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!
Any Suggestions Doctor? The Improvised Doctor Who Parody
Location: Pleasance Dome – KingDome (Venue 23)
Dates: Aug 4th-14th, 16th-28th
Price: £13 / £12 Concessions
Ticket Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/any-suggestions-doctor-the-improvised-doctor-who-parody
How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the fringe?
We spent a long time brainstorming names that got across the vibe of both “Doctor Who” and improv, and “Any Suggestions, Doctor?” sounds like a quote from the show even though it actually isn’t. The runner-up name was “ImpromptWho?” which said out loud is a terrific pun on “Impromptu” but written down is completely unintelligible.
Tell us all about your show!
We do a brand new, never before seen, entirely improvised episode of Doctor Who based on your audience suggestions. With the TARDIS, we can go anywhere in time and space, from the Sauce Mines of Heinz 57 to Space Gibraltar, from the Jurassic Period to inside the Internet, from the dark side of the moon a Cyberman infested wild west. We’ve even been to Slough! (I have said “We’ve even been to Slough” so many times that the troupe bought me a t-shirt with that written on it.)
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
Improv improv improv! Honestly there’s so much great improv at the Fringe every year. I’ll no doubt visit our alma mater troupe The Shambles and a couple of the “heavy hitters” but the great thing about improv is that you have the chance to find something new every fringe. Beyond that, I’ll no doubt check out some of the other shows the Any Suggestions Doctor cast are involved in, such as Stanley Brooks: I Can Make Me Rich, Drag Queenz vs. Zombies and The Silliad.
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.
Numerous times! With the exception of 2020 and 2021 due to a certain global pandemic, I have performed at the fringe every year since 2011. My best advice for first timers is know your limits! It’s tempting to arrive at the fringe and convince yourself you need to see every show and be out partying every night, but be careful not to burn out too quickly. It’ll do a disservice to yourself as well as your audience.
What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
I’ve seen Aunty Donna at the Fringe twice. Frankly the energy they bring to their performances puts most of us to shame! I also try to make 1 or 2 visits to Showstopper every fringe. There are dozens of great improv shows out there, including doing musicals, but I don’t think anyone makes it feel like a theatrical experience quite like they do. One of the best shows I’ve ever seen though, Fringe or otherwise, was The Trench in 2013. Just an epic, heart-wrenching performance that genuinely had me questioning for a few months if I wanted to go into puppetry!
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
“We can’t go to Iceland!” “We’re not mums!” The show effectively paused for about 30 seconds while everyone on stage tried to get their composure back.
What three items are essential for a successful Fringe?
Hard work, a strong marketing angle, and good luck!
What have been some of the most unique and different comedy shows you have seen this year and why?
Honestly, the pandemic has stopped me seeing as much weird and wonderful comedy as I would have liked to! I think my Fringe this year will be all about trying to fill nearly 3 years of that void.
What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the fringe?
Do something in Edinburgh NOT Fringe related. Just be a tourist for a day. Go up Arthur’s seat. Go to a museum.
The best thing about performing at the fringe?
The buzz of doing a show every single day.
The most challenging thing about performing at the fringe?
It’s so physically demanding. Flyering, rehearsing, doing your show, walking around Edinburgh, the most hilly city in the world…. Not to mention if you’re planning on seeing other shows, potentially late at night.
What would be your top three items every performer must take to the fringe?
Multivitamins, comfortable walking shoes and a change of costume!
What’s the secret to successful flyering?
It’s really easy to fall into a habit of just standing there with a grumpy face handing out flyers to people that aren’t interested. If you don’t seem excited about your show, why should a random member of the public be? Look enthusiastic, sound enthusiastic and sell them on the idea that this is going to be a fun time!
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
Some people think having a former Doctor in would be great, like David Tennant or Peter Capaldi, and sure that would be cool, but honestly… I want Russell T Davies in. So long as he gives us credit when he steals our watertight improvised plot for a real episode.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, @ASDImprov
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
We’re big nerds!