The performers celebrating their birthday at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

  • Edinburgh Festival Guide
  • 9 July 2013

This article is from 2013

The performers celebrating their birthday at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Paul Zerdin

We ask how they plan to celebrate their birthdays

For many, the month of August is a time for jollity what with Edinburgh being so thoroughly festive. And for some, there’s an extra reason to celebrate as they grow a year older during that month. We ask some birthday girls and boys what they will be up to on their big day

Paul Zerdin (puppet man)
39 on the 21st
I plan to spend it having dinner with my girlfriend at The Witchery which is my favourite restaurant in Edinburgh. But I may have to take in a show as well that night just so my girlfriend can watch something other than puppets and a man talking to himself for an hour.

Nish Kumar (rising comic)
28 on the 26th
As my birthday falls at the end of Edinburgh, it is normally a good opportunity for everyone to gather together and celebrate/commiserate the end of the Fringe by getting as drunk as humanly possible. We'll almost certainly end up in Brass Monkey, a great pub that has pictures of Jimi Hendrix on the walls and has beds. Actual beds. They also serve a delightful White Russian. Beds, Hendrix and a milk-based drink is all I have ever wanted from a bar or from my birthday.

Princess Pumpalot (The Farting Princess)
16 on the 13th
I will be defending my realm against low-flying gnomes with an assortment of whiffy tricks. 

Tim FitzHigham (eccentric comedian)
36 on the 16th
The main focus of the day will be my show in an inflatable venue at the Pleasance but I will celebrate afterwards as I always have with the annual exchange of drinks. This has always occurred on the 16th and is when the Air Force and Army send a retired or retiring representative and we exchange drinks (me representing all those at sea following my bath tub world record-setting row). Each of us choose a drink and the other two must toast my official birthday: it normally gets bad as each one tries to poison the other two with their choice.

Joey Page (offbeat comic)
29 on the 1st
I will get on the rum the night before and then spend the day lying in the Meadows waiting for passers-by to shower me with cake and brooches.

Bob Golding (director of No Direction)
43 on the 15th
I shall be starting with a picnic in Queen Street Gardens and enjoy a leisurely afternoon before going to watch the play Robert Golding, for a theatrically narcissistic fix. Then a few outdoor libations on George Square followed by a spritely jaunt down to Thistle Street for dinner at Fishers restaurant and  probably do something really sporadic like find a live salsa band and some blues to lament becoming 43. Then I’ll sing the entirety of David Bowie’s Hunky Dory in an overtly loud and drunken manner until 3.14am when I fall asleep fully clothed.

Jarlath Regan (Irish jester)
33 on the 24th  
I plan on spending the morning climbing Arthur's Seat with a group of friends, the afternoon eating food and the evening doing my show, drinking heavily and replying to the many emails of congratulations I will no doubt receive.

Chris Ramsey (Geordie comic)
27 on the 3rd
I’ll be in my home town with all of my mates drinking and eating until it hurts all over.

Lloyd Langford (Welsh wag)
30 on the 6th
I plan to spend it having a joint 30th with Russell Kane, the Benjamin Button of the comedy world.

Sarah Regan (performer and musical director of Champagne Cabaret)
26 on the 11th
I’ll be performing in Champagne Cabaret at 4pm and then most likely celebrating with my troupe with any leftover champagne from the show. We have the next day off so it's guaranteed to be a big one! 

Alex Williamson (comedy foundling)
25 on the 4th
I will hit up the beaches of Edinburgh (I assume there are lush beaches), get a sweet tan, then drunkenly fight locals.

Howard Marks (appear for a few dates in Charabang!)
68 on the 13th
I really was born on 13th August, 1945. The diary I got from Sue today (Sue is my agent) has me in Edinburgh from 7th to 11th August. I’ve no idea yet where I’ll be for my birthday.

Daniel Roberts / Tom Wilkinson (The Oxford Imps)
Daniel: 27 on the 24th. Tom: 30 on the 31st
Daniel: For the last five years I have 'celebrated' my birthday at the Fringe. Previous treats have included trying stand-up for the first time as it chimed midnight, getting a pizza with one sorry candle wedged in the cheese as a birthday cake, and the unorthodox heckle of a woman breastfeeding in the front row. Who knows what this year's birthday will have in store, but it certainly won't be like a birthday anywhere else.
Tom: Sadly, I'll be spending my birthday this year working remotely via my laptop.
Paul Pirie (Scots wag)
39 on the 19th
My family live in Dundee so they will more than likely come through to my show on that day and have a meal somewhere nice. I would also like to spend the day creating world piece and learning how to spell.

