Tag Archives: Free Fringe

In the Hot Seat: Carmen Lynch

27 Jul

Photograph of Carmen LynchOne of Amy Schumer’s absolute favourite comedians is coming to the Edinburgh Fringe for the very first time!

Close your eyes and picture Edinburgh. What do you see? 

I see Arthur’s Seat, but I’m standing at the bottom. I need to work on my visualizations.

What is the last thing that made you snort with laughter? 

When my 8 year old niece asked me why I wasn’t famous.

Tell us about this year’s show? 

It’s a bunch of my favourite jokes -thoughts about death and Jesus balanced with some lighter topics like animals and cupcakes.

Do you have any Edinburgh Fringe traditions? 

If I had to predict (since I don’t know yet), I would guess lots coffee and aimless wandering leading to getting lost and taking pictures.

What is your getting ready music?

Old upbeat music like Britney Spears or Wham. The more embarrassed I’d be to getting busted dancing to it, the better.

If you could have any guest in your show, who would it be? 

Robert Downey Jr. Everything he does seems so effortless and real. I want to take in some of that energy, but I’d probably just creepily stare.

What is the best backhanded compliment you have ever had?

‘Keep doing what you’re doing – you have a lot of potential!’

Who made you howl with laughter when you were a child? 

John Ritter as Jack Tripper on Three’s Company. His physical comedy and facial expressions were top-notch on every episode.

What should Donald Trump know?

Nothing. He’s Donald Trump.

What do you do in Edinburgh that your parents wouldn’t approve of?

It’s what I won’t do – the dishes!

Catch Carmen Lynch: Lynched at 4pm at the Counting House throughout August


In the Hot Seat: Carl Donnelly

26 Jul

Photograph of Carl Donnelly

One of our longstanding favourites, make sure you see Carl performing “The Nutter on the Bus” on an actual bus…

Close your eyes and picture Edinburgh. What do you see?

That’s a good question. The opening question to about 90% of Q&As is “What made you become a comedian”. I love Edinburgh. Not just the Fringe but the actual city. When I close my eyes and picture it, I see the view over the city from the top of Arthur’s Seat. It’s rare that you can walk for 30 minutes from a city centre and then be looking over the whole city from the top of an ancient volcano.

What is the last thing that made you snort with laughter?

Comedian (and my partner in crime) Chris Martin said the word “panties” in an American accent during a conversation the other day and it really caught me off guard. It was totally out of the blue and it really gave us the giggles. We have the ability to just catch each other with a phrase that turns us into giggling idiots. Last night we were having a conversation while driving about how Ed Sheeran pops up in a lot of stuff currently. I turned to Chris and said “He’s like onions and garlic. They’re also in a lot of things” Needless to say, he nearly crashed the car due to my stupidity.

Tell us about this year’s show.

It’s a selection of stories about some of my more alternative life choices over the last few years that I’ve made in a bid to better myself and take control of my emotions and mental state. Four years ago I was on anti-depressants, in therapy and generally existing in a state of constant apathy. Now I’m much happier but on paper I think people would question some of the things I’ve done to get to this point as they include ‘alternative therapies’. I’m prone to the odd hippy excursion and partaking in hallucinogenic ceremonies that involve a lot of crying and vomiting.

Who do you want to see this year?

Loads of stuff. It’s the biggest arts festival in the world so I could see something in every waking hour and still not see everything I wanted to. The first show I am seeing (on its opening night) is Hannah Gadsby’s show. She’s excellent.

Do you have any Edinburgh Fringe traditions?

Day one I go shopping with Jimmy McGhie for nice house things for our accommodation. It sounds silly but we’re living in a flat that isn’t ours for a month so I think it’s important to make it feel like home. We go and buy new bedsheets, towels, incense (or scented candles depending on our mood) and other nice bits and bobs.

What is your getting ready music?

INXS’ Need You Tonight is one I constantly return to when getting ready for my show. During the day when I’m relaxing I tend to have a lot of chilled ambient types of music (Brian Eno is a regular on the daytime playlist). The moment it gets to near showtime and I need a little energy boost, INXS get called off the bench. If you get the chance, watch the official video for Need You Tonight. It’s on YouTube and you will get to see one of the greatest rock lead singers in his prime. He was so sexy that even as a heterosexual man, that video does things to me.

If you could have any guest in your show, who would it be?

