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.
Will Preston Can’t Face Reality
Location: Just The Tonic at The Caves – Just Up The Stairs (Venue 88 )
Dates: Aug 4th-14th
How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the fringe?
My show is about my love of geek culture and coming to terms with my depression, so it came pretty naturally. I also wanted a show that sounded like a fun film or an old videogame, so I put my name at the front like it was some kind of statement shouted from a window
Tell us all about your show!
The show is about my love of geek culture. I talk about videogames, movies, comics, Cosplay, everything I like, but it also touches on my depression, including multiple suicide attempts in 2012. It becomes pretty clear I’ve been using geek culture to escape reality when things get pretty grim. Don’t worry, there’s a happy ending!
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
I’ve already started buying my tickets! Really looking forward to Stewart Lee (both shows!), Alasdair Beckett-King, Nathan Cassidy, Richard Stott, Mad Ron, Stuart Goldsmith, and Sean McLoughlin. No doubt I’ll be getting more tickets in the next few months. I can’t wait!!!
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’ve been to the Fringe in 2017 and 2019. 2019 was when I brought a double header show for a week with a lovely chap called Ben Peel. It was a great learning experience and I feel I came a away a much better comic. Basically, I’d been doing the same routine for 3 years and 2019 was when I realised, I needed to chuck everything out the window and start again .And it really worked. Also pushed me into getting more comfortable with crowd work. We did 7 shows at the Southsider and by the 5th show, I was done with my material. The final 2 shows, I ditched all material and just did crowd work with much better response. It was so liberating and self-assuring. My advice would be to just tiptoe into the fringe. Don’t do a full hour for a month the first time your there. Get a feel for it and ease yourself in. Burnout is a real thing, people.
What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
There’s too many to name. Alasdair Beckett-King’s The Interdimensional ABK will always stand out for a myriad of reasons – the offbeat setup for the show, the very cutting, yet quirky jokes, and the fact it starts with an 80s style Saturday morning cartoon theme song. Another couple that blew me away for the same reason was seeing Ben Van Der Velde and Russell Hicks do an entire hour of just crowd work and improv. Absolutely inspiring. I do like joke writing, but I really want to move into that area one day as these guys make it look incredibly fun.
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
“Football is like my dad, it’s never coming home”
I won’t bore with the details about the relationship between me and my father, but this one always makes me smile when it lands perfectly. It might be one of the jokes I came up with one the spot, but I’ll have to check.
What three items are essential for a successful Fringe?
Apart from a massive inheritance? I’d say a water bottle, good comfortable walking shoes/boots, and a battery bank. Stay hydrated, look after your legs, and keep all devices charged. It’s 2022.
What have been some of the most unique and different comedy shows you have seen this year and why?
The most unique one I saw was by a comedian who I absolutely adore but no longer does comedy – Simone Belshaw. Last year, she did what turned out to be a farewell show. I was were just happy to see her back on stage after lockdown and years of not seeing her, but during a rendition of The Birdy Song, she revealed some very personal information about why she can no longer do comedy and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I spent a lot of tie afterwards staring into space depressed. No other show has ever done that to me.
What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the fringe?
Don’t get drunk every night. See people you know. Pace yourself. Be prepared.
The best thing about performing at the fringe?
It’s going to sound really lame and corny, but the best thing, or indeed, the weirdest thing, was going to a city I’ve never been to before and being surrounded by everyone I know. It’s mad. There’s no other experience like it.
The most challenging thing about performing at the fringe?
As someone who’s not a big name at all, it’s convincing people to come to your show. I don’t have a big USP or other draw, so I have to convince people I’m funny, especially when flyering. After a while, I just learned to have fun with it and make people laugh in the street to convince them.
What’s the secret to successful flyering?
Stand out. For the love of God, stand out. Don’t go “free comedy” ad infinitum. Tell people what your show’s about. Have a one sentence pitch that you can yell at passers-by. Find something to say about the people walking past that would entice them into your show (“You look like the kind of people who are interested in a prop comedy show about Franz Kafka!”)
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
Apart from those who laugh and clap at everything I say? My dream audience members are ones that are always engaged, don’t politely laugh, but react/heckle at just the right moments so I have something to work with on the fly.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
I’m all over the gaff! @WillPreston on Twitter, @WillPrestonComedian on Facebook. You should also check out my award-winning podcast Marvel Versus Marvel if you’re into the MCU – @MarvelVersus on Twitter
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Hilarious and heartfelt