It is here. At 1655 today, I take to the stage at the Stand Comedy Club for the first Fringe outing of Shout out to my Ex, my eighth full length Edinburgh show. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Little Mix, and everything to do with the fact that I still love Edinburgh, enough to only ever want to do a full run, and I believe that I have an interesting, feelgood and most importantly funny story to tell.
Preview season has been tough, in the sense that in May I had one quarter of a show, and although I knew what I was trying to do with the previews, audiences aren’t necessarily expecting a lack of slickness from a minor celebrity. But it has been creatively energizing to have taken so many steps way out of my comfort zone, and I am pleased to say that the last week and a half of preview shows have been deeply satisfying.
A quick summary of how Edinburgh has been for me thus far…..
2001 Big Value on a bill with Birdman, Cochrane and Micky Flanagan. Watched the “out Out” routine 25 times.
2004 First solo show about my hatred of “Love Actually”. I hope I convinced the 17 people who turned up that month of how bad the film was.
2005 Came up for 2 days. Saw Kitson. Suddenly realised how lazy and shit much of my writing had been.
2006 Surprise nomination for the prize leading to….
2007 A whole month of being a talked about comedian.
2008 A short run including my worst ever Fringe gig, involving me offering a punter 20 quid to leave, and him being cheered by the audience when he took it. I cried behind the stage for twenty minutes afterwards. It wasn’t the Pleasance’s fault, but in my head I decided I needed a new venue.
2009-2011 Warmly reviewed shows at the Stand 3
2015 “Postcards from the Z List” , my first post-Chase fringe show, and an experience I loved, feeling that the Stand Comedy Club helped make me less of a clumsy performer.
Sixteen years since I first performed at the fringe, and of course everything has changed. It is a bloated behemoth, with statistically far less chance of getting noticed. But that is good news for the punters who have never had more choices. My plan is to drink less, eat more healthily, and see and recommend a massive number of shows. I am aware that none of this is likely to become reality but its good to have ambitions. I will start with some recommendations, which come with no explanation….
My main recommendation is ………….don’t go and see shows just becuse the act is on the telly. Unless it’s me.