See question 6. Hutchence in his prime. He died far too young so it would be great to have him back with us.

What is the best backhanded compliment you have had?

I won the Chortle Award for ‘Best Club Comedian’ this year which I was very touched to receive but a tiny part of me can’t help but hear that title as a backhanded compliment. It kind of sounds like that’s all I do.  The comedy circuit is varied and in some ways quite fractured. Some comics only play clubs, some only do festivals etc. I like to think of myself as being one of the group that are able to play all facets of the circuit. I play festivals all around the world, perform at most clubs, do two podcasts and plenty more. Basically I was honoured to win but like all comedians I managed to see some negative in a nice thing.  Part of me wants there to be a ‘Best Comedian Who Does Loads of Stuff’ award which I could win.

Who made you howl with laughter when you were a child?

Dave Allen. He’s one of the few childhood heroes who lasted the journey into adulthood. I still think of him as one of my biggest comedy influences.

What should Donald Trump know?

If ever there is someone who needs to take a heavy dose of hallucinogens (with the aid of a shaman in a controlled environment of course) it’s old Donald. He’s the most egotistical person I’ve ever seen. He’s incapable of answering a question without it being about him. If he’s asked about nuclear deterrents, rather than answer with any fact or opinion, he prefaces it with a comment about how much ‘he’ knows about nuclear deterrents. It’s fascinating to watch.  I think he needs an experience where he is detached from his ego and can see the irrelevance of his own existence as an individual. I recommend he go to an ayahuasca retreat for a week to learn the interconnectivity of all things and how small a part of that he actually is.

What do you do in Edinburgh that your parents wouldn´t approve of?

They would not be too happy that I talk about them onstage. They feature quite heavily in this show as a lot of my past mental health issues can be traced back to my childhood. Luckily for me, they never come to see my shows. They also don’t have the internet so have no way of finding out that I’m discussing them.

Catch Carl Donnelly: The Nutter on the Bus at 7.30pm at Heroes @ Bob’s Blundabus throughout August

In the Hot Seat: Tiernan Douieb

26 Jul

Photo of Tiernan DouiebClose your eyes and picture Edinburgh. What do you see?

Beautiful cobbled streets, Arthur’s Seat and the Castle looming over them with sheer presence. And me not being able to really look at any of that because I’m trying to dodge being flyered for a drunk version of a play about alcoholism while not getting hit in the face by horizontal rain. In summer.

What is the last thing that made you snort with laughter?

Actually it was watching Nick Kroll and John Mulaney’s Oh Hello On Broadway on Netflix. There’s some many excellent gags but a couple in particular that made me snort and spill my drink. Before that it was a picture of a tiny Pomeranian dog that looked very cute but had been named ‘Mr Wilson.’ I have very unstable comedy tastes.

Tell us about this year’s show.

Well I usually write topical political material but as this past year or so has been so eventful, I got a tad fed up with re-writing jokes every 5 minutes. So this year’s show is more generally political and looks at why people (including me) get stuck in their opinions and why it’s impossible to make everyone happy. Except the audiences of my shows, obvs. Ahem. I’ve even tried to get angry this year but apparently I’ve still not quite managed it, so instead there’s lots of jokes and one use of the word ‘banana.’

Who do you want to see this year?

I’m most excited about seeing Andy Daly at the Gilded Balloon. His show Review With Forest McNeil made me howl with laughter, as did his appearances on Comedy Bang Bang and his Podcast Pilot Show. Daly has an incredible ability – that I’m super jealous of – where just his facial expressions have you in stitches and he tows the fine line between comedy & tragedy so perfectly. If you get a chance, google ‘Jerry O’Hearn (Andy Daly)’  where he does 5 mins of stand-up that is just comedy tropes and no actual jokes. It’s incredibly funny. I’m on The Alternative Comedy Memorial Society with him at the Monkey Barrel on August the 6th and honestly worried I’ll act like an idiot fan boy.

Do you have any Edinburgh Fringe traditions?

Yes but they are pretty much all food based. They involve visiting Mary’s Milk Bar as often as possible. Having a giant baked potato only once, then regretting it all day as I can’t move due to a food coma. Also eating at Koyama Japanese restaurant which is always excellent. Oh and also the tradition of me saying ‘I won’t do too many extra shows this year apart from my own one’ then getting booked in to do loads of extra shows.

