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Ross Noble Interview – Mindblender

January 5, 2013 |

Ross Noble is comedy nobility. For the past 21 years, he has been one of our leading stand-ups. Over that time, he has proved himself a comic tour de force. He has been responsible for 13 sell-out tours and seven top-selling DVDs. He came 10th in Channel 4’s 2010 poll of 100 Greatest Stand-Ups. Read More

Abi Roberts: In the Kremlin Doing Susan Boyle in Russian for Putin? Watch This Space.

January 4, 2013 | 30

Abi Roberts first rose to fame in a series of sketch shows featured both on the London stage and at the Edinburgh Festival; debuting in the satirical comedy Newsrevue, followed by Bleeding Arts and A Touch of Roberts and Roper, the latter co-written with the British stand-up Matt Roper at Jermyn Street Theatre. Read More


August 26, 2012 |

The first show I caught at the Fringe was Heath Franklin’s Chopper in A Hard Bastard’s Guide to Life and it couldn’t have started much better (read the four star review here). Straight afterwards, I stuck around to find out how he’d been finding Edinburgh since his last visit.

Howard – So Chopper how’s the Fringe been treating you so far?

Chopper – Really good. It’s been really nice. I was here about five years ago and I don’t think I was quite ready to be here so I’ve gone home and hit the gym, so to speak, and I’m ready for a rematch. Last time was like Rocky One, which ended in a draw. Hopefully, this one’s going to be a lot more like Rocky Four, which is the one against the Russian guy, I think.

Since you’ve been here, have you had any strange/unexpected encounters on the streets of Edinburgh?

During the Fringe, almost every experience is strange and unexpected really. The main thing I’ve noticed is that the weather, up until this point, has been absolutely mind bendingly good. You know, everyone’s out in the meadows, drinking cider and getting slowly hammered. Yeah, it’s great.

How have audiences been taking to your show so far? Has it been going down well?

Yeah. There seem to be a lot of people with tiny bladders who have to go in and out of the room, but for the most part it’s gone down really nicely. I’m really happy with it.

When I was here last time there were lots of Aussies coming out to see me, which is nice, but this time there’s been a lot more Scots and British people.

Towards the end of the show, audience participation takes centre stage. You’ve included your own little sitcom pilot sketch. Does it always work out the way you want it to or are you more comfortable performing your material on your own?

Well, you spend all this time writing jokes and you come up with these weird and wonderful scenarios and there’s always bound to be some freak in the audience who’s a lot more interesting than you are. You’ve got to remember that. You’re not the only person in the world that’s got something to say, or who can be a bit “odd”.

Has anyone ever walked out of the venue because of you offending them?

Yeah. Usually it’s people who have decided that the show was a conversation and not a show and so you ask them to be quiet and you make a couple of jokes. They keep going, and then you crack a few jokes and you have to get personal and aggressive and that’s usually when the tears start to roll.

You were particularly kind to a few latecomers tonight. That totally took me by surprise as I expected you to at least make a few quips about them.

Well, I’m not here to alienate anyone. In Australia I do big shows with at least half the audience consisting of drunk morons so I have to spend half the time policing them. It feels a little like day care for alcoholics. Over here, it’s been pretty decent and really tolerable so I don’t feel the need to be as unnecessarily aggressive. I give people one or two chances. After travelling all this way, I just love having faces in the crowd really.

It’s nice doing a show and having at least one other heart beat in the room besides my own.

I’ve read a few early reviews of the show and the critics felt you opted for a safer route and played it safer than you tend to. What would you say to them?

Well it seems a bit odd that people let their expectations define what I do. If you want me to get aggressive I can always tell them all to fuck off and jam a stick in it: if you didn’t think I was aggressive enough, I’ll come round to your place and saw you and your family in half over the course of the week. If you want I can be really aggressive. I can get messed up. I will brutalise your kneecaps with a hammer, but I kind of thought comedy shows were about having a laugh so I thought I’d give that a fucking crack instead.

Chopper, you seem like quite an irate person pretty much about anything and everything. What do you do to let off some steam?

I like destroying hotel rooms, as I mentioned tonight. I have a little bit of a whinge about the type of music people listen to. To relax, I think there’s nothing like a bit of face melting guitar solo to do a bit of air guitar to, or some noisy guitars and some fucking drums and stuff. Anything to make you feel good about yourself. Charge through the meadows with a punk song ripping through your headphones. You feel like you can take on the world. I mean, I used to be a bit fucked up about it, and used to go around fighting strangers, but you know, that’s what fucktards do.

