By Susan Ford
The Edinburgh Festival will see some of the hottest names in comedy come to our city throughout August, but wouldn’t it be more fun for us to unearth some of the smaller names that will be making a bigger impact? Returning to the Fringe for his second year is the excellent Scottish comedian Robin Grainger, who will be performing part two as a follow up to his 2012 show.
SF: Hello Robin Grainger, how are you?
RG: I am very well thank you. I am drinking coffee and have just eaten one of the 8000 scones my girlfriend has taken home from work. It’s getting a bit daft.
SF: Tell me a bit about yourself and your comedy…
RG: I’m a 24 year old comedian, currently based in Edinburgh, originally from Aberdeenshire. I started gigging in late 2010. In terms of style, I guess I’m an anecdotal and observational comedian. I tell embarrassing and daft stories about my life, and comment on topics that annoy me or make me laugh.
SF: You are playing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, tell me about your show?
RG: I am indeed! Last year I did a show called ‘Applause’ with my mate Gregor, an act based in Aberdeen. It was a two-hander with a guest host from the comedy circuit each night. Gregor tells one liners, I tell stories, so hopefully everyone is catered for. We really liked the format and we are lazy so we are doing a sequel to that. It’s called ‘Applause 2: Applaud Harder’. Clever isn’t it?
SF: What differences/similarities can we expect between last year and this year’s shows?
RG: The format will be the same; an hour split between myself and Gregor with a guest host every night. It’s great for the audience, as every night is different and they see someone they perhaps wouldn’t have seen before (including us!). The hosts will be different every night and there may well be some special guests! If you guys at Punchline bump into any brilliant acts before August, give our show a mention? Cheers!
SF: You are performing as part of the Scottish Comedy Festival, how important do you feel the Scottish Comedy Festival is in amongst the Festival as a whole?
RG: The Scottish Comedy Festival started last year at the Beehive, as a way to see brilliant acts from the circuit for free. It was a huge success so I went with them for this year’s show. It is an amazing thing and very important because there are very funny people out there, who deserve to be seen, and areas of the festival like the SCF/Free Fringe/Free Fringe Fest facilitate this. The idea of free shows are wonderful, because the costs of putting on a show in the huge venues are astronomical and a lot of acts lose money. I’m skint most of the time, so the fact that I can put on a show and afford a drink at the end of it is great! The Grassmarket is always bustling with people and I think the Beehive is the only venue on the Grassmarket so it just made sense to do this year’s show there.
SF: What other free shows do you recommend this year?
RG: People think that because a show is free, it’ll be rubbish. There are so many good shows on, most of which for free: Raymond Mearns, Vlad Mctavish, Jojo Sutherland, Ben Verth, Bob Graham, Wayne Mazadza, Gareth Waugh, Gus Lymburn and Liam Withnail. Also, my lovely and talented girlfriend is in a play called Shattered and it’s at Café Camino. I’d best plug that or I won’t get any more scones.
SF: What 5 comedians would you suggest we pay to see at this year’s Fringe?
RG: Only 5? Can I do 10? Debut shows from Tony Jameson and Katie Mulgrew at the Stand; John Gordillo, Tom Stade, Set List- huge acts making up sets on the spot,Hindsight- A play by Keir McCallister that I can’t wait to see, Neil Delamere – I was lucky enough to gig with him a few weeks ago, Britains Got Fuck All Talent – this is my mate’s show, who is one of the best character comedians I have seen, Paul Currie – just go, you’ll thank me later, Iain Stirling – I’ve seen bits of his second show and look forward to the full show. I also recommend Daniel Simonsen, who is one of the most unique and funny acts I’ve seen recently, and of course Nick Helm, whose show will be an experience and a half!
SF: What else will you be doing comedy-wise in the lead up to the Festival?
RG: In the lead up to the Festival I will be gigging on the circuit as much as I possibly can and hopefully preview material as well. I’ve also been offered gigs in Berlin. Also, I’m working with some other comedians in setting up a new comedy night in Edinburgh, which will hopefully be a weekly thing. Apart from that, I’ll just be trying to get through all these fucking scones!
Robin Grainger’s show will be on at The Beehive Inn, on the Grassmarket, as part of the Scottish Comedy Festival, at 6.30pm 16th-25th of August. Find out more at http://www.robingrainger.wordpress.com and Twitter at @RobinGrainger
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