What is your getting ready music?

I haven’t picked it yet as this year I think I’m just going to choose a playlist based on music my tech Sarah likes as she has to hear it 20+ times. Though she has given me her preferences of Prince or Bowie, so I’m very happy with that. I think she only likes dead musicians.

If you could have any guest in your show, who would it be?

Mr.Wilson. He’s my new hero.

What is the best backhanded compliment you have had?

There’s a lot to pick from. Recently I had ‘I don’t really like comedy but that show was great.’ Good. It appeals to people who don’t like comedy. That’s exactly what I wanted. Sigh.

Who made you howl with laughter when you were a child?

The Muppets. All of them really but particularly the running gag in Muppets In Manhattan where they insist Kermit and Fozzie are twins but the only way to tell bears and frogs apart is because bears wear hats. Joyous silliness.

What should Donald Trump know?

I feel like this requires a 10,000 word essay response but aside from just putting ‘Anything. I wish he’d know anything at all apart from his own narcissistic needs’, I think the answer would be that the more he protests about his connections with Russia the more we’re convinced there are some. He’s now said ‘I’ve no connections with Russia’ so many times I’m starting to think he’s constantly in the Kremlin and all the rest of the world sees is a hologram projected to various locations. This would explain his odd skin tone and fear of stairs.

What do you do in Edinburgh that your parents wouldn´t approve of?

Eat at Mary’s Milk Bar as often as possible. My parents are pretty chilled but no one should eat as much ice cream as I attempt to in August.

Catch Tiernan Douieb: Miserably Happy at 2.30pm at the Waverley Bar throughout August. Tiernan is one of our top shows this year

Punchline Recommends Adam Hess: Feathers

20 Aug

Word by Ross Stark

Photograph of Adam HessAdam Hess gives his all in this fast paced, frantic but wonderfully funny hour.

Like a toddler high on Haribo, he runs down the aisle and leaps to the stage. The first 30 minutes are frantic, in fact the whole show is; so many stories, so little time. Without pause he rattles through his routine at lightening speed.

This is Hess’s style and he works it so well, knowing exactly what he’s doing as he blitzes through the first few jokes, barely leaving any time for laughter. When he does eventually pause there is an almighty roar as uncontrollable laughter sweeps throughout the room. Young to old, every single person seems to be in fits.

Hess is full of wonderful material, from interviews to dates, parents to school. All topics doing the the same thing; painting this wonderful picture of a socially awkward but hysterically funny guy. Hess is renowned for his great one liners and though he delivers plenty within this set they suddenly seem second best to these excellent anecdotes.

Genuinely one of the funniest shows I have seen this fringe. Adam Hess is highly recommended.

Catch Adam Hess: Feathers at 4.10pm at Heroes @ The Hive until 28 August

Punchline’s Top 10 Shows at the 2015 Fringe

4 Aug

Bridget Christie: A Book For Her

Bridget presents a wake-up show in every sense of the term. Grab your coffee and start your day with one of the brightest talents on the Fringe.

11am at the Stand. Info and tickets here

Nish Kumar: Long Word… Long Word… Blah Blah Blah… I’m so Clever

Nish IS very clever but don’t let that put you off. His material is bang up to date and he politely challenges your assumptions with unforgettable charm.

7.15pm at Pleasance Courtyard. Info and tickets here

Katherine Ryan: Kathbum

Punchline reckons this is your last chance to see Katherine before she hits the big time. This gal is going places so catch her while you can.

4.25pm at the Stand 3 & 4 (across the road and down from the main venue). Info and tickets here

Aisling Bea: Plan Bea

Have you seen her before? Probably. She’s on the TV more than you think. If you’re after a an hour of solid laughs and feel-good comedy, make Plan Bea your Plan A.

9.30pm at Gilded Balloon. Info and tickets here

Beasts: Live DVD

 young men who will make you shriek with laughter.  One of the best  legal highs this Fringe.

4.45pm at Pleasance Courtyard. Info and tickets here

The Pin: 10 Minutes with The Pin

This duo have earned their stripes over the last few years at the Fringe and this year it’s going to be a tiger of a show.

7.30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard. Info and tickets here

The Birthday Girls: Party Vibes

Another chance to see the show that makes any night feel like a Saturday night. Very funny. Very rude. High energy. Everything you want from a party. Lovely.

