We chat to our Festival Favourite Larry Dean ahead of his performance at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
You’ve won or been nominated for a major award almost every year since 2011. Which one do you have your eyes on this year?
Larry Dean: Sounds pure corny, but I really just hope my show is good and that people enjoy it. I mean, hopefully the industry like it as well. They’re people too, I guess. If I was pushed for what award though, I guess I’d aim high. I’d like to be the first comedian to win Best Newcomer after being nominated 4 years ago, because someone realised they made a huge mistake giving the prize to the person who DID win. That, or the Nobel prize for bitterness.
Do you like Edinburgh audiences?
I do. Especially now that I have a wee bit more of a following. When I did my first and second solo shows, some days I could tell that most of the audience had been flyered for my show, had no idea what to expect, and felt disappointed that I wasn’t their type of comic. In my first year, two old men asked for a refund because they hadn’t been warned I was gay before they’d bought tickets. What I love about Fringe audiences though, is that they tend to laugh at jokes that no other festival audiences will get. They’re proper comedy savvy. Nothing like Dubai, where the audiences are wanting you to do a clubby set in a hotel function room. I guess it’s variety that keeps the job interesting.
Do you still identify as a bender?
Aye, I still call myself a bender. Mainly because it gets a laugh and the word ‘gay’ often gets used in place of negative words like ‘rubbish’ or ‘fluffy’. My sexuality itself is a very small part of who I am, though. I don’t define myself by who I want to pump. I don’t really identify myself as anything. I think it’s just a way of creating boundaries and walls to make you feel safe, which ultimately ‘others’ people who don’t identify with your group, leading to less communication. Maybe that’s just because I’m Scottish, though.
WHERE & WHEN
Larry Dean: Bampot, Assembly Checkpoint, 2-26 August (not 15), 4.40pm, £8