Back to that TV pilot you wrote. Have you got any plans for any TV in the future in Australia?

No. It’s not going to happen. Australia is obsessed with this mindless, garbage reality crap with a bunch of people who want to be F grade celebrities or close ups of people crying basically. That seems to be the holy grail on television these days.

Would you ever consider going on something like Big Brother yourself then?

Fuck no! I briefly touched on this in the show. If you want a bunch of degenerate morons who aren’t very articulate having an argument, just go outdoors. They’re everywhere. You don’t need it broadcast into your home. I mean, if you’re sat in the lounge watching Master Chef and your partner is in the next room cooking dinner, that makes you a bit of a fuckwit, I reckon. Just go for a walk. Check it out.

Chopper has just completed a run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe followed by a week in London. He told us he’d be off for a month long holiday in Germany so we won’t be seeing him for a while. As soon as we know when he’ll be back, showing us how to harden the f*ck up, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Ali Kennedy Scott: The Day the Sky Turned Black

August 12, 2012 |

Australia was ravaged by firestorms equalling 1500 atomic bombs in 2009. Now known as Black Saturday, this has gone down in history as Australia’s greatest natural disaster. Actress and Writer, Ali Kennedy Scott, inspired by interviews with survivors of Australia’s Bushfires, took it upon herself to write a story to portray the courage and hope of survivors as they struggled to put the shattered pieces of their lives back together. This is Ali’s first solo show and although tackling a dark subject matter, she assures us that Edinburgh audiences will also discover a touch of humour hidden amidst the adversity.

Your show is inspired by the ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires, known as Australia’s greatest natural disaster. How have you managed to portray this in a live event on stage?

The Day the Sky Turned Black follows the story of 5 people who lived through the fires – 3 survivors, a journalist, and the mother of an arsonist. Each has their own unique experience, context and reaction to the fires. With such an epic event in Australia’s history, no one person’s perspective could appropriately capture it, so I tried to build a 360 degree view of the fires and, in addition, use news reports to give the facts and narrate time and place.

The show is said to include ‘unexpected humour and tremendous tenderness’. Did you intend to bring humour to the show or it this something that just emerged on writing?

One of the incredible aspects of the people who lived through this time was their ability to find humour even in these dark days. They are a real inspiration for me. Consequently, there had to be elements of humour in the show. One of the characters is a 6 year old boy who hides from the fires in a wombat hole. He is so full of life that his humour just jumped off the page.

Which moment at the Fringe best sums up the Festival?

Walking along the mile and passing new Fringe friends all flyering for their shows – one in a Cinderella costume, one dressed as a Vegas show-girl, one man yelling Zombie apocalypse reloaded at the top of his lungs. The passion for their art and love for what they do for all the world to see.

What was your weirdest experience there?

I think it’s about to happen in the Best of the Sydney Fringe photo call… I’ll let you know once it’s complete!

Here, everyone does a run of preview shows but you have taken the show all over the globe already. How do you find the audiences in different countries and what has the reception been like?

I’ve been really lucky to be able to perform the show around the world. The story really has universal themes so it has been very warmly received. In New York the audiences were the most vocal – laughing and crying through the show. It won an award for excellence in solo performance which was lovely.

In Australia, audiences have a personal connection to the show, so it can be very moving for me as a performer to see their reactions during the show. Aussies overseas have been amazing too, bringing me vegemite in case I was homesick and sharing their stories.

In the UK, audiences typically remember the fires and the themes tend to resonate strongly. People often stay back to share their stories. It’s pretty special to get to talk to people after the show and hear about their experiences. That’s the great thing about the Fringe… you are in and out so quickly you almost exit with the audience!

Have you had to change much of the material since your started the show?

I’ve written a new opening and the show is now narrated by the journalist, so it has changed a little.

What was the first thing you did on reaching Edinburgh?

I recovered from the long journey with a refreshing ale in one of Edinburgh’s lovely drinking establishments.

Which other acts will you be catching there?

There are so many shows I plan to see! At the top of my mind are Rob Drummond’s magical theatre show ‘Bullet Catch’. Also, the Suzuki Company of Toga at the Edinburgh Festival perform Waiting for Orestes. I’ll definitely check out all the other Best of the Sydney Fringe shows – Confession of a Grinder Addict, LadyNerd, Scientist or Comedian and Tubular Bells for 2.