12.10am at the Pleasance Courtyard. Info here

Spencer Jones Presents: The Herbert in Proper Job

This man had the Machynlleth Comedy Festival audience in uproar and made the compere laugh so much he missed his cue. Now Spencer brings the show to Edinburgh to make you laugh like you did when you were a child. It’s so funny you might be sick.

9pm at Heroes @ The Hive. Info here

Lou Sanders: Excuse Me, You’re Sitting on my Penis, Again

This is literally a gift of a show. She’s one of the highlights of the free fringe so you will want to give her lots of money at the end. For an hour of silliness, borderline hysteria and stealth thought provocation, see Lou.

7.30pm at Laughing Horse @ City Cafe. Info here

Angela Barnes: Come As You Are

Comedy Nirvana (sorry, it had to be done) from someone who makes sharp, unpretentious comedy seem like the most natural thing in the world. Think of a cold beer just when you need it; that’s this show.

8.15 at Pleasance Courtyard. Tickets and info here

Punchline recommends Ian D Montfort’s Midday Séance

23 Aug
Photograph of Ian D Montfort

Ian D Montfort

Words by Suzy Romer

Here’s some unusual advice for a comedy show: when you go to see Ian D Montfort, try to sit near the front. This comic creation is a walking, talking spectacle in himself, to the extent that it’s difficult to believe he’s not real. Every smirk, grimace, raised eyebrow and self-conscious flick of the hair is crafted to perfection by the performer Tom Binns.

Ian presents himself to us as a middling to successful clairvoyant and mind reader but Tom provides us with a first-rate collection of conjuring tricks. Ian himself points out that Fringe budgets are simply not high enough for the technology required to cheat. How does he do it? In fact you stop asking yourself because you are too busy laughing at the secrets of audience members which are revealed periodically through the show. Ian reveals a tip-top selection of the sauciest secrets in tones of teasing concern with eyes that sparkle with mischief. He also nominates a sceptic who – entirely coincidentally – has a dark future ahead of him, predicted by our charming and calculating host.

This genuine charlatan is a delightful cure for anyone exasperated (or fascinated) by the “real” thing and he outperforms the competition at every level.

You can catch Ian D Montfort’s last séance of the Fringe at midday on Sunday 24th August at Bob’s Bookshop. More info here

Punchline recommends Birthday Girls: Party Vibes

10 Aug
Photograph of Birthday Girls

Rose Johnson and Camille Ucan & Beattie Edmondson are Birthday Girls

 Words by Suzy Romer

Every night is party night with the Birthday Girls. There is an illicit joy about attending their show, which takes place in a temporary venue with a bar and a fruit machine, but no toilets or backstage. The performers chat to the arriving audience as they set up. In a room like a disused warehouse, the three performers (Beattie Edmondson, Rose Johnson and Camille Ucan) prepare a sound system and a cool backdrop. Ready. Party Vibes is as exciting as a celebration in a speakeasy.

But these women don’t just speak easy; they say whatever they damn well please. They make you feel like you are taking part in a wild night out although they are supplying all the laughs, glamour and scandal. They drink, they brawl, they gamble and they dance. The choreographed numbers which run through the show make it impossible not to grin and whoop. The sketches are wide-ranging in their subject matter and occasionally go beyond your weirdest dreams. There is an outstanding parody of late night adverts for ladies’ bingo. The group list all the sugar and spice that good girls are supposed to be made of (high heels, chocolate, etc), whilst selling us a sticky old gambling habit. Reality TV-style diet shows and internet trolls also get the Birthday Girl treatment: slugged and nailed and smashed like snails, HA HAR!

What’s more, if rude, crude and fantastically good comedy isn’t enough, you’ll learn a thing or two as well. Ever wondered what to say at a wine tasting? Or how the logistics of a threesome work? Never fear. These lasses surf where angels fear to tread and the audience greets it all with shrieks and occasionally barks of delight.

The evening of Free Fringe prohibition-style pleasure ends appropriately with cash payment so it’s a case of no receipts and no regrets. You want to pay more at the end than you planned at the start! I leave on a high thinking it’s just as well we gals don’t behave like this all the time. Or is it?

