It is festival season and that means that in the next month there is so many great 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.
Alex MacKeith: Thanks for Listening
Location: Underbelly, Bristo Square – Dexter (Venue 302)
Dates: Aug 3rd-14th, 16th-28th
Price: £11 Concession £10
Hello! Tell us about yourself?
Hello! My name’s Alex MacKeith. I do musical comedy with an acoustic guitar. I’ve been gigging as a solo comedian since 2019 and won the 2020 Musical Comedy Awards in 2021 (delayed due to Covid, like much else). I also write scripts, and my first feature film called The Tutor just wrapped production, which is unreal and very nice. I’m quite tall and very good-looking.
How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the fringe?
I was coming up with so many titles for the show that it was becoming ridiculous and probably deeply aggravating for my producers. Anyway, I sent them some last-minute options and ended the batch of messages with a genuine “Thanks for Listening”. My producer Kathryn stuck my name in front of that, I guess as a biting satire on my endless title suggestions, but it stuck. All her. It also makes sense with the through-line of the show, it wasn’t just like “That sounds cool!”, though I think it does. Thanks, Kathryn!
Tell us all about your show!
It’s a musical comedy show featuring me and the aforementioned acoustic guitar. The songs are broadly about things I’m afraid of, so let’s just say the content pool is… Pretty wide. Animals and trains feature prominently, with a mixture of narrative pieces and real from-the-heart stuff. Just getting it all of my chest. The aim is to make the show feel like a sixties Greenwich Village coffee house spliced with Nirvana’s Unplugged in New York. But funny.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
Oh my god. Loads! Britney, Rajiv Karia, Jo Griffiths, Pierre Novellie, Bella Hull, Crybabies, Sean McLoughlin, Celya AB, Jack Barry, Chris MacArthur-Boyd, Shelf.
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 have, with my now dormant sketch group Princes of Main (*looks to sky and smiles wistfully as if they’re dead*). I read a good tweet that the Fringe is a dance, not a sprint, or something like that. In general terms, depend on your friends if you’ve got them, make some if you don’t, and read Stewart Lee’s words about professional jealousy being a total waste of time and theoretically kind of impossible.
What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
Sam Simmons: Death of a Sails-man and Natalie Palamides: Laid both blew me away. Simmons created something so absurd and moving and theatrical, a show that was breaking apart at the seams which was offset by moments of total control. Palamides had such incredible command of the stage and made a mammoth concept raw and visceral and intimate and very, very funny. I still think about those shows a lot.
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
I’ve got a new one about the Elizabeth Line I really love doing. That thing needs taking down a peg or two. Previous favourite: “Like the spine and the dorsal muscles put together, we’re back.”
What have been some of the most unique and different comedy shows you have seen this year and why?
When I’ve seen Sean McLoughlin on mixed bills and at WIPs, I’ve thought his voice and approach to observation was so fresh and unique. I can’t wait to see it at the festival. Flat & The Curves are also doing something very different with musical comedy, and I love the artistry and incisiveness they use to create something raucous.
What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the fringe?
See as much as you can afford to, talk to people whose shows you love, don’t get too drunk too often. Own your shit. I think I’m just talking to myself here but hopefully some of that resonates.
The best thing about performing at the fringe?
Getting the chance to fully get into the rhythm of a show, to explore facets of it you just couldn’t in a three-day or week-long run.
The most challenging thing about performing at the fringe?
The flipside of having the time to completely work out the groove of the show is that a month is a long old time. Keeping a grip on time and indeed reality can become challenging. I recommend bringing a plant or something so you can see it grow, or wither and die, to remind you that time is not an absolute, rather a measure in which phenomena change. Or that you can’t look after plants.
What would be your top three items every performer must take to the fringe?
Toothbrush, a long novel, a plant.
What’s the secret to successful flyering?
To be honest. People can tell if you’re selling them. If they want to see a circus act let ‘em, don’t pretend you have a live elephant and a depressed clown in your show. They’ll just be disappointed when you don’t have the elephant.
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
Here, please: IG: alexmackeith T: @alexgmackeith Don’t you dare find me on Facebook.
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?