Camden Fringe Festival 2021

Camden Fringe 2021 – INTERVIEW – Sam Carlyle, Canal Cafe Theatre / Museum Of Comedy

This summer we are very lucky to see some of life return to normal and one of the things that is coming back with a bang this year is Camden Fringe! We have spoke to a number of acts that you can go and see on the actual stage, so if you have missed comedy and theatre then this is a great time for you! If you are planning on going to the festival though please pre-book your tickets to avoid disappointment. Today we are talking to a stand up Comedian – Sam Carlyle

Date: 16th & 17th August 2021, 19th & 20th August 2021
Time: 7:30pm / 7pm
Location: Canal Cafe (16th & 17th August 2021) Museum of Comedy ( 19th & 20th August 2021 )


Hello! Tell us about yourself and the show that you are  bringing to Camden fringe? 

Hello! So, my name is Sam Carlyle and I’m bringing my solo show “Sam Carlyle: My Life and Other Jokes” to Camden Fringe this year. I’m a trained musical theatre performer and in 2019 I was on the hunt for an agent and thought, who better to sell myself than me, so I decided to put on my own showcase! I wrote a one woman cabaret featuring embarrassing anecdotes from my life and used some of my favourite pop songs from the nineties and noughties to move the stories along, which I sang live accompanied by my friend and pianist Thomas Duchan!


The audience reaction to the show was overwhelmingly positive and I had the best time on stage making people laugh and having them nod along to the relatable content; I even bagged the brilliant agent I wanted too! Safe to say I got a real taste for it and the show has been evolving ever since! 

How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the Camden fringe?

Well, the first part is my name, so that part was easy haha! The “My Life and Other Jokes” part came from a conversation I had with my friends when we were all spitballing title ideas for what we’d call our autobiographies and “My Life and Other Jokes” was instinctively what came out of my mouth! It’s a pretty versatile title, so I’m hoping to get my use out of it!

Tell us a little bit about your style of show?

I’d say it sits somewhere in the realm between cabaret and stand-up. It’s very relaxed and lends itself well to the more intimate fringe venues that I cannot wait to perform in! The thing that makes my show different is the use of song. I sing a variety of nineties and noughties hits live but have given the lyrics a “Sam Carlyle” makeover, so they help tell my stories.

What will your set be about?

As alluded to in the title, the show is about me haha! But hopefully not as self indulgent as I just made it sound!

I am very aware that I’m unknown and people will not be familiar with me, but I share a lot of intimate details in a short space of time, so they’ll be overly familiar by the end!

I share stories from my childhood, my experience in customer service, time on the dating scene as well as details from some of my more personal medical appointments. I’ve tried to cover a lot!

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?

The fringe looks so full of fun this year, I can’t wait! I’m really looking forward to catching Phil Green’s 90’s boy, it’s an era I have a lot of love for. I’ve heard incredible things about Esther Manito’s #Notallmen so I’ll definitely be grabbing a ticket for that and Bamestation and Love You are two other shows I’m super excited for!

Have you done the fringe before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?

So I was all set to make my fringe debut last year but of course that couldn’t happen, so I’m extra excited to be joining the lineup this year!

I had a wonderful couple of shows at Brighton Fringe earlier this year, a real fun and responsive crowd. I managed to see a couple of shows while I was there that were great including Ted Hill’s All the Presidents Men which I know is coming to Camden this summer too; I’d highly recommend it!

How has the last year in lockdown been for you?

To quote Ronan Keating (sort of) “Life’s been a rollercoaster” which I think is how most people feel. I was grateful for some of the down time to really work on my show and spend time with my family and boyfriend (there were 6 of us locked down together first time around which was great and testing at times haha) but I am so ready to feed off of a live audiences energy again haha!

Have you managed to do many online shows?

I did one. “My Life and Other Jokes” had its first in person outing at Watford Fringe last October and that was also live streamed! I have so enjoyed and appreciated those that have managed to get shows online for the rest of us to enjoy during a pretty bleak time.

And now you are returning to the stage!!! How exciting! What are you looking forward to the most?

I’m looking forward to hearing the audience response, positive or negative, it really drives me and the show.

What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year?

Do it! The paperwork and organisation side of things is not as daunting as it may seem at first and the venues and Michelle and Zena have been so brilliant with communication and incredibly supportive at every stage.

What is the best thing about performing at the Camden fringe?

The buzz around the fringe and the supportive community between all the shows and artists.

What are your three favourite things about Camden?

The walk along the canal, the range of food in the market and the brilliant pubs that are also live music venues.

Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?

“Male, fun juice” It was an improve when I didn’t want to say semen in front of my parents, but I think this was much more graphic in the end.

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?

Tina Fey, without a shadow of a doubt!

The iconic image of the Camden Fringe is the Pigeon – if you could call this years pigeon a name to represent its style what would it be and why?

Suggs or Bez maybe? There’s a real cool ska feel going on.

If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?

Twitter @SammyCarlyleInstagram @instasamcarlyle

And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?

Hits, splits and tits! 

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