You can catch Birthday Girls: Party Vibes at Cowgatehead every night at 10pm. They’re packing the place out so GET THERE EARLY. More information here

Birthday Girls

The Punchline Guide to the 2014 Free Fringe

1 Aug

Free ComedyWith so much on offer at the Edinburgh Fringe, it can be easy to spend a fortune on booking tickets to see your favourite comedians. But the Edinburgh Fringe doesn’t have to be a huge expense; you can still see the pick of the Festival without having to fork out so much money. The Free Fringe is something Punchline greatly supports: here is our highly anticipated guide to free shows at the Edinburgh Festival 2014. Earlier this month we spoke to Tiernan Dioueb, and Tom Toal, two acts we definitely recommend you catch this year. Tom Toal’s comedic storytelling show is at Cabaret Voltaire at 2.35pm, and you can watch Tiernan Douieb delight audiences in Beat, Cowgate at 7.30pm from 13th August. We’re particularly excited about Ellie White, whose show is at 2.30pm at Viva Mexico.

Photograph of Birthday Girls

Birthday Girls in “Party Vibes”, 10pm at Cowgatehead throughout August

If sketch comedy is right up your street, we recommend the awesome Birthday GirlsHennessy and Friends, Casual ViolenceClever Peter and The Grandees, all performing free shows during the Fringe. You might know Birthday Girls as half of Lady Garden, and you can catch them every night at 10pm in Cowgatehead. Casual Violence, Clever Peter and The Grandees will perform a ticketed show as well as a free show; catch ‘Om Nom Nom Nominous’ by Casual Violence in Voodoo Rooms as part of the Free Fringe, Clever Peter’s ‘Free for All’ at Laughing Horse @ City Café at 4.15pm, and The Grandees (a weird and wonderful trio) in ‘A Creepshow’ at Heroes @ The Hive.  Hennessy and Friends are not to be missed in Venue 32, Cowgatehead at 7.30pm throughout the Fringe. Also check out In Cahoots at St Johns at 6.15pm.

Joel Dommett in "Finding Emo"

Joel Dommet in “Finding Emo”, 9pm at Laughing Horse @ The Counting House throughout August

For TV famous names at small prices, we recommend these famous faces at the Free Fringe.  Joel Dommett (BBC 3 Practical Jokers), Brendon Burns (C4 Stand Up for the Week), Mae Martin (Russell Howard’s Good News), Fern Brady (8 Out of 10 Cats) will all be involved in free shows during the Festival.

Last year, John Kearns won the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer Award for his free show ‘Sight gags for Perverts’. He is back this year with another free show, ‘Shtick’, which given last year’s award, is bound to be a continuously busy affair.  Also 2013 Newcomer runner up Liam Williams will be performing as part of the Free Fringe, another event which is bound to be tipped hotly given his nomination last year. Jenny Bede won last year’s Musical Comedy Awards Best Newcomer, and this year she is here with the show Bren and Jenny.

Taking a chance on a free show is always daunting, but it is also one of the most exciting aspects of the Fringe. If you don’t want to jump in completely blindfolded, we recommend you take your chance on Lou Sanders, Chris Boyd (from Nick Helm & The Helmettes fame), Ben Target, and Jojo SutherlandDave Griffiths is one of our Top 10 recommendations for this year, with an amazing story of taking on the Big Boys.

For a glimpse behind the comedy scenes, you can investigate Comedy Death and Comedian’s Comedian. If neuroscience and rap are your thing, Off the Top is your ideal show!

If you are less keen to take a complete risk on a free show, we can recommend some very popular and highly acclaimed Fringe acts that have received praise for previous years’ performances: Adam HessDan CookLukeToulson and Eric Lampaert.

For the Free Show enthusiasts who have taken on board our guide and want to see more, here are some extra free performers that we think will put a laugh in your belly: Cariad and Louise’s Character HourStuart Mitchell, Chris Coltrane, Kieran Hodgson, Jenny Collier, Feminism for Chaps, Spencer Brown, Adam Belbin (Laughing Horse New Act of the Year Winner 2011), Ahir Shah (Best Show at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival), Candi Gigi (Hackney New Act of the Year finalist 2014), Half Baked (Winners of the Funny Women Awards 2013), Harriet Kemsley (Winner of Funny’s Funny and Bath New Act of the Year), Kat and Jon Appeal (As seen on Kerry Howard’s BBC Comedy Feeds and Doctor Brown’s Blaps), Nicky Wilkinson (Finalist New Act of the Year 2013, and finalist So You Think You’re Funny 2013), and Tom O’Mahoney.