Cerrie Burnell (The Magical Playroom)
34 on the 30th
The first ever time I performed at the Edinburgh Fringe was in a National Youth Theatre production called Have You Seen This Girl? I celebrated my 18th birthday after our final show by buying my first ever legal pint in the Pleasance Courtyard Quite funny that I'm now performing a children's show in the very same venue. This year I'll be doing something lovely with my daughter during the day, like a trip to the seaside or a picnic. And in the evening (which is grown-up time) drinking a pink gin and hanging upside down on an imaginary trapeze.

Lachlan Binns (performer in A Simple Space)
23 on the 23rd
Our show is just after lunch so my day will start with a decent sleep-in for as long as I can manage, a big breakfast then warm-up and showtime. After our sell-out performance (fingers crossed) I plan to explore the festival and see as many shows as I can, as well as catching up with the huge crowd of Australian circus artists at this year's festival: Circa, Briefs, Knee Deep, Fright or Flight etc. Then I will settle down with the rest of the cast for dinner and a few drinks and get ready to do it all again the next day!

Rose Johnson (one third of sketch gang Birthday Girls)
28 on the 5th
I intend to spend the day trying to avoid any mention of my birthday. However, the fact that my sketch group is called Birthday Girls, and the fact that I chose to take part in this feature, could make that difficult.

Sue McKenzie (director of Scottish Saxophone Ensemble)
41 on the 13th
I will be performing my one and only Made in Scotland gig on my birthday at Summerhall.

Leighton Jones (member of ‘folk noir’ band The Dead Man's Waltz)
33 on the 12th
I will spend it by performing César Vallejo's ‘Black Stone on a White Stone’ with an accordion and toy piano on the Royal Mile.

Nadia Kamil (former one half of the Behemoth sketch team)
28 on the 17th
I will get up and be disappointed that, once again, there's obviously no Mariachi band booked to wake me up with fun Mexican music and some huevos rancheros (if all bands doubled up as caterers, I'd book more bands to appear in my life). I will sulk about all day, slowly filling with birthday depression, like a water balloon of woe. The expectation of having a better day than average will weigh heavy on me and will ruin the day. I will do my show at 3.30pm and if it goes well, the rest of the day could be brilliant. Maybe I'll go for burritos with my friends. Maybe one of them has a surprise birthday cake for me. I will be overly touched by this and will offer to buy champagne for everyone even though I cannot afford it. If the show goes badly, I will go to a bar by myself and order a bottle of champagne I cannot afford and declare to the bar staff that it's my birthday and I'm treating myself and why do they look so judgmental, they don't know me. Then I will get drunk whilst wearing a sombrero.

Benny Boot (Australian stand-up)
30 on the 21st
I’ll be celebrating with stealth and under the radar that I have done in the previous seven years (apart from last year). I don’t like to make a big deal about birthdays. One year I went a live Jazz club by myself and drank rum all night. It was cool at first but then I started to get drunk, depressed and bitter toward the couples holding hands and tapping their feet in happiness to the jazzy rhythms. So who knows what 2013 holds. No plans are ever planned.

Plus: Paul Provenza (creator of Set List) is 56 on 31st Jul; Scott Capurro was born in December but almost every one he knows has a birthday in August (eg grandmother Beatrice, half-brother Nickie, brother Steve and sister Liz); Sara Lloyd-Gregory (actor in Robert Golding) has her birthday on the 19th; Charlie from the Noise Next Door has his birthday on the 3rd and they are all likely to eat at Rigatoni's where they have a plaque for dining there so often; Andy Arnold (artistic director of Tron Theatre’s Ulysses) has a birthday on the 30th; Nich Smith (lighting designer of Long Live the Little Knife) gets another year older on the 27th. And finally, there is the curious case of Junction 25 whose two artistic directors (Jess Thorpe and Tashi Gore) have their birthdays on the 21st. Plus cast members Rose Manson will be 17 on the 6th, Stanley Smith reaches 19 on the 17th, and Maria Bissett is 16 on the 23rd. Phew, happy birthday, folks!