Edinburgh Fringe Interview – Thomas Black

Who the hell are you and what business do you have in Edinburgh?

Thomas Black and I’m fortunate enough to live here so even if the festival didn’t want me they don’t get a choice! I’m the Thomas Black in Paul Mcdougall and Thomas Black at The Southsider 9.30pm 2nd to 23rd August.

The theme of your show covers a topic that is dividing serious opinion not only in Scotland but also in the rest of the world and is hardly becoming a laughing matter for a lot of people now. How do you plan to keep the peace in the hour you’ve got?

We were very conscious not to write a show which preached to people or tried to force a point of view on them. Instead we will be sharing our thoughts and feelings about it. At the end of each show we are going to ask the audience how to vote and tell us what they think we should do on September 18th.

Have you mastered your flyering technique?

I get distracted really easily, usually by lots of beautiful women being everywhere! If I can focus I’m sure we will do fine.

What’s the best/weirdest thing you’ve ever seen at the festival?

It’s got to be Phil Ellis show at the Fringe last year for sheer brilliant weirdness. I don’t know if he is still doing parts of it and it’s difficult to tell you about it without giving bits away however it was one of the cleverest hours of stand up I’ve seen. Every few minutes something was said or happened which was completely unexpected. One of those gigs you walk out of having really enjoyed but wondering “why do I fucking bother” because you’ve just seen something brilliant.

You’re a comedian from Edinburgh doing a very Scottish themed show with a show name that is unashamedly Scottish colloquial. Are you planning on having a mainly Scottish audience? And do you think the Scottish comedy vernacular get’s a bit drowned out over the festival?

I heard somewhere that around 80% of audiences at free fringe shows are from central Scotland. I’ve no idea if that’s accurate but I think for us the fringe is about Paul and I learning and building and audience so it would be great if lots of new locals came along and enjoyed our show. Our show is called Ken HeeHaw which is colloquial Scots for know nothing. We’ve always pitched the show as an ill informed journey through Scotland so hopefully it can give a humorous perspective for audiences all over the world

What’s the best/worst heckle someone has thrown at you?

I got heckled in Gaelic in Perth once. I still don’t have any idea to this day what he said.

You’ve just been trapped in an elevator with a ‘critic’ who panned your debut show. How would the next hour go? You also might happen to have the oldest Nokia mobile phone on the planet in your pocket.

I would make him or her listen to the entire show over and over again until they liked it! To be honest a review is just one persons opinion so good or bad it doesn’t mean a huge amount but I always welcome any constructive feedback, a laughing audience is all the critique we need to know if people are enjoying the show.

With exception to your own show, who do you recommend people go see?

As much as possible! There’s so many great shows. I’m most looking forward to seeing Stuart Goldsmiths comedians comedian podcast live at Bobs Bookshop. He interviews comedians about their experiences and how they approach writing it’s a must for anyone in comedy or with an interest in it. I’ve listened to most of them at least twice and it will be great to see it live.


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