Now, a word of warning, although the shows are Free to get in, there is a donation-in-a-bucket system at the end. If you love a show, remember you’d be paying £10-£15 elsewhere so let the performers know you loved them by putting a little (or big) something in the bucket at the end.

Have we missed anything wonderful on the Free Fringe? Let us know!

Hennessy & Friends: An Edinburgh Fringe 2014 Interview

20 Jul

Words By Susan Fordhennessy

After a short one year break, Hennessy and Friends are back for this year’s Fringe, and we’re delighted! Taking a gamble on a free show has never been easier – go and see Hennessy and Friends and you won’t be disappointed.  I caught up with Miranda, Dave and Steve to discuss this year’s Festival.

Hello Hennessy & Friends, how are you?
Dave: Very well thanks apart from the slow release panic attack I’m currently having in the lead up to Edinburgh.
Miranda: Man up Dave! We’re fine thank you – how are you?

Can you please introduce yourselves to our readers?
Dave: We are Miranda Hennessy, David Seymour and Steven Shapland: and together we are Hennessy & Friends- A 3 piece sketch group who do sketches and that.

Can you tell me a bit more about your act?
Dave: We peddle our delightfully screwy, slightly macabre brand of sketch nonsense on stage for you to watch with your eyes.

Are you excited about this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival?
Dave: Very excited, It’s getting very close now… I can smell it and it’s all a bit damp.
Miranda: I think it’s going to be a good one! Hopefully this second time round we’ll be able to relax a bit more and enjoy it!

Without giving too much away, what is your show about?
Dave: The usual sketch bullshit… set to a backdrop of our continuing in-fighting, petty squabbles and Steve’s untimely death.
Steve: What?
Miranda: Oh you gave the ending away, not even Steve knew that. I’m not sure I’d refer to our carefully crafted show as ‘sketch bullshit’… It’s definitely not about Fleetwood Mac though. Nor is it a reproduction in whole or part of any songs or recordings by said band or any of its members past or present.
Steve: What’s that about my death?

You took a break from the Fringe last year, what made you decide to come back?
Steve: They made me
Miranda: We took a break for a few reasons – we all had other individual things going on. Plus, Steve had a baby so he was pretty tied up doing that. Dave and I got a dog … We weren’t going to come this year either but we missed it and had lots of new ideas that we wanted to try out so we decided at the last minute to go. And have only regretted it a few times since.

What are the best things about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?
Dave: It’s a whirlwind of a month driven by laughs, alcohol and fast food, that’s the other reason we’re back.
Miranda: Performing every day, seeing lots of other shows and hanging out with your mates. It’s a bit like Uni…
Steve: Getting to spend a whole month with my two only friends, cook for them, clean for them, all the good stuff.

Have you been doing many previews for the Festival, and how have they been going?
Dave: We’ve been doing a few, We’re wary of doing too many, but I think they’ve been going ok… We’ve still got quite a bit of new stuff to put in, we’ve got two left…
Steve: Yeah, we did one where we spilt blood and doughnuts everywhere and got told off by the management.

Other than previews, how do you prepare for a month in Edinburgh at the Festival?
Dave: I’m trying to lose a bit of weight before I go, so I don’t come back dangerously overweight, just enough for people to notice and comment on it behind my back.
Miranda: I’m going to try and not drink for a week beforehand.

Steve: Start adjusting my body clock to ‘Night Mode’ and practice living on no money…

What other shows do you recommend during the Fringe?
Dave: Definitely looking forward to seeing Clever Peter, David Elms’ show is looking great… and Adam Riches’ new show has got to be a must see, we gigged with him recently and some of the new material was utterly brilliant! Loads of others too, just can’t think of them off the top of my head.

Miranda: Definitely Clever Peter and Adam Riches.

Steve: The Steve and Dave show, but don’t tell Miranda…

Miranda: I’m right here.

Dave: Idiot.

Catch Hennessy & Friends show ‘Murmurs‘ at Venue 32 on the Cowgate at 7.30pm.

