It is festival season and that means that in the next month there is so many great comedy festivals to look forward to! This month we are looking at some of the great shows that you can see at the Edinburgh Fringe. So take note because we are going to give you all the information you need for just a handful of some of the great shows happening this year! We have also been able to interview some of the acts that are heading up to the Fringe as well.
Location: Gilded Balloon, Old Tolbooth Market – Bothy (Venue 98)
Dates: Jul 31, Aug 1-11, 13-25
Price: £6 or pay what you want
Hello Charlie! Tell us about yourself!
Hello! I’m Charlie a Scottish writer, character and improv comedian from Edinburgh living in London.
How did you come up with the name of your show that you’re taking to the Fringe?
My previous shows have all been about history but this year I wanted to also explore a bit of my own history as it has been a seminal year for my family: my grandma passed away, my sister had a baby and I just got engaged! So, like a scrapbook, this show pastes together memories from my own past but also our collective past and considers how we choose to remember.
Tell us all about your show!
It’s part history lecture, part character comedy with some storytelling, puppets and even a dance number thrown in! Also guaranteed to be the only show at the fringe about “spolia”. If you don’t know what that is you’ll just have to come and find out…
The theme of your show sounds really interesting, how did it come about?
Memory and history have always been an interesting concept to me, especially when studying for my MA in Modern History. I didn’t expect this show to be so personal at first but once I dug a bit deeper into why I was becoming so curious about life events I realised it was because so many were happening right now to my family.
How do you get inspiration for your shows?
Inspiration for characters come from history but inspiration for themes of shows often come from what is preoccupying me at the time. In 2017 I did my first solo show, Dante’s History of the Banished where I played historical figures that had been exiled but really it was about missing home (and how so many had been recently displaced). Last year, The 24/7 Club was about historical figures born on my birthday but it was really about mental health and how I’d come to terms with that being part of me. This year it’s about history and memory but really it’s been inspired by my family.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the Fringe?
Oooh there always so many… I hear Frisky and Mannish are back! Spencer Jones also has a new show and Madeline Campion is on right after me so I’ll definitely be catching her. And James Bran is also back doing stand-up this year!
Have you done the fringe before? What are the key pieces of advice you have been given or would give to new groups or people performing at the Fringe?
I’m from Edinburgh so I’ve been involved in the fringe or festival in one way or another for most of my life! This will be my third solo show and 6th comedy show in general. It’s important to set expectations. Dan Atfield told me once to make a list of what would make your dream fringe and what would be a nightmare fringe, the likeliness is that you get a few things from both. Also, make time to rest.
What have been some of your favourite shows you have performed to date and why?
I recently performed as Amelia Earhart at Quantum Leopard/2NorthDown and had a lot of fun. It was a great crowd and nothing beats whipping people up into joyfully shouting FLY PLANES! I also had a lot of very touching feedback from my show last year.
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
Most of my favourite moments are improvised but I always enjoy saying this as Amelia Earhart: “You don’t need a man to take you to heaven and back, you can fly yourself!”
What have been some of the most unique and different comedy shows you have seen this year and why?
Susan Harrison as a Hedgehog, Alison Thea-Skot as a puffer fish and Bark & B, which is a puppet show between a tree and a naked cloth lady. Do I need to expand?
What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the Fringe?
There’s a great Margot Fonteyn quote “take what you do seriously but never yourself”. Go up and put work into your show but don’t get hung up on becoming a star. Make time to rest and see other shows. So often we’re made to look at it as a massive competition or a trade fair but really it’s an opportunity to see what other creative work is going on.
What would be your top three items every performer must take to the Fringe?
1. It’s hard but don’t drink too much. Busy bars and low immune systems are a recipe for sore throats and fringe flu. You will be miserable.
2. Read your venue contracts if you have one. If you’ve paid money for something, make sure you get it.
3. See a mixture of things. Comedy, theatre, dance, cabaret…
What’s the secret to successful flyering?
SMILING! I see/hear people trying to do the ‘ironic flyering’ where they think it’s funny to be grumpy and say ‘hey take this and put it in the bin,’ Believe me, as an Edinburgh person, it is not original. Suck it up. It’s part of the gig.
Also be strategic about where/when you flyer. You’ll tire yourself out otherwise.
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
A history geek with a childish sense of humour.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
My website is www.charlievmartin.com
twitter and instagram is @Charlie V. Martin
Facebook is @charlievmartinpresents
Basically just type charlievmartin
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
It’s fun funniness