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.
Luca Cupani: Happy Orphan
Location: Just The Tonic at the Caves – Just The Spare Room (Venue 88)
Dates: Aug 4th-14th, 16th-28th
Hello! Tell us about yourself?
Hello! My name is Luca Cupani, I’m an Italian comedian living in London and a couple of years ago I also became a British citizen.
Initially, I hadn’t planned to become a comedian. In Italy I used to work as a freelance editor for a textbook publisher, then I quit my job and in my mid-30s I attended an acting school in my hometown. After that, I moved to London to become an actor, but after a few weeks of unsuccessful auditions, I thought that I needed to find a way to be on stage.
A friend told me that I was funny and that I should try a comedy open mic. I googled “best open mic in London” and the first result was the Gong Show at the Comedy Store. I applied for a slot there, without realizing that it is also the “most brutal open mic night in London”, but surprisingly I won! That’s how I started eight years ago.
How did you come up with the name of your show that you’re taking to the fringe?
My first choice was “Mummy’s boy”, with a (a bit macabre) pun about me being a mummy’s boy and my mum being dead for more than 10 years (you know, an actual mummy…). But then I thought that this could be misleading and that the title should mention the main topic of the show: my mum is dead but I’m kinda glad that she is… and so I thought that “Happy Orphan” was perfect!
Tell us all about your show!
My show was inspired by an email that I received last year, during the pandemic, from the cemetery of my Italian hometown: they explained me that, since my mum had been buried 10 years ago, the rental of the grave was now expired and they would dig her out… Apparently it is standard procedure in most Italian cemeteries and, if you cannot afford a private storage in a wall, the remains end up in a mass grave. I had to think about this and in doing so I also started thinking about my relationship with her and the fact that, since she died, my life somehow improved. I’m a happy orphan!
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
I will definitely see my fellow Italian comedians Marco Di Pinto and Tiziano La Bella (they will run and perform in a compilation show with the logo BeComedyUK), Stefania Licari (Gaulier-trained comic and doctor at her Fringe debut) and actress and singer Elena Mazzon. And I’m also looking forward to seeing the shows of Heidi Regan, Schalk Bezuidenhout, Rosie Holt, Alasdair Beckett-King, Yuriko Kotani, Frankie Boyle, Daniel Sloss and many more!
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 seventh Fringe, the first after the pandemic and I’m very excited! I would recommend taking your time because it is a marathon and there will be wonderful days where everything is perfect and rainy days (not just metaphorically) where you feel like a fraud. Do not worry and most importantly do not compare your journey to other people’s ones, everyone has their path.
What three items are essential for a successful Fringe?
Waterproof jacket, comfortable shoes and blu tack
What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the fringe?
Make sure that you have time to see other shows and enjoy the madness of the Fringe: it is great to discover artists you didn’t know before and be amazed by the talents that gather there from everywhere. If you are an act and don’t have a PR, I recommend attending the “meet the media” event: it is a sort of speed dating between acts looking for reviews and press looking for stories and interesting acts. I usually managed to get some reviews after that, but I also met some wonderful people that were queuing with me and they became good friends!
Also, Edinburgh is so beautiful and when the bubble of the Fringe feels too stressful it is always good to have a walk on top of Arthur Seat or near the sea.
The best thing about performing at the fringe?
Getting the chance to be on stage every day for a month, before an audience that is always different and multicultural.
The most challenging thing about performing at the fringe?
Being able to keep your energy and morale high throughout the whole month!
What’s the secret to successful flyering?
I wish I knew it! But I think that a nice attitude and an eye-catching flyer can help 🙂
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
Mmm… I would say a well-traveled person that likes dry humour and that can influence a lot of friends and recommend my show to them.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Because it’s unique!