Jamie MacDonald is a Scottish comedian, commonly know as ‘That Funny Blind Guy’, who is set to storm the Edinburgh Festival with his third solo show ‘Oblivious’ this year. We caught up with Jamie to find out how he is preparing for a month of madness at the Fringe.
Hello Jamie, how are you?
As there is less than 8 weeks to go till the Fringe I’m starting to get the recurring dream where I’m in front of an audience and have forgotten to write a show. I daren’t look down as I know I’m going to be naked.
Are you excited about performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival?
I can’t wait to get stuck into this year’s run. The Fringe is always a culmination of a year’s gigging. It’s also such a unique, nuts month.
How many times have you performed at the festival before?
This will be my 3rd Fringe. In 2013 I did the Laughing Horse Free Festival and last year I was with Assembly with my show That Funny Blind Guy2 and I’m back at the Assembly George Square again this year.
Without giving too much away, what is your 2015 show about?
This year’s show is called ‘Oblivious’. I’m a blind comedian and this year I suddenly realised that it’s now OK to be disabled in modern society. I am oblivious to when and how this happened. I think the 2012 Paralympics and 2014 Winter Parolympics helped but it’s not just down to them. Nowadays it’s fine to be black, brown, gay and disabled. Full points if you’re all 4! So I’m talking about this shift in attitude. Also being blind means I’m oblivious to shit loads of other things like traffic.
What can the Edinburgh audience expect from your show?
I’m a story teller who does accents so you can expect to meet me as well as Sister Caroline my IRA nun. Helmut the stoic German Art Gallery guide and a rough Glasgow man who prefers taking his drugs anally.
What do your preparations for the Festival involve?
I’ve been doing loads of gigging around the country to make sure that what gets into the Fringe is my best material. I also work with theatre director Tony Cownie. We have weekly rehearsals which start this week. Together we add productions values like sound and lighting. I always include backing music behind my stories cause I think it gives them good depth.
What does the Edinburgh Festival mean to you?
The Fringe is a full-on month of fun. When you have a sell out on your show it’s an amazing feeling but this gets checked the next night when you sell 4 tickets! It also means a solid month of drinking as your mates will turn up to see your show and expect to go for a few pints afterwards unaware that pals have been turning up every night for the last 3 weeks expecting the same and you’re now seriously wondering if you’re allowed to put yourself on the liver transplant list.
Other than your show “Oblivious”, will you be taking part in any other shows?
Not sure. I’ll be doing a few open spots at a number of showcase shows. I did Mervin Stutter’s Pick of the Fringe last year and hope to be invited on again.
What other acts do you recommend we catch during the festival?
Tom Stade is on in the Assembly, he’s fantastic. Also Pippa Evans is doing a show in the free festival. She does a lot of musical material and is hilarious. Men with Coconuts is a cracking improv show which is also in the free festival. There is so much to see! Take a couple of punts.
Jamie MacDonald’s show Oblivious is on in Assembly Rooms George Square Aug 5-17, 19-30.