What is the first thing you will do as soon as the festival is over?

Have a deep fried snickers bar and get working on my next show! (ideally on a beach in the South of France).

Why should people be heading to see you at this year’s Fringe?

PHILOSOPHICALLY: If an actor performs and nobody sees it, is she really an actor?…If you love theatre or even like it a little, you should check out The Day the Sky Turned Black. It’s made up of inspiring stories about how people pick themselves up when times get tough and ultimately about hope. It will make you laugh, cry and everything in-between.

THE CREDENTIALS: It was people’s choice for Favourite show at the Sydney Fringe, was called “Enthralling” by the New York Times, and Fringe Guru said it was “the best of the many one-actor shows” he had seen at the Fringe in 2010.

You can catch the show daily at 3pm daily at the Assembly Roxy until the 26th of August so it’s perfectly located after lunch and before dinner!

Sonja Quita Doubleday: Cheekykita Presents “Eggball”

August 11, 2012 |

Don’t worry, you didn’t misread the title. Sonja Quita Doubleday will be playing comedy character Cheekykita at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe in a show entitled “Eggball”. It’s pretty clear we’re in for a somewhat bizarre and surreal journey at the Free Sisters this year. Fellow comedian, Dr. Brown, has described it as “bold,brave, and totally ridiculous“.

She started performing and writing comedy in 2010, premiering at Edinburgh Fringe in 2011 with her first show. Then Edinburgh fringe in 2012 with a brand new show Eggball a one woman show which is character based offbeat comedy,6 characters with songs, audience participation,puppets and a dancing shark! Original and unique show,no other female comics like her!

If you could describe your show as three Olympic sports which would you choose and why?

Horse racing because there’s a horse race in it! Well, a woman who has hooves for hands.

Egg and spoon race because there is also a character in it who has an egg for a head.

Swimming with sharks because there is a dancing shark!

For you what makes the Edinburgh Fringe so unique compared to other comedy festivals?

It’s in a beautiful city with lots of character, diverse and it’s also the biggest comedy festival in the world.

What has been your defining moment there?

I’ve only done one Fringe so I don’t think I have had it yet! Maybe this year…

What is your worst memory/experience there?

None yet except for being caught in the rain. Luckily I had my shark suit on!

Did your preview shows go to plan?

The one I have done this year went well with things going wrong and not to plan which added to the humour and chaos.

Have you had to change much of the material since your preview shows?

I have added the improvised bits from the preview and chopped a bit out and made it shorter.

What was the first thing you did on reaching Edinburgh?

Dropped my props off at the venue and went to The Hive launch party!

Which acts will you definitely be going to see?

I like to walk round and go with the flow. You sometimes discover things. Last year I found Skinny theatre who were hilarious. I will also go and see Mr. Susan and maybe Dr. Brown. I like the silly stuff…

What is the first thing you will do as soon as the festival is over?

Go home, and then fly off for a holiday!

What unique selling point would you say your show has that other shows don’t?

It’s different in that it’s not stand-up or really observational, but more surreal and inventive. It has 8 different characters, including Egghead woman, a girl who has golden hooves, puppets, also songs, and a dancing shark, with a bit of audience participation.  I’m not sure if there are many one person shows doing something similar or not…

Venue: The Free Sisters, 139 Cowgate Edinburgh EH1 1JS
Phone: 0131 622 6801
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: free  
Room: Maggie’s Front Room
AUG 4-13, 15-26 at 12:00 (60 min)

Felicity Ward: The Hedgehog Dilemma

August 11, 2012 |

[Featured image courtesy of James Penlidis]

Felicity Ward has devoured the Australian comedy circuit since her first appearance on Ten Network’s popular sketch show The Ronnie Johns Half Hour in 2005.  She went on to appear in ABC’s prominent comedy quiz show Spicks and Specks as well as Thank God You’re Here (Channel 7) and Good News Week (Channel Ten).

Her first award-winning debut solo show Ugly As A Child Variety Show was featured at four major Comedy Festivals in 2009: Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Edinburgh. This year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe welcomes her back with a brand new solo show, The Hedgehog Dilemma. With not a clue what to expect from such a cryptic title, we had to ask her what it was all about.

