To find out more about Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.
Next up in our Spotlight feature is Real Man, which plays Edinburgh Festival from 5 – 26 August 2017. I caught up with Alex Smith:
Describe your show in three words.
Comedy ‘n’ that – (is ‘n’ technically a word?)
Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?
Alex Smith – The Art of Grooming
Alex Smith – Not Even Trying
Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while at the Fringe?
Ahir Shah – Control. He’s a good friend of mine, who I live with during the festival. He is an amazing comic, he’s a Cambridge graduate uber genius who on stage spits rage about the state of the world and is probably most comfortable at a political rally. While he’s off stage I try and get him to watch Loose Women with me and then just watch him react to it.
How do you feel to be performing at Whistlebinkies?
Whistlebinkies is an amazing venue, right at the bottom of the mile, so there are loads of people about. It’s like a ‘rock nightclub,’ so it’s very edgy and rock n roll, so I thoroughly enjoy flouncing around in it in a nice blouse and some tartan trousers. They do live music there all the time, so their PA system is awesome, I’ve got pedals, multiple mics and guitars, which should make for a great show.
Who or what are your inspirations?
Attention is like a drug, but better, coz it doesn’t destroy all your relationships, it destroys a fair few but probably less than Ketamine. So, I would say it’s attention that keeps me going, attention and Ketamine. Just joking, ketamine is not involved, I promise! Every comedian at their core is just a massive comedy fan, I used to watch Lee Evans DVD’s on repeat and re-enact the whole show, I remember it looking like he was having the best time, and then I found out that being a stand-up was an actual job! Comedy at its best should be as fun for the performer as it is for the audience, and anytime that’s happening it makes you never want to stop
What is your secret to surviving the intense, fast pace of the fringe?
The best piece of advice I can give is: become nocturnal. Throughout August Edinburgh suddenly has a time difference of about six hours behind. Breakfast at 3, Do the show, Gym, Lunch around 7, Go out, Drink, Drink too much, Dinner around 2am, Drink, 2nd dinner around 4am, Sleep, Repeat. It’s like being a nurse that works nights, except you aren’t allowed to medically treat anyone coz you’re either hungover, or drunk, plus you aren’t trained.
What are the future plans for your show?
With the fringe it’s important that your only ‘dream’ is to survive August. If the alcohol doesn’t get you, the fact that you’re essentially holidaying in Scotland might well.
What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?
I’ve seen some pretty amazing classical music this year at Royal Festival Hall, it comes in really handy when you’re in lifts, you can nudge the person next to you and just say ‘this is waaaay better live.’
Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show/ theatre company/ production?
Last year my parents asked me to come and clear out my room, it lead to me rediscovering a songbook that I was writing at the age of 13, inside there is a quote. I know it’s a quote because it’s in quotation marks, however, I know it’s not a real quote because I remember making it up. If you are interested in just how pretentious a book that starts with a fake quote by 13-year-old me, is, then come on down. It’s full of gems.
Cast: Alex Smith
Real Man plays Whistlebinkies as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 from 5 – 26 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.