Words by Susan Ford
Spencer Jones returns to the Edinburgh Festival this year as The Herbert in Proper Job. With physical comedy, music and prop-filled madness, The Herbert is a fantastic act that we strongly recommend at this year’s Fringe. As Spencer stocks up on white tights, I caught up with him to get the gossip on his new show.
Hello Spencer, how are you?
Well this morning my son swallowed a one pence piece and we had to go to A and E. I’ve just finished a large bag of Malteasers. I have a sore throat. I feel amazing. I’m the luckiest man alive.
Are you excited about performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year?
If you’re not excited about going to Edinburgh then you should either take a break this year or give up completely on life. Unless you are one of the poor buggers who got caught up in the cowgateheadgateheadgate watergate scandal. If that’s you, you have a right to feel however you want. I’m gonna see as many of the shows that have been forced to move and promote them as much as I can.
How many times have you performed at the Festival?
This will be my second solo show, and I did a play with Charlie Baker, Sam Battersea and Lee Fenwick, which was a proper laugh. And one year I came up with a sketch troupe and fannied about a bit. So my answer is 138 times.
What does the Edinburgh Festival mean to you?
1. Cheese and salt and vinegar crisp sandwiches on a sofa wondering how I can make the show a little bit better.
2. A trade fair of the most amazing bunch of glorious dickheads prancing around shouting LOVE ME LOVE ME 24 hours a day.
3. Flier rejection and poster envy.
Tell us about your act The Herbert?
I still have no idea if I’m honest about the Herbert. I just think of stuff in front of a mirror, or on camera or when I am playing with my kids and if I think it is funny it goes in the show. The Herbert is the best way I have found to show people that stuff. Nothing is boring to him. Everything about life is amazing to him. Even rubbish he has bought online.
What can the audiences look forward to most about your show?
I personally guarantee it will make them question their life choices so far and will change the way they live their lives after. Every member of the audience will come out slightly differently to how they were when they went in. Also I am buying new white tights.
How important is audience participation to your show?
If you are a heckler, don’t come. Go get some chips. I do a little audience participation. If you like that sort of thing sit in the front row and we will have some fun. I’ve got some plans…. but don’t worry, The Herbert is a lovely man and would never do anything nasty.
What mind set should the audience show up to your performance with?
Bring whatever mind set you want! If you had a shit day, it’s Herbert’s job to cheer you up. If you’ve seen it all before, then it’s his job to show you something new. If you are having a great day, he’ll try and make it better. But do have a wee before you come in.
Will you be involved in any other shows this year other than The Herbert?
I am doing a play with Benefit Cumberpatch at the Cowgatehead.
What other acts do you recommend we catch at this year’s Fringe?
Pat Cahill, Brickhead, Dan Lees, Let Luce, Ali Brice, Joz Norris. Just go see loads of shows. Especially those that are in the brochure at the Cowgatehead but have been moved.
Catch Spencer Jones Presesents: The Herbert in Proper Job at a The Hive 21:00, Aug 6-17, 19-24, 26-31.
Follow Spencer Jones at http://www.thespencerjones.co.uk and on Twitter @spendals.