Comedian Simon Evans lets us in on a couple of his favorite Fringe things
This article is from 2012.
I have two favourite things about the Fringe.
I did my first Set List, where comedians are required to improvise material straight off the bat, based on random phrases. I had to speak about ‘Eulogy Headliner’, and said that this was what I wanted to be, performing at funerals, rather than arenas, like Russell Howard who, I said, can only do so because he sells three tickets for every fan because the parents have to go as well.
Big laugh, on that, but an even bigger one when I stepped down from the stage at the end, only to turn and see Russell himself emerge from the wings on to the stage, with a very convincing deadpan expression. Turned out he had entered the room -- I didn’t even know he was in Edinburgh, he’s not performing this year -- just in time for that to be pretty much the first thing he heard after a two-year absence from the festival. He was, I have to say, a complete gent about it, found it as funny as I did and his only concern was that he had made me feel bad by taking to the stage. Definitely one of those ‘only Edinburgh can do this’ moments.
2) Emotional drainage
Normally, Edinburgh can be a challenge, balance wise. You spend the day moping, nursing hangovers, watching DVD box sets and drinking too much coffee, then the night surfing down from the high of your show on far too much alcohol. This year, for the first two weeks anyway, the Olympics provided a wonderful balance, with actual substance and quality to immerse yourself in during the day and something to go back to in your flat after the show instead of just automatically drinking your own body weight in the Pleasance Courtyard.
I absolutely loved it, indulged in massive vicarious emotional involvement, more like the end of Toy Story 3 or The Lion King than a sporting event, and it gave me something to connect with people about, both in my shows and on Twitter which is my surrogate family whenever I’m away from home. Without a doubt, the most emotionally draining big public live event of my lifetime and as such, put my own show into context, which was nice. I still drank too much coffee, mind you.