Festival Favourite

Words Kate Copstick   

As a Scottish comic, do you feel ‘invaded’ in August?

I’m a former Edinburgh resident, so on the one hand yes, but I live in London so I’m now one of the Fringe wankers. It’s truly confusing. I remember the hell of trying to walk up South Bridge on my lunch break with offensively confident theatre students thrusting flyers at me. For that reason I’ve never flyered any of my shows to this day.

Is a Fringe show  still a special thing? Even now when there is so much TV that successful comics could do?

The Fringe is the building block for everything we do in stand-up. You don’t have to do it that way but generally if a show does well you’ll then get other work off the back of it. The festival is the biggest slog of the year (we gig multiple times a day every day and I always sleep for about a week when I get home) but it just makes you a way better comic. My show this year goes on tour all round the UK and Europe straight afterwards, so the Fringe is great for that.

Is it true you started stand-up after writing a piece for a magazine about a critic trying stand-up?

Yeah, the article pushed me to do it, but I’d been wanting to try it for about three years prior to that and was too shy. I sent The Stand a long wistful email like, ‘“Do you think I should try stand-up?” which is so horrifying. You’re just supposed to apply to do their gig, no one’s gonna coax you into it.

Do you think having a ‘real life’ to feed off helped you with starting out in comedy?

I did a really wide variety of jobs before stand-up and it absolutely contributed to the comic I am today. I was radicalised as a feminist as much  by working as a receptionist for arrogant all-male CEOs as by stripping. Training in journalism taught me how to communicate ideas in an accessible way, which is crucial in stand-up. Generally doing any poorly paid job with pointless rules is great, because it makes you resentful, which is a decent starting point for interesting stand-up.


Monkey Barrel 1. 6 pm, 1-25 Aug (not 12),

from £6

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