Paul Currie debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1991, and has been performing stand-up since 2004. He spent an 8-year stint as a Muppeteer for Jim Henson as well as 13 years as a street performer, and trained with some exceptional street clowns. He made his big break at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011, and has recently appeared on BBC3s ‘Live at the Electric’.
Paul Currie is a whirlwind on stage, an energetic mass of unpredictable fun. He is silly, but wonderful all at the same time: I was fortunate enough to catch up with Paul before he storms Edinburgh with his Fringe show this year for an interview:
SF: Hello Paul Currie, how are you?
PC: Feeling sharp and loose.
SF: Are you looking forward to this year’s Fringe Festival?
PC: Very very much so yes. I love the Edinburgh Festival, it’s the biggest arts festival in the world, anything could happen!
SF: Your show is called ‘The Sticky Bivouac’, where does this name come from and what does it mean?
PC: It’s Old Latin for “Salmon Legs”
SF: Can you tell me more about your show?
PC: It will feature a monkey, an ironing board, my voice, my legs and a 3 piece suit.
SF: Fringe Guru described you as “a Monty Python version of stand-up comedy” but how would you describe yourself?
PC: I’m a clown, a fool. Just like all other stand ups, but they have sadly forgotten, or are to cool to admit it. But we are all clowns.
SF: You are not just a stand-up comedian, but also a street performer, puppeteer and clown – how do you fit it all in to 60 minutes?
PC: I have no idea. But you are guaranteed every night I will be a puddle of sweat at the end of each show. It’s a pretty energetic show, you really do get your money’s worth.
SF: How much will you draw on these other skills to make your show funny?
PC: They are all a part of me, my life, what my passions are. Without them it’s a fake show, its lies. I don’t want to lie to people.
SF: I’ve recently seen you perform in Edinburgh and noticed you are a fan of audience participation – how much do you rely on your audience to contribute to the show?
PC: Without an audience a comedian is alone in a room. Stand up is like sex; it’s you as a performer trying to woo and then procreate with the other person, in this case the other person is an entire audience. We’re so closed off from reality by the trend of TV that audiences forget that what is happening in front of them is actually real… its literally a slap of reality and a wake-up call. Plus adults forget how to play around other adults. It’s a big part of my show to literally connect with a crowd, touch them, feel them, and make them remember they’re alive.
SF: What kind of person would enjoy your show?
PC: Someone who enjoys silly, absurd, oblique comedy. I have found over the last 9 years of performing my type of comedy, that my demographic is massive… any age. Don’t over analyse it.
SF: You first performed at the Fringe in 1991, how many times have you performed here since?
PC: Approximately 6 times, on the streets mainly, and a few theatre shows. I fell in love with Edinburgh in ’91 as a young student. However I only first performed comedy there on my own in 2009. Then in 2011, and now again in 2013.
SF: What other acts do you recommend this year at the Fringe?
PC: Jim Henson’s “Puppet Up” show must be seen. “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” with Muppets; Paul Vickers aka Twonkey’s Castle – the best kept Fringe secret. I have seen him the last 3 years. If you like silly and surreal, do not miss this genius; Tony Law… Stewart Lee… and the “Alternative Comedy Memorial Society” at the Stand Comedy Club
SF: Where can we find out more about Paul Currie?
PC: Facebook is your best bet https://www.facebook.com/PaulCurrieComedian
Paul Currie will be performing his show ‘Paul Currie – The Sticky Bivouac’ every night (not 12th) at Pleasance Below, Pleasance Courtyard: www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/paul-currie-the-sticky-bivouac