Funny At The Fringe – INTERVIEW –Emmanuel Sonubi: Emancipated

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.

Emmanuel Sonubi: Emancipated

Credit- Steve Ullathorne

Location:   Underbelly, Bristo Square – The Dairy Room (Venue 302)

Dates: Aug 3rd-14th, 16th-29th

Time: 18:10

Price: £12.50 Concessions £11.50

Ticket Link:

Hello! Tell us about yourself? 

What can I tell you about myself? There’s the bulletpoint version; North London born and bred, 6ft 2, 19 stone ex-bouncer. Born in the UK of Nigerian heritage, the youngest of 6 children.

At first glance, I look like the person you do not want to owe money to (so I’ve been told). In reality, looks can be decieving. I’ve done a lot and seen a lot in my life. I’ve been in the mix of many different circles, some yo’d expect and some you’d never guess. All of which have made me who I am today.

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

Annoyingly, I didn’t! I struggled for absolutely ages to think of a name that I would could hear once and remember but also aname that would properly describe the show. It was literally a few days before the Fringe deadline and I was sat with comedian Andy Askins who could see me stressing. So, I told him what was wrong in that I couldn’t think of a name for the show. I told him that the show was about me becoming free of the feeling of having to conform to social narratives. He paused for precisely 3 seconds, and said… ‘Emancipated’. I’m still not talking to him.

Tell us all about your show!

This show looks at my road to comedy including many tales from the days I used to work as a bouncer, to my love of musical theatre. It’s fun show that I had as much fun writing as I have performing it. It also looks at the lessons that I learnt from working as a bouncer in regard to dealing with conflict and how those lessons help me in everyday life today. Essentially, it’s how I decided to break free from the social narrative that promotes ‘choosing sides’ and living a life of understanding.

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

Abigoliah Schamaun: Legally Cheeky. I love her energy on stage and she makes me laugh in real life too. I’ve heard from a few people too that her previews have been amazing. Ryan Cullen: Caveat Emptor and Gareth Waugh: Doozy too.

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 my Debut year. The best advice I’ve been given is to make sure you rest well, at least as hard as you play. The advice that I have given to myself is “make sure you write a show that you’ll like too”. The show has to be something that I will love to perform otherwise it can’t be everything it can be.

What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?

The show that has always stood out for me is Ari Shaffir: Jew who I saw in 2018. There was a lot of questions about the Jewish faith that he covered and did it in a hilarious way. It was actually the first show I saw at the first ever fringe I went to as a punter.

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

I don’t think I have ever done one. I’m a observational comic so my style is more storytelling than anything. 

What three items are essential for a successful Fringe? 

For me, a tredmill, flat bench and a squat rack. 

What have been some of the most unique and different comedy shows you have seen this year and why?

Other than a few acts on Netflix like Taylor Tomlinson, I’ve not had the opportunity to actually get out to watch shows. My diary this year has been pretty full on for the past 12 months which is probably the best reason to have missed them. It’s been a really fun year so far in Comedy which is making me really look forward to the Fringe.

What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the fringe?

Love your show. Enjoy what you do and it stops being ‘work’. I’m happiest when I’m being my truest self.

The best thing about performing at the fringe?

 I think it will be the exposure. Also, I’d like to tour this show and I do think this is the best way to get ready. I’ve had a lot of fun working on this and I think it shows in the performance. 

The most challenging thing about performing at the fringe?

This will be the first time I would have performed this much in this space of time doing the same set, so I’m excited to see how I handle it.

What would be your top three items every performer must take to the fringe?

Berocca, Paracetamol and a thick skin. The last I imagine will be the most important one.

What’s the secret to successful flyering? 

I’d imagine it’s a numbers game. The more people you reach the bigger audience you can capture. To do this you’ll need people that actually care. That way, more and more people will know that I’m on at Underbelly Bristo Square at 6:10PM from the 3rd – 28th August.

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?

Dave Chappelle.

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

@emmanuelstandup on all platforms.

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

My best show! That’s the best part of it being my debut, that to date it is the best show I’ve ever written. Did I mention I’m on at Underbelly Bristo Square at 6:10PM from the 3rd – 28th August. 

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