Bethany Black Q&A – Edinburgh Fringe 2016

Edinburgh, the Fringe, why bother?

I can’t think of a better way to spend £10,000 which also lets you know what people think of you.  And I’m fed up of earning money in August and thought I could do with a year off from that.  In reality, I’ve not done the fringe for ages and decided that it’s time to come back, it’s the world’s biggest arts festival, and spending the last 7 years worrying that everyone’s forgotten about me I thought it was time to take the opportunity that it presents.

What have been the nuggets of inspiration behind your show this year?

Well I had the four worst years of my life followed by the 2 best since I was last at The Fringe, so it looks at some of those.  I had a couple of years which made even the saddest Country and Western song look like The Birdie Song.  It deals with that and me accidentally ending up with an acting career and getting to star in a couple of big shows.

Stand-out Fringe moment to date?

I think for me it was ending up naked on stage at the Pleasance Grand in front of 800 people for Phil Nichol’s show, that was a definite high point.

When you wished a hole had opened up in the ground and swallowed you up?

I think the time I had a bunch of guys turn up who couldn’t get in to Spank! who had dropped acid an hour earlier and who just fell apart mentally in the middle of my last show which was quite a delicate story about me discovering I had a drug problem, I ended up sat on the lap of one of them stroking his hair and cuddling him saying “It’s okay, it’s all going to be fine”  and then finding out that there were a load of reviewers in who all gave me one and two stars, it was probably my least favourite fringe moment.   That and the time I played to an audience of 2 and they were both critics.

Your unsung heroes in the industry at current?

Michael J Dolan.  We started out around the same time and from the first time I saw him I was envious of his writing he’s brilliant I just love him to pieces.  Also Jen Brister, she’s not at the fringe this year as she and her wife have a new baby, but she’s just hilarious and every time I see her I annoy my girlfriend for days going “Jen said…” and recounting tales of her set.

Three shows you must see this Fringe? 

Michael J Dolan – The Most Villainous Michael J Dolan

Kiri Prichard-McLean – Hysterical Woman

Doug Segal – I Can Make You Feel Good

The one person you’d love to see your show and why?

David Tennant, because he features in a story and comes off well out of it.  I’d also hope Jenna Coleman never sees it for the same reason.  

The reason why one should come and see your show?

It’s funny, I mean, obviously I’d say that it’s exactly to my taste if I wasn’t me I’d be going to watch it.  If you like filth, if you like an uplifting story, if you want to hear something different, if you’ve had enough of skinny white boys talking about their dicks then it’s quite the palate cleanser.

The one thing in Edinburgh you must do? 

Stay up until the sunrise chatting with your friends, grabbing a beer in one of the gay bars that opens at 5am and get chips with salt and sauce and a can of Irn Bru at least once per day.


Ah sorry, you’re dead. But least you can have that dinner party you’ve always wanted. Who are you inviting? 

Richard Pryor, Chris Farley, John Belushi, Amy Winehouse, and Jack my Jack Russell from when I was a kid.

Bethany Black: (Extra) Ordinary at the Stand 2 from the 4th-28th August, 6pm. 

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