We chat to our Festival Favourite Felicity Ward ahead of her performance at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe

What does this year’s hour hold?

Felicity Ward: Weirdly, this is my least painful show in years. I chose Busting a Nut as a title because it means to work hard, which I do on stage. It also has jizz-y connotations, and I do some blue material, and ‘nut’ is a light slur against the mentally ill, so I thought it covered the bases nicely. It turns out I’ve written an hour of just good old-fashioned, straight up stand-up. But it’s me, so there’ll be enough weirdness to keep it interesting. I hope. No story. No learning. Hopefully just sore ribs.

For someone living with depression, Edinburgh in August can be a stressful place. How do you get through it?

Oh mate, if I knew the answer to that I’d be a millionaire. I try each year to put more things in place to make it easier for longer. I don’t read reviews. I don’t find out if reviewers or any industry are coming in that night. I get a food shop delivered when I arrive, and half way through. I swim as often as I can. I occasionally do yoga. Don’t do many or any late-night gigs. I try to surround myself with like-minded people who are just trying to get through it. And I try to book in nice social things so I don’t get my head caught too far up my own corkhole.

I have to work on myself in the lead up, too. Bloody hell, it’s a lot of work being me.

Do you think stand-up can be therapeutic?

I never do stand-up as a therapeutic measure. I think it’s a bit dangerous for people like me to sort my shit out in front of an audience. With any of my shows that are on the “heavier” side, or could be described as “deeply personal”, I’ve talked about all that stuff with a therapist first. But that doesn’t mean I’m immune to audience reactions; it still hurts when you’re pouring your heart out in the funniest way you know how and they’re like “meh”. At the same time, the connection I’ve received from audiences has been wonderful whenever I’ve really dived into it.


Felicity Ward: Busting a Nut, Pleasance Courtyard, 1-26 (not 13), 9pm, from £7

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