My first question is an obvious one. What on heck is ‘the Hedgehog Dilemma’?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked. It’s a psychological premise used by Freud and Schopenhauer (stay with me) about whether Hedgehog should huddle together to stay warm during Winter at the risk of hurting themselves or others on their spikes, or do they choose to be alone, at the risk of being cold and alone. And it’s an analogy for human intimacy. Makes me sounds heaps smart and that, eh?

It has gone down like a house on fire with Australian audiences, amassing quite an array of awards and nominations. Are you confident the show will go down as well in Edinburgh or have you had to change much material to cater for Fringe audiences?

I think it’s dangerous to come into any festival expecting to emulate previous success. I haven’t changed anything really. I just had to change the ‘Milo’ to ‘Ovaltine’. And ‘Goon Bag’ to ‘Box of Wine.’ Yep, it was a real change for me. You’re lucky I can still get through the show.

I see you have also performed as far afield as Hong Kong and Singapore. Surely their sense of humour is inordinately different to that of Europe or Australia, or am I mistaken?

I don’t think it’s inordinately different, but then again, I don’t know what inordinate means, so that makes sense. Nah, I’m kidding: perhaps there’s a colonial shroud of guilt that binds us together in our sense of humour. There are little things that don’t work as well over here, or work better, but nothing dramatic.

You have also had your fair share of television work. Which do you find more rewarding, television work or the live circuit?

Hmmm… rewarding… I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that. Errr, probably live work because the reward is immediate. So maybe it’s not more rewarding per se so much as it just comes sooner.

Your first show at Edinburgh was in 2009, Ugly as a Child Variety Show. What is your best recollection of your first appearances?

Selling out once. It was the biggest venue I’d ever played by myself, so I was kind of amazed. That and climbing Arthur’s Seat with Celia Pacquola and writing things to each other in rocks.

What is your worst memory/experience there?

Surprise, surprise: it happened while I was flyering. It was raining. He was being a cocky prick. I won. Then I ran off and cried. Unfortunately, it happened minutes before I was supposed to go onstage so as the house lights went down, the stage lights went up, I was wiping tears away from my face hoping for the best. The good news is: I didn’t cry on stage (surprisingly more common than you’d think).

This time round, now on more familiar terms with the Fringe, what was the first thing you did on arriving?

Walking around. Remembering how many effing stairs are in this city, having an Angus beef burger and trying not to lose my crappy pre-pay phone.

Which acts will you definitely be queuing up to see?

Anne Edmonds. Hot Dub Time Machine. Heath Franklin’s Chopper. Sammy J & Randy. Kumail Nanjiani. Cariad Lloyd. Celia Pacquola.

What is the first thing you will do as soon as the festival is over?

Do a no pants dance.

What unique selling point would you say your show has that other shows don’t?

A drinking song. A photo of a miserable penis.  A dressing gown from Primark. Hedgehogs used as analogies for human intimacy. I reckon I’ve cornered that market.

Be sure to catch Felicity at the Underbelly, Bristo Square from the 5th – 27th of August at 22:00.

Kunt and the Gang: A Double Helping of Kunt

August 1, 2012 |

Kunt and the Gang will be making a double appearance at this year’s Fringe with `Kunt’s on Daytime TV’ and ‘All the Hits’. The first of these shows will see Kunt single-handedly take audiences on what he best describes as  “a f*cked-up, tenuous journey through his daytime viewing schedule featuring lazy, libellous stories, songs and rhymes, and that picture of Lorraine Kelly with her minge out.” As per usual, the show is not for the easily offended with the likes of Noel Edmonds, Jeremy Kyle and David Dickinson all receiving the Kunt treatment.

He will be appearing with his Gang for their ‘All the Hits’ show, performing a selection of brand new songs, with the rest plucked from their extensive lowbrow repertoire. They had also been all set to perform as part of the Catch Comedy Showcase charity gig in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support until the venue unexpectedly refused to have anything to do with the show, only days ago. The council owned venue St. Brides reportedly chose to pull the plug, following a complaint made against the inclusion of “Kunt and the Gang” in the lineup, which also featured acts such as Patrick Monahan, Dan Mitchell and Lost Voice Guy. The event organiser, Katie Yossarian was gobsmacked, to say the least, when she found out, particularly considering all the time and effort spent on an event to raise money for such a worthy cause. In spite of the setback, Katie was admirably offered an alternative venue, but with one condition: Kunt and the Gang aren’t on the list so they’re not coming in. The Catch Comedy Showcase can now be caught from the 13th until the 17th at Cafe Camino, 7.30pm.

