Crybabies: 'Surviving Edinburgh isn't about having a five-star show; it's about being a five-star man who's in a five-star show'

  • The List
  • 3 August 2019

This article is from 2019

Crybabies: 'Surviving Edinburgh isn't about having a five-star show, it's about being a five-star man who's in a five-star show'

Surreal comedy trio provide their best guide to surviving the Fringe

Celebrity super-spy Chester Daggerboot, Freudian car crash Skipps McCoy, and Porky are the triple threat that make up Crybabies – here they give us their best guide to surviving the Fringe – and they've already survived World War II … truly the Godfather Part II of world wars so they're pretty sure they know what they're talking about …


Surviving Edinburgh can be tricky. I still remember my first Fringe. I was undercover in an improvised Othello, investigating a student theatre troupe cum terror cell, armed only with a toothbrush, some flyers and a handful of audience suggestions. And not good ones.

But I would get up on that stage every night and bare my soul in a performance that critics called 'dazzlingly insensitive.' And dazzling it was. But I didn't do it for me, I didn't do it for the mission, I did it for the love of the craft.

And I'm not talking about that wishy-washy love a kid has for his dog or a father has for his son. I'm talking about real love. The kind of love that can only be measured in stars. The kind of love you can put on a poster or tweet about. The kind of love that makes a stranger walk up to you on Grassmarket and say, 'Hey, aren't you Chester Daggerboot?'

'Yes I am.'

'I saw your show. Thought it was pretty good.'

Now that's love.

So, whether you're playing to packed houses like me, or pissing away your life savings on a musical parody of What Women Want (love that film by the way) remember this. Surviving Edinburgh isn't about having a five-star show, it's about being a five-star man who's in a five-star show. Break a leg, my friends.


Surviving Edinburgh can be tricky. Here are a few top tips from my book, By The Book, which critics have described.

Rule 42: Spread rumours / accuse other performers of gross or criminal misconduct. They'll be stripped of their critical acclaim and reduced to your level. A far more efficient method than attempting to reach their level of success.
Rule 94: The Fringe can be lonely, so surround yourself with people you can talk to. Flyerers are ideal. They are being paid, therefore have no choice but to chat. If they refuse, or politely ask you to move on, simply report them to their supervisor.
Rule 127: Networking is key. Industry and artist bars often won't have any security first thing in the morning, so sneak in around 8am, wait in the toilets for 13 hours, then emerge to a sea of opportunity (ensuring hands are clean and dry).
Rule 481: It's important to let off steam at the festival. Many succumb to the hedonistic vices of alcohol or socialising. I recommend simply sitting in your car and having a bloody good think.
Rule 388: Your wife will fear your success.
Rule 502: Your wife's fear and jealousy may manifest itself in the form of her not laughing at things you say which are categorically funny, or even questioning why you won't get out of the car.
Rule 58901: If she wins the house in the settlement, you can sleep in the car.
Rule 58902: If she takes the car, you cannot sleep on the bike.
Rule 7290128371: Do check out Paul Merton's Impro Chums. I don't know how they do it!


Surviving a den or burrow can be tricky, especially since they are a prime habitat of snakes, vampires and Lyme disease. But may I say, you have come to the right person.

First thing to do is scream, 'are there any ghosts here?!' That way you will know if you are about to be spooked or not. If a ghost replies, yes or no, be warned as you have now entered the summoning ritual. This is when a ghost will try and reanimate a body made out of dead animal parts and various types of soil for himself to possess.

Now you will be in trouble, as you have accidentally agreed to return to hell with the animated ghost and serve as their queen. I find the best solution to this is to jump around in a tight circle, going anti-clockwise, whilst whispering the words, 'Oh no you don't! Oh no you don't!'

Usually, this distracts the ghost long enough that he doesn't notice the rabbit guardian (whose job it is to patrol the den / burrow). He should banish the ghost back to the underworld. All you've got to do now is pay tribute to the rabbit guardian, usually with some seeds or a jaunty song, and then you can be on your merry way. Finally, remember in the case of vampires, they are more scared of you than you are of them, but that is the opposite with Lyme disease.

Oh you said Edinburgh? I do not know what that is.

Crybabies: Danger Brigade, Heroes @ Boteco, 4pm, until 25 Aug (not 14), £5.

Crybabies: Danger Brigade

  • 3 stars

Crybabies in association with PBJ Management Join Michael Clarke ('nothing short of genius' ★★★★★ (ThreeWeeks)), Ed Jones ('ripe with wit' ★★★★ (Skinny)) and James for Crybabies' debut hour of surreal comedy, action, singing, dancing, rats, crisps, and concerns of the heart. Buckle up for an offbeat adventure through the…