Fringe comedy debut: Neil Hickey

  • The List
  • 16 August 2013

This article is from 2013

Fringe comedy debut: Neil Hickey

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?
To just do your show your way and not worry what others think. For example, it would be terrible to gear myself toward what I assume the Foster’s Award people are looking for in an act. What they are looking for in a customer is a different matter. While on stage as a consumer and not as an act I will be drinking Foster’s, the greatest lager known to man.

What do you expect will be the least useful piece of advice?

‘Just don't show up’. Me to myself frequently.

Imagine this is September: looking back at August, what would constitute a successful Fringe?
OK, it's September 19th, I'm in the kitchen holding a pan full of scrambled eggs, I suddenly freeze, I'm experiencing a dramatic flashback of August, I let go of the pan, it crashes to the floor. The realisation of my failure at making what constitutes a successful breakfast overshadows all thoughts.

In krugerrands, how much do you expect to lose during the Fringe?

Had to Wikipedia krugerrand. It's a South African gold coin that many countries would not import because of its association with apartheid. Much like the South African blacks at the time, I expect after the Fringe to be extremely poor and when all the reviews are finally assessed, segregated.

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?
I think we have all evolved a bit since the old days of the festival: ‘The Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award’ has a better ring to it. And yes, of course, I'd like to win 'the festival shag'

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?
I will not be drinking. I have drank a few times before I went on stage and each time I ended up being too funny.

What qualities do you expect from a Fringe venue?

I only expect quantities. I have 50 seats to fill. In my arrogance I expect six of them full every night.

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 not read my reviews at any stage. I will however read the disappointment on my friends and family's faces.

Next year, will you consider returning as a double act?
Yeah right! You think Paul Simon needs a tag along like Art Garfunkel? Actually he does, to make revenue between flop solo albums. Now all I need to do is find my Paul Simon.

Do you undertake any superstitious rituals before going on stage?
No, but after I come off stage I pray to God for forgiveness.

If you were about to perform at the Fringe for your tenth year, where would you expect your career to be at that point?
My hope is that by then I will be delivering room service in a Lenny Henry Premier Inn advert.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 3–26 Aug (not 13), 3.15pm, £7.50–£9.50 (£6.50–£9). Previews 31 Jul–2 Aug, £6.

Neil Hickey: Escape Artist

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EMX Management Presents. Faced with a dysfunctional childhood, Neil built an escape route into his imagination. A show about how comedy is the best way to deflect reality. Witness a life defying escape as the biographical becomes hilariously fantastical. Escape Artist is a highly distorted version of one man's life, a…