It’s Comedy Festival season and welcome to all things Camden Fringe! Apart from having exclusive access to The Scribbling Apes run of the festival, we have a whole bunch of fantastic interviews with acts performing as well! We sat down with a group that are doing their first ever Camden Fringe – Three Men and a Babe.
Location: Etcetera Theatre on Camden High Street
Date: 2-6 August
Buy Tickets: www.camdenfringe.com/show.php?acts_id=973
Hello Everyone! Tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Sian: I perform as Sally Firth, the mother of a male stand up who can’t make the gig. She uses his notebook and does her own version of his set. When I’m not doing stand up, I teach English part time. I also have an addiction to online Scrabble.
Fred: I am an anti-comedian toying with the outer edges of experimental free-form dadaism to highlight the absurdity of High Wycombe. Nick and Mike are my carers.
How did you all get into stand up?
Sian: I saw an advert for a comedy course on a website and went along. That was nearly four years ago and since then I’ve notched up nearly 400 gigs.
Mike: A friend bought me a book about getting started in comedy. Two years later I read it. Another year later I did my first gig. I know, I can’t keep up with the pace of my life sometimes.
Nick: I got the chance to do a newbie show at the Tringe comedy festival in Hertfordshire a couple of years ago with the help of the brilliant comedy mentor Logan Murray
Fred: More to the point, how do I get out?
How did Three Men and a Babe form?
We all knew each other from the comedy circuit and, despite our age, managed to use this social media stuff you young people use to chat with each other and the idea emerged (encouraged by Nick’s laziness at the thought of having to write a whole hour show for himself).
The show title just dropped into place, although older readers may notice that our poster is from the follow up to Three Men and a Babe – we couldn’t get Sally to pose as a naked baby (while we’re chatting, please can we also give a special mention to Jonathan Purssell who did the great caricature for the poster and to Mel Harrison who designed it all).
Fred: personally, I was in The Navigators’ Arms in High Wycombe when I found an old fashioned shilling at the bottom of my glass of Vimto. The next thing I knew I was coming to in the wings of the Basildon Playhouse about to go on as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. And the rest, as they say, is history – oh and that Facebook thingy helped a bit too.
Tell us all about the show that you are bringing to the Camden Fringe Festival?
We’re condensing nearly 300 years of comedy experience into one hour for just a fiver.
It’s essentially an hour of stand up comedy with four comedians and an MC. The only thing we have in common is that we are all over 50; one of the things people have said about the show is how varied the styles and content is across all the acts.
We vary from Nick’s puns and one liners to Mike and Sally’s storytelling and Fred’s … well I’m not sure how you would describe Fred. Steve Bennett from Chortle described him as ‘oddball’ and said he ‘could quite became the cult’ (no we don’t know what he meant either, but he seemed very impressed).
This is your debut show at Camden Fringe – how are you feeling about it?
Sian: Excited and looking forward to being part of Camden Fringe.
Mike: Excited with a healthy sprinkle of anxiety. I want to get this right so I can look back and think “I did Camden Fringe well”
Nick: Wot Mike sed
Fred: Excited beyond measure hardly begins to even get close to the utter exhilaration I feel coursing through my very being. I have not felt this pumped up since Great Britain left the Gold Standard.
What are your favourite things about performing to an audience and why?
Sian: Watching the audience reaction when a joke you think is funny, they also think is funny.
Mike: The adrenaline just before and after performing is my bungee jump. Knowing that you might make some people laugh or smile makes me want to improve every day
Fred: The fact that one has turned up
What other comedians or groups do you find inspiring and why?
Sian: Stewart Lee, Sean Lock. I’m a big fan of Chris Morris although I don’t think he would call himself a comedian. I like comedy which makes the watcher uncomfortable.
Mike: There are so many great acts but in my bubble Foil Arms and Hog are brilliant at comedy and life.
Fred: Donald Trump
Nick: Sally Firth, Mike Lord and Fred Ferenczi
Who else are you looking forward to seeing at Camden Fringe and Why?
Fred: Hurricane Katie (Pritchard). She is one crazy little lady.
Nick: Have you seen the schedule for the Etcetera? I might just live there for a month.
Explain the writing process you go through to produce your jokes?
Sian: Most of my jokes come from life experiences and the ideas hit me when I least expect so I carry a notebook around. I run through lines in my head when I’m driving or swimming.
Mike: In 2016 I did a daily pun challenge. For that I scoured the news and social media for potential topics, then asked myself the classic comedy questions. What would a comedian do in this situation? What is the funniest juxtaposition I can think of? If after that any of it makes me laugh, I write it down, reword it, or put out for the refuse collection agency
Fred: Jokes are passe. The comedy genius that drips from my quill exoriates the tragi-comic futility of all endevour in the face of the grave’s voracious black maw. I am inspired to pen my bon mots as I bestride the crags and moors above High Wycombe by my muses Sartre and Joan Simms.
Nick: I go through Mike’s bin
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
@mikelordcomedy on Twitter and Instagram
Fred and Nick feature regularly in the Camden New Journal court reports
And Finally – in three words, why should people come and see you at the Camden Fringe Festival?
Sian: Amusing, Alarming, Amazing.
Mike: Old people matter
Fred: Crazy sexual energy
Nick: Dyscalculiacally condensing nearly 300 years of comedy into one hour for just a fiver.