Edinburgh, the Fringe, why bother?
I know, right! What an absolute joke. I just come for the tanning opportunities and the cash.
What have been the nuggets of inspiration behind your show this year?
The Adam Curtis documentary The Century of the Self. Not only was it a fascinating explanation of how we all came to be obsessed with the idea of our uniqueness (the core theme of my show) but it was also fun to try to do Every Adam Curtis Documentary Ever Made in Two Minutes (which is also in the show)
Stand-out Fringe moment to date?
In 2008 I was in a play by Adam Riches. He and I were both also doing one-man shows, and in the middle of the run, Adam broke his leg onstage in the middle of his one-man show. I think he was back the next night, and we all carried on with the lead actor in a wheelchair. It took a bit of adjusting to, especially his laboured exits from the stage, which the script didn’t allow for… But it was a ‘pure’ fringe experience… Utter chaos.
When you wished a hole had opened up in the ground and swallowed you up?
I’d had a really nice preview from a guy in 2009 (the last time I did Edinburgh) who then came and reviewed one of my shows. By a twist of fate, I’d ended up doing two different shows that year. One was good, and one was… Look, it’s long and complicated to explain, but for technical reasons I’d had to ditch about two thirds of the show overnight when I got to Edinburgh. It had its moments, but it was pretty ropey. The reviewer said ‘he’s no stand-up’. Man, that hurt. It’s taken me seven years to feel like I have found my standup voice, and that I’m ready to prove that YES I AM ACTUALLY (now) THANKS.
Your unsung heroes in the industry at current?
There are some acts that just make consistently thoughtful, lovely shows. Rosie Wilby and John Gordillo are good examples. Also Natt Tapley and Nick Pettigrew, both performers who write a lot and are very brainy and funny. I hate them.
Three shows you must see this Fringe?
Spencer Jones, for the madness
Rob Auton, for the strange loveliness
Foiled, because it’s in a hairdresser’s
The one person you’d love to see your show and why?
Noel Edmonds. I just don’t think he’d enjoy it very much.
The reason why one should come and see your show?
Come for the opening – I do the whole Edinburgh Fringe in five minutes. That’ll save you hours, right? Then, if you hate the rest of it and want to slink away, then, you know. I won’t be mean or anything. Hahaha omg, the best thing I can think of to say about my show is ‘I won’t be mean’. That’s some HARD SELL RIGHT THERE.
The one thing in Edinburgh you must do?
This sounds a bit negative, but – get out! As in, go to the beach, somewhere like Portobello. The festival can be so manic, so full-on, that taking a couple of hours out to go and stare at the sea… Well. I’d recommend it.
Ah sorry, you’re dead. But least you can have that dinner party you’ve always wanted. Who are you inviting?
All the greats: Keith Harris, Oswald Moseley, Princess Michael of Kent, Bruno Brookes, Will.I.Am, Lembit Opik, and Oz Clarke. What Utter Legends.
Jake Yapp – One In A Million at the Underbelly Wee Coo