Tiernan Douieb: An Edinburgh Fringe 2014 Interview

9 Jul

Words by Susan FordTiernan Douieb

Friend of Punchline and very funny man Tiernan Douieb is set this year to perform his first Fringe show since 2011: needless to say we are very excited for it! ‘Read Something’ will be a free event and will run from 13th – 23rd August.  As Tiernan previews his show, I caught up with him to discuss his feelings on Edinburgh 2014.

Hello Tiernan Douieb, how are you?
I’m great thank you, apart from hayfever which is horrible. I don’t know who the High Pollen Count is, but when I find him, I’m going to have words.

Where will people recognise your name from?
Randomly throwing their fingers around a keyboard probably. Or trying to search for shows by Tommy Tiernan and checking page 6 of his Google search.

You are not just a stand up comedian; can you tell us more about your writing and acting?
I primarily do stand up (for adults and kids) but I try to do acting and writing work when it pops up. Last year I did a few adverts and had a lovely bit part in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat which was a lot of fun. I’ve written for a few bits of children’s TV and regularly write blogs and articles for all sorts of bits. Currently I’m working on a children’s TV show with the brilliant Tim Fitzhigham so fingers crossed that happens.

We love ‘Partly Political Broadcast’, can you tell us more about what it is and what you set out to achieve with it?
I’ve been increasingly interested and irritated by politics as I’ve got older and as a result, it’s what I spend a lot of my stand-up talking about now. I think across the UK politics is in a very interesting and often quite easy to mock place. Yet there is nothing on TV that properly satirises it. We have the same old panel shows that are lightly topical and not much more. Andy Zaltzman’s and John Oliver’s The Bugle podcast is the best thing out there, but what we actually need is a British Daily Show. So myself and Ben Hilton decided to see if we could do our own online version. We’ve made 12 episodes now and while it’s been really well received, it’s hard to keep getting views for a weekly online show, so we’re having a break and plotting where to take it next….

How excited about performing at the Edinburgh 2014 Fringe are you?
I’m really looking forward to it. I haven’t done the Fringe since 2011, apart from popping up for a few days last year, so it’s nice to know I’m coming back. I’m only doing half a run this year, and I’m already starting to wish I was there for the whole thing.

Without giving too much away, what is your show about this year?
It’s about how noisy the world is. It’s not as political as some of my material has been lately but it does focus on how a lot of people just shout out their opinions having not researched them or thought about it, and with no empathy for others. It’s also about spiders and Sigur Ros.

You have performed at the Fringe before, what have been your highlights?
Wow, that’s a hard question. There’s been so many after the years. Doing Political Animal with John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman hosting in 2011 was great, so was doing my Tom Waits impression at Karaoke Circus. There have been tons and tons of shows that were amazing too from most Kitson things to Transluner Paradise by Theatre Ad Infinitum which had me welling up for about a day afterwards. There’s always several things every year that count as highlights.

What do you expect your new Fringe highlight from 2014 will be?
Turning up halfway through full of energy when everyone else is already knackered! Hahah just kidding. Not sure yet, I’ll just wait and see when I get there.

Apart from your stand up show ‘Read Something’, will you be involved in any other shows during the Fringe?
I’m hosting Comedy Club 4 Kids (which I co-run) everyday that I’m up there. I’m not planning on doing too many other shows unless people ask me too. I wore myself out in 2011 by doing between 3-8 shows a day and I’m wary of ever doing that again. I mostly want to go see things this year if I can.

Who else do you recommend we see at this year’s Fringe?
So so many things. Mark Thomas’s new play, Chris Coltrane, Josie Long, Stuart Goldsmith, Nish Kumar, Nat Metcalfe, Tiff Stevenson, Simon Munnery, Foil, Arms & Hog, and many many more. Definitely go see at least 2-3 things you’ve never heard of and take a chance on them. You never know what brilliant things you’ll stumble on.

Tell me more about the sock puppets and foil hats…
Hahahaha someone’s been looking back through my old youtube vids and odd blogs. Foil hats are purely to defend yourself should you ever go and see Derren Brown live. It’s a necessity. He’s a mind witch. As for sock puppets. I worked on a children’s TV pilot teaching kids to express themselves using puppets, so I learned with the children how to make my own. As a result of my ever erratic brain I then spent some time creating characters like Zack De La Sock and Chris Sock because I really have too much time on my hands.

Tiernan’s Douieb’s show ‘Read Something’ will be on at 7.30pm at Beat from 13th – 23rd July. And it’s on the FREE FRINGE. More details here!

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