There is a vagrants watch list for the Edinburgh Fringe and apparently your face is on it. What are you planning for the people of Edinburgh this coming August?
I’ve got two shows I’m doing this year, one is a stand-up comedy show called “The Incredible Paul F Taylor” which is on at 20.50 in Cabaret Voltaire. Its effectively an hour of my absurd off the wall observational stand-up with a filmic Incredible Hulk nod.
The other show is “Short & Curly Who Dunnit?” which is on at Ciao Roma at 15.20. Its an utterly shambolic high jinks sketch show with an interactive Who Dunnit? theme.
You’ve been one of the highly commended Free Fringe acts for a while. Do you feel there might be less of a stigma about the free fringe compared to paid venues as there were a few years ago?
There’s no denying it, in previous years I think audiences did used to turn up at free shows not expecting very much. Which is understandable as the venues are often quite stripped back in comparison to the rooms in the big venues, there’s less of a PR machine behind them and there were generally smaller names playing them.
However, each year its got better and in the past two or three years or so free shows have really started to gather pace. Obviously John Kearn’s free show won the Fosters award for best newcomer last year and he is back doing the free fringe this year, but also there lots of big names now doing free shows now too which legitimizes the whole thing even more. Which is great because less and less now do you get audiences walking in already making the decision about the quality of the show before it has even begun.
What is it about the Fringe that makes you want to perform here and how long have you been doing comedy at the Fringe?
I’ve been coming up to Edinburgh on and off since 2007, I guess I keep coming back mostly because I love the feel of the city when the festival is on. There’s this manic energy to it, which is quite intoxicating. But perhaps more importantly I like how Edinburgh festival acts as a kind of deadline for me to work to. Its basically my exams at the end of the year. It makes me work!
How do you woo people on the streets and into your hostage centre?
To be honest I dont really work too hard at flyering, I dont think I handed out a single flyer in the streets last year. I like to be the one guy who isnt going to force you to my show. I guess I’m more of a word of mouth kind of act.
Comedy is obviously subjective but do you know who is your perfect type of audience member?
Yes. Someone who enters the show with a totally clear mind that is ready to embrace what is thrown at them without judgement. Oh, and with a pretty face.
What’s the best/weirdest thing you’ve ever seen at the festival?
I still love the giant poster that Tim Vine must have spent thousands of pounds to put up a few years back just to tell everyone that he wasn’t performing at the fringe that year. Brilliant!
How do Fringe audiences compare to ones from your neck of the woods?
Generally audiences you get during the festival are very different to the ones you’ll play to during the rest of the year, they really seem to encourage you to be unique, different and to push what you are doing creatively – which is great!
What’s the best/worst heckle a Fringe audience has thrown at you?
My favorite heckles are generally the ones that seem to make no sense at all. Once a drunk kept heckling me telling me telling me to sing a song, but I had some new jokes I’d written that I really wanted to try out. So I offered him a compromise and sang my new jokes instead.
You’ve just been trapped in an elevator with a ‘critic’ who may have panned you (If you’ve had a bad review). How would the next hour shape out? You also might happen to have a singular uncooked penne pasta shell with a sharp edge in your back pocket.
Pull my finger
With exception to your own show, who do you recommend people go see?
I’m going to recommend three people you may not have heard of, but are utterly brilliant. Spencer Jones is doing a fantastic clowning show this year I saw him preview it and it is honestly tremendous! Dr George Ryegold is always utterly superb and deserves far more of a following and finally Simon Feilder is doing his debut hour this year and he is a very inventive and likeable stand-up. Collect all three!