Sofie Hagan Answers Punchline’s Burning Questions

19 Aug

What is the best advice for a new performer in Edinburgh?

Watch shows. Especially those by your friends. Take pleasure in the fact that we are all up here, actually doing comedy – our favourite thing in the whole world – every single night. Oh, and don’t drink. You need all your brain cells.

What is the best advice for a new festival goer?

Smile at flyerers and be nice to them. They are doing the toughest job in Edinburgh. When going to see shows, be open-minded, don’t just aim for the acts you’ve seen on Live At The Apollo. This is the place where geniuses like Spencer Jones, John Kearns and Richard Gadd get to do what they do.

What do you have to have in your fridge during August?

Oh, I am a Class A twat when it comes to this. I wake up with good intentions and go to bed with a stomach ache. I wake up and drink a kale-blueberry-banana-almond-milk-smoothie. Then it slowly progress to pizzas and curries.

What is the weirdest after-show comment you have had from an audience member?

As I do the Free Fringe, I am standing with a bucket at the end of my show, in the hopes of collecting some money from the audience. I go home and count the small change afterwards. A few days ago, someone had left a note that said, “I will be your babysitter. No cash payment. Davey.” and then his phone number. I was so freaked out. He must have brought that note with him to the show and just waited for the end, so he could put it in the bucket. So unbelievably weird and disgusting.

Which living person would you like to spot in your audience?

This is a tough one – because there are some of my heroes that I would like to have see my show, but I would not want to actually spot them in my audience. I would probably panic. Mike Birbiglia is one of my favourite comedians and if he liked my stuff, I don’t know, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. One of my actual comedy heroes has told me that he is coming to see my show tonight. I already feel faint.

What is the best non-Fringe thing about the city of Edinburgh?

The taxi drivers who hate the fringe. It is so lovely. Every time I get in a cab, I act as a psychologist for poor taxi drivers who LOVE their city to bits but during August, they just want to disappear. In a time where you see your face on hundreds of flyers and posters, it’s nice to be grounded a bit every once in a while.

How do you relieve Fringe cabin fever?

Talk about it. We are all in this together. I am so lucky to be living with two of my best friends and favourite comedians, so I get to come home after a long day or wake up after a night’s sleep and go sit in the living room and share my thoughts with them.

Who or what last made you laugh like a hyena at the Fringe?

Mat Ewins. Holy f, he is a genius. I have never seen a whole show of his and it just blew me away. I screamed with laughter alongside all the other comedians who had rushed to see it.

Tell us about your 2016 show.

I get increasingly scared the more people are around me. I am bad at crowds, I hate parties, I am always screwing up smalltalk. This year I have been forced to face that fact and I have had to deal with it. That became the show. Trying to be okay with being the person that I am.

What are the best shows at the Fringe apart from yours?

RICHARD GADD – Monkey See Monkey Do. I cannot stress this enough. If he doesn’t win everything, I don’t know what to do. Then there is no hope. It is by far the best show I have ever seen. I mean that. It left me broken and amazed and speechless. For days after I saw it, I could feel it in my whole body. Richard Gadd. By far.

When you go home and your friends say “How was Edinburgh?”, what will you say?

“Can someone please cook me some vegetables, asap?” and knowing myself, probably, “That was the worst thing ever, I can’t believe I am putting myself through this every year. I can’t wait to go back.”


Catch Sofie Hagan: Shimmer Shatter at the Liquid Rooms at 7.50pm until 28 August. This is a free show so get there early (and you’ll want to pay after).

You can also see her as part of The Guilty Feminist at 4pm at Gilded Balloon, 22 to 24 August only.

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