We spoke to Kunt all about this year’s Fringe shows  and his thoughts on getting cut from the Catch Comedy gigs. Kunt’s opinions in the interview are his own and not necessarily those of PPSF.

Compare your show to three household objects and explain why.

Lamp – Because it’s light entertainment.

Cupboard – Because it’s got stuff in it.

Toilet – Because it’s going to get panned.

What is it that makes it so special to perform at the Fringe?

The fact there is always someone who is up for a beer, whatever time of day or night it is. That person is Glaswegian comedian Obie.

What has been your best moment there?

There have been so many it’s hard to choose, but, seeing one of my stickers shaped like a man’s penis and testicles stuck over the eyes and nose of Daniel Sloss takes some beating.

What was your weirdest experience there?

Being stood in the queue for a show next to Rodney Bewes.

Have your preview shows gone to plan?

Not really. I had intended to have my new show finished in time to actually do some.

Have you had to change much of the material since your preview shows?

I suspect not having done any previews, my new show, Kunt’s On Daytime TV, will be an ever-evolving orgasm across the month.

What will be the first thing you do when you get to Edinburgh?

Try and find the woman who got us banned from the Catch Comedy MacMillan Cancer benefit show, break into her house while she’s sleeping, wearing a radiation suit, creep into her bedroom, lift up the covers, pull up her nightdress, hold her beef curtains apart, plug in my re-wired microwave and send carcinogenic rays up her sausage wallet so she has something to actually complain about.

Which other acts will you be catching there?

I’m very excited about seeing Re-animator: The Musical.

What is the first thing you will do as soon as the festival is over?

I’m going off on a pilgrimage to Benidorm to try and meet the legendary sexy magician Sticky Vicky, a 70 year old woman who has had a 40 year career pulling things out of her front bottom.

Why should people be heading to see you at this year’s Fringe?

Because my show is so full of sexy songs it is guaranteed to give blokes a stiffy and ladies a wide on.

You can catch KUNT AND THE GANG: All the Hits at 10.30pm (1 hr) at the Laughing Horse @ City Cafe 3-26 Aug (Not 5 or 11) and KUNT’S ON DAYTIME TV at 7.30pm (1 hr) at the Laughing Horse @ Espionage – Mata Hari Room 3-26 Aug (Not 5 or 11).

All information available on the official Kunt and the Gang website.

Guilt & Shame: Up All Night

August 1, 2012 |

[Featured image courtesy of Graham Turner]

Guilt & Shame, aka Robert Cawsey and Gabriel Bisset-Smith,will be putting in a repeat performance following their hugely succesful sell-out run last year. Audiences will be treated to an onstage DJ, dance numbers and saucy surprises as eternal virgin Rob and tragic slut Gabe go in search of The One (or whoever’s desperate enough). Prepare yourselves for painful sexual encounters, paranoid drug dealers, grieving transsexual, talking penises and a banging soundtrack. The duo are putting on one heck of a late-night party that you won’t want to miss out on.

They kindly answered a few questions before getting the month long party kicking.

If you could describe your show as three Olympic sports which would you choose and why?

Triathlon – It’s not for the faint-hearted.

Synchronized Swimming – Because we’re pretty buff but graceful.

100 Metre Sprint – It’s the one everyone has to watch.

For you what makes the Edinburgh Fringe so unique compared to other comedy festivals?

You have to stand out. It’s a fight to get people to see your show. Why should people see your show amongst all the other shows available to see? You also get the chance to try out your material every night for a month.

What has been your defining moment there?

Finding ourselves drunk one night in the flat eating haggis off the floor.

What is your worst memory/experience there?

Finding ourselves drunk one night in the flat eating haggis off the floor.

Hmm, and there was me puzzled as to why David Hasselhoff had chosen to do the Fringe this year.

Anyway, what about your preview shows? Have they gone to plan?

Our last preview at Latitude ended with someone almost going to hospital, someone breaking a rib and some of us getting towed back to London so, yes!

Have you had to change much of the material since your preview shows?

We did an early preview at the Hen & Chickens, London in March. It feels like ages ago, but gave us time to really think about what was needed to make it exactly what we wanted it to be.

What will be the first thing you do when you get to Edinburgh?

Get drunk, party all night, pull some hotties. No seriously, put up some posters and take it easy. It’s all about pacing yourself.

Which acts will you definitely be going to see?

