Edinburgh Festival 2013 Preview: an interview with Ian Smith

1 Aug

By Susan Ford

The last time I spoke to Ian Smith, he compared his style of comedy to a cheese board – and a few other things! Ian Smith is not afraid to embarrassingly reminisce about the past or reveal dark secrets about himself in order to present a good joke to his audience, and he is certainly a great comedian to go and see this year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Ian Smith 820x390 (1)

Last year, Ian performed in the middle of the day as part of the Free Fringe, a show alongside fellow comedian Tom Toal. This year will see him take a massive step up with his own hour long solo set at the Pleasance Courtyard entitled ‘Anything’. If 2012 was a short snippet of what Ian Smith is comically capable of, 2013’s show is set to be even better. In the lead up to the festival, I caught up with the main man himself to discuss his show.

Hello Ian Smith…

SF: What is your Edinburgh Festival 2013 show called and can you tell me a bit about it please?
IS: My show is called ‘Anything’ – it doesn’t have a theme. It’s basically some stories and silliness about growing up, embarrassment, frustration and childhood. It’s supposed to be a bit shambolic. There are bits about my arse, meeting Dappy from N-Dubz and my fridge.

I was voted ‘Most likely to become a comedian’ in my school yearbook and the same school rejected a video speech they requested (when I was in a sitcom not a lot of people saw), for being too offensive. I talk about that.

SF: You performed last year with Tom Toal, will this year be a solo show?
IS: Yeah, this is my debut solo show. I’m excited about it –but I’m also going to miss having someone to flyer with. I find it’s easier to deal with being ignored when two people are being ignored together.

SF: What is your favourite thing about the Edinburgh festival?
IS: It’s the most beautiful city in Britain to slowly have a complete mental collapse in.

SF: Have you gigged in Edinburgh before outside of the festival?
IS: Yes, and it’s very strange seeing Edinburgh out of the festival. Everything looks very quiet and spacious. You sort of understand why some people from Edinburgh hate their city being invaded by human statues and giant animal shaped venues.

SF: If you could recommend five other comedians at the Fringe, who would they be?
IS: Nick Helm – his shows are always incredible, inventive, full of heart and hilarious; Tom Rosenthal – recently saw a preview of his show and it’s looking great; James Acaster – his show last year was impeccably structured and very, very funny; The Pin – a brilliant sketch group/double-act with some very smart writing; Holes by Tom Basden (a comedy play) – Tom Basden has written so many amazing things and this has a brilliant cast too.

SF: Apart from your show, are you doing anything else for the Fringe?
IS: I’ll be doing as many guest slots as I can. Hopefully I’ll do Late n Live again – I think it’s a lot of fun. I’m going to join a gym to try and relax in my free time. I want to see if I can break the record for staying in a steam room for the longest. I’ll go to Mother India and eat curry a lot too.

SF: Obviously the Edinburgh Fringe is your favourite comedy festival, but what other festivals do you enjoy?
IS: I don’t go to a lot of festivals. I’d love to go to Burning Man though.

I’ve just found this on Google – I’d like to see this:
The Baby Jumping Festival (El Colacho)
Castrillo de Murcia, Spain – First staged in 1620, this strange event celebrating Corpus Christi sees grown men dressed as the Devil leaping over a row of babies lying in the street.

Catch the wonderful and hilarious Ian Smith at the Pleasance Courtyard throughout August: https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/ian-smith-anything

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