Fringe comedy debut: Ivo Graham

  • The List
  • 20 August 2013

This article is from 2013

Fringe comedy debut: Ivo Graham

The comedian appears for the first time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013

What do you think might work out as the best piece of advice you receive ahead of your Fringe debut?
The show is hardly going to benefit from any work in the last couple of weeks before the Fringe. Devote all your time to thinking up funny answers to the questions for The List!

What do you expect will be the least useful piece of advice?
Stop trying to think up funny answers to the questions for The List! Your last preview was a disaster and only lasted 43 minutes! Go and write some more jokes!

Imagine this is September: looking back at August, what would constitute a successful Fringe?
‘Dear Ivo, Unbeknownst to you, I came to see your show Binoculars at the Edinburgh Fringe during August. I very much enjoyed it, and made me think that perhaps we haven't spent as much time together over the years as we should have done. Would you like to go for lunch next week, or maybe play some football in the park? Lots of love, Dad.’

In krugerrands, how much do you expect to lose during the Fringe?
My favourite pair of jeans has a hole in the pocket, and I tend to lose about a pound a week through that, so probably at least three pounds, unless I buy a new pair of jeans, which could cost anything up to 30 pounds. Either way, I'm in the red.

Back in the old days, there used to be a thing called ‘the festival shag’. Is this ancient tradition likely to play any part in your thinking during August?
Just as a sportsman refrains from having sex on the day of a game, so have I tried to give myself maximum preparation for Fringe 2013 by only having sex five times in the 22 years leading up to it. I'm hardly going to render that achievement worthless with any casual dalliances during the month itself.

Back in the old days, comedians would drink alcohol solidly for a whole month and still manage to get out and do their show every day: how much are you likely to imbibe per day?
(Google Hunter S Thompson's daily routine … ). I tend to follow this to the letter during the Fringe, minus the grapefruit (not a big fan of grapefruit). I think it definitely adds a little extra spark to my usually lethargic audience interaction.

What qualities do you expect from a Fringe venue?
I expect it to contain at least 15 people who are primed and excited to watch Ivo Graham perform his debut show Binoculars, and no more than three people who have been dragged to it against their will.

Will you read your reviews before your run is over and if so, how do you think they will affect you as a comedian and as a human being?
I will be reading all of my reviews and taking them calmly on the chin. Who wouldn't? My show is never going to be perfect, and what is funny is a totally subjective judgement anyway. However, if the tone of the review is more positive than the accompanying star rating, I'll be driven into such a state of anguish that I'll probably end up assaulting a civilian outside a Scotmid.

Next year, will you consider returning as a double act?
I am currently in negotiations to join forces with 2008 Britain's Got Talent champion and Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award winner George Sampson. If we are unable to finalise the paperwork in time, I am unlikely to settle for anyone else.

Do you undertake any superstitious rituals before going on stage?
See my Hunter S Thompson answer. Plus a couple of press-ups on the weekends for good measure. Mens sana in corpora sano, etc.

If you were about to perform at the Fringe for your tenth year, where would you expect your career to be at that point?
A different pair of jeans for every day of the week. Dancing with Sampson on a fortnightly basis. Getting on with dad. Finally, learning to appreciate a good grapefruit. Having a whole army of minimum-wage underlings to answer all these questions for me, or comfortable enough in my own skin to give honest responses to them rather than hide behind attempts at humour. But mainly the Sampson thing.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 3–25 Aug (not 12), 6pm, £7.50–£10 (£6.50–£9). Previews 31 Jul–2 Aug, £6.

The Mum joke with Ivo Graham - Spank!

Ivo Graham: Binoculars

  • 4 stars

Off The Kerb Productions. Binoculars is the punchline of a joke my brother made at my expense at Christmas. Please come and laugh my pain away. Hotly-anticipated debut show from So You Think You're Funny? winner, Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year nominee, Chortle Best Newcomer nominee and 'one of the best young…