How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the Fringe?
It’s comedy… as a sport! But really, it has always been our name. ComedySportz has teams worldwide so we can’t really say we came up with it either. We can say that ComedySportz players from around the world will be joining us though!
Tell us all about your show!
ComedySportz is a fast-paced family friendly show that sees two teams compete for your laughs with quick-witted gag, games, sketches and songs inspired by audience suggestions.
There’s a referee on hand to ensure a good clean match with penalties for bad behaviour (the offending player must wear a brown paper bag over their head for the remainder of the game) and bad jokes (the player must apologise to the audience or face losing all important points). It’s unscripted, unpredictable and good fun for audiences of all ages. Who wins? You decide!
And because we don’t value our sleep a few of us will be guesting in Crime of The Hour too which is a true crime inspired longform show and very probably not family friendly. You can catch it 2nd-10th August at 11pm!
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
A few of our players will be up there with shows this year so be sure to check out – though not all of their shows are family friendly – Check out Pottervision, Tom Short’s Wheel of Misfortune, Chris Tavner: Sh*t Socialist and Rob is in a play called “We Apologise For The Inconvenience” in which he plays Douglas Adams’ rubber duck.
We also run a regular comedy night at Salford University and a group of their students are up doing a show called SalFunni. It is definitely worth checking out!
Improv wise we always enjoy Baby Wants Candy, Bumper Blyton (both of which feature ComedySportz Worldwide players and alumni) and Murder She Didn’t Write!
Oh, and check out Sitcom Stories as well – because they signed up too late to be in the official brochure! It’s short plays inspired by classic sitcoms.
And sometimes we just enjoy getting to hang out with people as much as we do actually seeing shows!
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.
This is our 12th year at The Fringe! Our advice would be: Enjoy it. Make the most of it. Support other shows. When you’re on stage only the audience matters. Don’t think about that crushing debt you’ve accumulated. Enjoy Piemaker in moderation and make sure you got to Graze on Grassmarket at least once every couple of days to eat something green. Wear good shoes. Do good shows.
What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
Every show that isn’t a drunken corporate gig is our favourite show. Getting to make an audience laugh and play with a team of people you’ve known for years? It’s the best job in the world.
What have been some of the most unique and different comedy shows you have seen this year and why?
We saw Don’t Bother when we were at the Brighton Fringe. It’s definitely worth checking out but it was the venue that made it unique. It was a small container with wooden slats for benches and very limited air conditioning.
It was a great show but it did feel like you were watching it in the kind of box the CIA put you in when they don’t want you to know where you are. We’re reliably informed the Edinburgh venue is much roomier!
We’re looking forward to discovering something weird and wonderful this Fringe!
What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the fringe?
By going to see ComedySportz every day! But really the key to enjoying the Fringe is to look after yourself and don’t overdo it. Find a quiet spot when you need one. There’s a reason a lot of the events for performers at Fringe Central are mental health oriented!
What would be your top three items every performer must take to the fringe?
More socks than you think you’ll need. A positive attitude. Your flyers.
What’s the secret to successful flyering?
Charm not smarm.
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
A casting director looking for people with mad improv skills?
Honestly, I think we’d all be happy if any one of our comedy heroes came to watch and enjoyed it – especially if they then tweeted that enjoyment so we could market it. Bob Mortimer walked into our show at Maggie’s Chamber once but he was looking for Maggie’s Front Room. …So close!
We did have Prince Edward, his family and about twenty security guards watch the show in Edinburgh a couple of years ago. We were getting ready backstage and had no idea that Cowgate had been shut down for security reasons! We also had one player running over from another show so we had to pre-warn the security guards not to wrestle them to the ground when they ran in.
Prince Edward and his family were lovely but our show has a bucket collection at the end and they aren’t allowed to carry any money on them… So anyone with money is great! One of our players did get a high five off him though – which is against royal protocol apparently – so that was nice.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
You can find us on twitter (@ComedySportz_UK), facebook (www.facebook.com/cszmanchesteruk) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/cszmanchester). We were still on MySpace until someone wiped all the media content off the servers. If you’re so inclined you can also sign up to our monthly mailing list (www.comedysportz.co.uk/mailing-list/)!
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Why wouldn’t you?