Dr Brown, Cardinal Burns and Stewart Lee.

What is the first thing you will do as soon as the festival is over?

Well we’re playing Bestival two weeks after, so it won’t be over after Edinburgh. After that we’ll probably drop dead.

What unique selling point would you say your show has that other shows don’t?

We have a live onstage DJ!! Yeah, I know! See you there!

You can catch Guilt & Shame at the Underbelly, Cowgate from 2-26 August at 23:45 (not 13th or 20th). All details can be found here.

Susan Harrison: Folken Britain

August 1, 2012 |

Character comedian Susan Harrison is a regular on the London comedy circuit, most renowned for the character Mina The Horse. She also currently runs, and hosts, her own monthly themed comedy night, Cabarera, with a number of credits to her name such as The Simon Day Show (Radio 4) and Be Our Guest for the BBC Salford Sitcom Showcase, a new sitcom developed by the BBC and written by Pippa Evans.

Having stormed the Fringe back in 2010 with the succesful Creatures, winning the  ThreeWeeks Editor’s Choice Award, she will be making a welcome return with all new characters for 2012. Folken Britain will feature Susan’s unique blend of absurd social satire, surreal characters and a dash of folk music to create a striking, funny and poignant character show. This year audiences can look forward to to the likes of dangerous puppy Billy Wagg, ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair and folk duo Anne and Alan. If that wasn’t enough, she will also be taking part in the award winning improvised chat show Monkeytoast at The Pleasance this year.

If you could describe your show as three Olympic sports which would you choose and why?

Diving because Tom Daley is in it (little known fact which I didn’t think was worth publicizing).

Track and Field because there are many mentions of music which Belle and Sebastian fans may pick up on.

Open Water Swimming because most of the time it flows but there are the odd bits of filth.

For you what makes the Edinburgh Fringe so unique compared to other comedy festivals?

Other comedy festivals may have a lot to offer, but it is the Edinburgh Fringe that is every comedian’s true spiritual broken home: a place which is loved and hated in equal measure by everyone who takes a show up. For punters, it’s full of fun, shows, drink, drink and drink and for performers, it’s full of hope and despair and drink and drink.

What has been your defining moment there?

Being told that I’d won a Three Weeks Editor’s Choice Award with my last show “Creatures” was pretty special. It came at a point of complete tiredness and made me feel that even if you’re doing something that’s not in the main venues and you’re competing with lots of people “off the telly” it is still possible to be noticed. That’s the lovely thing about the fringe. Another very memorable moment was drinking a really good smoothie back in 2009.

What is your worst memory/experience there?

There are so many to choose from, but being stuck out of my flat, spending the night sleeping in the car and being awoken by a tramp knocking on the window at 4am in the morning is definitely up there.

Have your preview shows gone to plan?

Yes, I’ve been really pleased with my previews. They’ve been a good combination of useful and fun and the audiences have been fantastic, both in terms of immediate feedback (i.e. laughing/not laughing) and in terms of spoken feedback afterwards i.e. “what did that mean?”.

Have you had to change much of the material since your preview shows?

Yes. This year I have tried to make my show feel quite up to date so when big things happen like the Olympics/the opening ceremony it’s rude not to mention them. Hence, I’ve tweaked a couple of lines and added a joke here and there. I will also be re-writing an entire character to make her situation clearer. In short, yes, I’ve learnt over the years that re-writes are a good thing to do and I’m sure I’ll do more as the month goes on.

What will be the first thing you do when you get to Edinburgh?

Go straight to a tech for the other show I’m in: “Monkeytoast: the Improvised Chat Show”.  I shall hit the ground stumbling.

Which acts will you definitely be going to see?

Daniel Kitson. I have tickets for him already and can’t wait. Also the Pajama Men who I was absolutely blown away by last year. I loved their characters and the fluidity of their show and found it totally inspiring. This year they are doing an improvised show which is even more exciting.

What is the first thing you will do as soon as the festival is over?


What unique selling point would you say your show has that other shows don’t?

According to audience feedback, it is structured differently from lots of other character shows, so come along and see if you think that’s the case or not. Also, as far as I know, I will be the only character comedian playing Tony Blair this year – although if I’m proved wrong maybe we can form of team of Tonys! Also, Billy Wagg is in my show……a dangerous puppy.

You can catch Susan at Le Monde from 4-25 Aug, at 17:30 (not the 13th or the 20th).

