Edinburgh, the Fringe, why bother?
Yeah you’re right. Let’s sack it off and all go on holiday. Honestly though, because the fringe is one of the greatest places on earth. It’s a place where you can express yourself to intrigued strangers and hope that they like what you have to say. Sure we do that the rest of the year but never in such a hub of creativity. It’s like hunger games for performers and artists.
What have been the nuggets of inspiration behind your show this year?
The lack of inspiration sort of became the inspiration. I’ve had an incredibly settled and boring year. In previous years, my life has been all over the place so I’ve had plenty to pick from but this year I realised early doors that I didn’t have loads of crazy stories so just started writing about whatever was in my mind and what has grown out of that is an insight into my thoughts on being in my mid 30s and looking forward to getting older.
Stand-out Fringe moment to date?
It’s either getting nominated for the comedy award in 2013 or the time I got so pissed I didn’t realise that the caves on Cowgate had shut with me in it so got locked in and had to escape.
When you wished a hole had opened up in the ground and swallowed you up?
I had a panic attack onstage in 2009 during my debut solo show. It was back in my emotionally turbulent days and I’d been holding it together pretty well but about 20 minutes into a show I just started losing it and my breath shortened and my head started flipping out. I luckily worked it out quickly and explained what was happening to the audience who were very understanding. I took a seat and a few minutes to calm down while the audience waited (incredibly patiently) and then eased myself back into it. It luckily wasn’t a major one as that would have been the end of the show.
Your unsung heroes in the industry at current?
My unsung hero is probably Jimmy McGhie. Not only is he an exceptional (and underrated) comedian but is a daily source of entertainment. He’s one of my best mates in this industry and his struggle with the 21st century is a constant source of amusement for me. He is a pure stand up who has no time for all the platforms that the modern comedian inhabits (social media, podcasting etc) which may be to the detriment of his career but as long as he has good gigs and makes enough money to fund his bachelor lifestyle then he’s good.
Three shows you must see this Fringe?
I did a preview with Josie Long and even though her show this year is listed as a work in progress, the material was already exceptional so I recommend seeing that. Tommy Tiernan is my favourite comedian on the planet so he’ll always make my recommendation list. Finally it is the aforementioned Jimmy McGhie. He will never read this as is will be too busy watching cricket or texting ladies. Don’t tell him I’m bigging him up but I’ve seen chunks of the show come together and it’s really funny.
The one person you’d love to see your show and why?
Kanye West. Not only am I a fan of his music but there is a routine about him in the show. Part of it is about his bum hole so it might make him uncomfortable but I’m sure he’d see the funny side.
The reason why one should come and see your show?
Because it has a routine about Kanye West’s bum hole.
The one thing in Edinburgh you must do?
Walk up Arthur’s Seat on a windy day and let out a primeval scream at the top. No one will ever hear it but it will feel amazing I promise.
Ah sorry, you’re dead. But least you can have that dinner party you’ve always wanted. Who are you inviting?
If it’s dead people then I’m going for Oliver Reed, Richard Harris and my uncle Terry who died earlier this year. That would be the booziest, most argument ridden, longest dinner party ever.
Carl Donnelly brings his stand-up show Bad Man Tings to the Pleasance Upstairs as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 3rd – 28th August at 8:30pm.