an hour.


I will try and see as many shows up there as possible. I will peruse the brochure but must be controlled in my choices. And on my day off I plan to completely get away from Edinburgh. But after the festival is over I plan to gig as much as possible to take advantage of this opportunity.



So, there we have it, I staggered home with great memories, a nice hangover and twelve pages of fairly indeciphrable notes. Still not entirely sure that the wife bought the "I've been drinking with a comedian until closing time" but it's the first time I've ever used the line.  Hopefuly I've captured the meeting but if you're not sure and want to find out how truly funny Dan Mitchell is, all you have to do is see him:



Dan Mitchell is performing Free Egg at the Assembly Roxy daily from August 2nd at 10.30pm


What do you get if you cross a DarkChatter, a funny man and a lot of alcohol?

Comedian, actor and playwright Dan Mitchell, is a well known face if you know your comedy and live in South Wales as DarkChatter David does.  


Balancing a part-time charity job with gigging in the evenings his appearance in ITV's "Show Me The Funny" changed all that (not his face, just that you don't have to live in South Wales to recognise it!)  Reaching the grand final at the Apollo Hammersmith, allowed him to achieve his ambition of turning 'professional' and taking his own solo show 'Free Egg' to the Edinburgh Fringe.


David met up with Dan to conduct a face-to-face interview in a fun, relaxed evening at NosDa bar in Cardiff, and forgot to take Dan's mobile number - what could possibly go wrong?