Describe your show to us

A mixture of chaos, gags, wish fulfilment versus rationality, nice audience participation, stories, apocalyptic predictions, seeking order out of ashes and using a mix of stand up, interaction, stories and a dash of Fluxus ohjamaflip.
How does it feel returning to Edinburgh after your success last year?

Why wouldn’t any performer like coming to the festival? A chance to see some of the most interesting performers and writers around, hanging out and doing a show. What is not to like?

Coming back after picking up prizes is always a worry so what I try and do is alternate shows – one year is a theatre show and the next year is a muck about adventure. This year is a muck about adventure. Let’s see what happens.

 

What is your top Fringe survival tip?

** These tips are to be read aloud while playing or imagining the opening drum and bass for Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life **
Get the train up.
Go veggie.

 

Give up alcohol or ambition.
Read a newspaper, watch the news.
Don’t read reviews of yourself.
Go to Free Fringe.

 

Pay for the Free Fringe gig, someone is trying up there.
Go to the International fest.
Go to Word Power bookshop.
Go to the Mosque Kitchen.
Never mention deep fried mars bars in public and never eat one even in jest.
If you find yourself near somewhere serving Pimms, leave.
Walk everywhere.
Carry an umbrella.

 

Carry Fringe programmes.

 

Never use a pac-a-mac these are pensioner greenhouses in origami form.
When your instincts shout “This could be weird”, get involved.

 

Hire a bike, cycle to North Berwick, get a train back.
Attend an event on the future of art.

 

Listen to word of mouth.

 

You will not be the first person to walk across the North Bridge as the sun rises full of cheap shots and self-loathing at your own infidelity, so fucking smile.

 

Never sleep with actors.

 

No one cares how many shows you have seen in a single day so don’t tell them.

 

Don’t point and say ,”Isn’t that Nicholas Parsons?” It almost invariably will be.
Take a leaflet it won’t kill you.

 

Never stop for street mime.

 

Go and see student shows, do not go and see shows attended by students.

 

See things you wouldn’t normally go to, comics go see theatre, theatre people see comics, performance artists just finish your MA and take the job in teaching.

 

Get a cup of tea in the Portrait Gallery and calm the fuck down.

 

If it’s becoming a chore stop doing it. This is the biggest arts fest in the world. Enjoy it.

 

What is the best and worst thing about the festival?

See above

Image: Jane Hobson 

WHERE & WHEN

Mark Thomas: A Show That Gambles on the Future Summerhall, 2-27 August (not 3, 14, 19), 6pm, from £15

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