Chopper: A Hard Bastard’s Guide To Life

August 1, 2012 |

Heath Franklin’s foul-mouthed, tell it like it is, in your face character, Chopper,will be flying in from Australia to make a welcome return to Edinburgh. It’s been five years since his last appearance at the festival but he claims audiences will see him head-butting his way back, with the promise of a show that “packs more wallop than a three-legged wallaby”.

We precariously asked Chopper a few questions as he prepares to knock out audiences this August at the Fringe with ‘A Hard Bastard’s Guide To Life’.

This year you will be showing Edinburgh how to deal with a world that “thinks it’s better than itself”. You don’t sound too happy with the world we live in right now. What kind of tips can we expect from you?

Not so much tips, but more of a loving slap in the face, metaphorically. The world is suffering from ‘the customer is always right syndrome’. Because everyone is constantly trying to sell us stuff we are all being treated like customers all the time, being told how awesome we are and all this stuff we deserve. We forget that a lot of the time the customer is a fucking idiot.

From what I have read and seen, you don’t seem to be the biggest fan of the internet, with the exception of being able to see titties. People can’t live without the internet these days. Why are you such a disbeliever?

The Internet is the biggest celebration of mediocrity in the history of man. Every dead shit with a half formed idea not only has the ability to put themselves on the net but they also feel like people should give a shit. Unless you cure cancer I don’t see why I should read your blog.

Last year the Fringe went up against the UK riots and this year it is up against the Olympic Games. By comparison, if you could describe your show as three Olympic sports, which would they be and why?

My show would be wheelchair rugby from the Paralympics combined with facial hair grooming and streaking at the archery.

You haven’t been to Edinburgh with a solo show for five years. What took you so long to come back?

I decided I wasn’t going to come back to Edinburgh until I was ready to really smash it. There’s no point coming here unless you are pretty confident you can make an impact on the joint. It’s so competitive that you are either here to knife your way to the top or go home crying.

How was the flight over? Did you have to suffer some moaning kid sat next to you, and more importantly, did they let you bring the gun on the plane?

No guns on the plane, which is a shame because I did have a kid behind me kicking the seat. I quickly discovered that all of my favourite TV shows I was gonna watch have lots of boobies in them which is pretty awkward when everyone behind you thinks you are a pervert. The kid behind me did go strangely silent half way through an episode of Spartacus: Blood and Sand though.

What will be the first thing you do when you get to Edinburgh?

Have something deep fried and then eat it, then defibrillate myself and move on.

You compare yourself to Dame Edna, but with a moustache? How so?

OK, so maybe I smoked a little bit of crack before writing my press release this year and got a bit carried away. I guess my point was, when you see Dame Edna, you forget after a while that there’s a doodle under the dress.

Is Dame Edna one of your sources of inspiration? Which other comedians made a big impression on you?

Richard Pryor is a genius, he’s my number 1 man. I think everyone in comedy has a respect boner or a wide-on for Louis CK at the moment too.

Which acts will you definitely be catching at this year’s Fringe?

I’m gunning to see some really weird shit. Some performance art where a weeping man wearing lipstick punches a skunk to death as a symbol of his father’s shortcomings or something like that. Some real inexplicable shit. Just because it’s weird doesn’t mean it’s bad.

Do you find that you have to change much material when you come over to the UK or do audiences seem to have a pretty similar sense of humour?

Some references change, but I learnt after my first trip here that the best material is universal anyway, so I try and make a point of writing material that isn’t weighed down with the need for too much prior knowledge.

How will you be celebrating the end of the festival?

With some Thai or Malaysian food and a trip to Amsterdam. I could listen to Dutch people talk all day, every day. I have no idea what they are saying but it’s this strange shooshing poetry.

What unique selling point would you say your show has that other shows don’t?

My show has more moustache than at least 97% of other shows. I also guarantee you will be ready to kick life in the pants when you leave.

You appeared in the movie “The Predicament” and have appeared on numerous TV shows. Have you got any film or TV projects in the pipeline?

No. Unfortunately TV in Australia is still full of this tedious reality bullshit, so I have a better chance of getting on telly if I’m morbidly obese or an amateur chef or I like to renovate houses. I have heaps of ideas for TV shows but they all involve scripts and writing and not being condescending to your audience so they may never get up.

Be sure to catch Chopper’s show at Underbelly, Bristo Square from 1-19 August at 20:50

Ticket information available here. Happy Chopping!