Fringe comedy debut: Carly Smallman

  • The List
  • 26 July 2013

This article is from 2013

Fringe comedy debut: Carly Smallman

credit: Steve Ullathorne

The comedian performs debut solo show 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?
I have been given a shedload of advice pre-Fringe. Backstage at Brighton Komedia the other week, comedian Stephen Grant advised me to play at as many extra gigs as I could, which seems like a great idea providing my voice holds out! However, I think the most useful piece of advice comes from my mum who is an Edinburgh native. She simply told me to ‘take a waterproof jacket’ and ‘don’t get too drunk’. Ha!

What do you expect will be the least useful piece of advice?
My best friend told me that whilst I’m in Edinburgh I should ‘try to shag someone famous’. I don’t see how this could prove useful in any way whatsoever.

Imagine this is September: looking back at August, what would constitute a successful Fringe?
Without wanting to sound trite, I just want to make sure my audiences laugh loads and have a good time! With this being my debut show I honestly don’t know what to expect. A couple of good reviews would be a bonus but I’m going to Edinburgh to improve as a comedian and prove to myself that I can create a decent show. It would be nice if I wasn’t in horrible amounts of debt too.

In krugerrands, how much do you expect to lose during the Fringe?
I expect to lose krugerrands of sanity, krugerrands of sleep and hopefully krugerrands of weight. (What is a krugerrand?!).

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?
Having been to the Fringe several times I am incredibly well acquainted with ‘the festival shag’. In fact, I have partaken in this time-honoured tradition a number of times. However, this year my foof will be strictly off-limits. No shagging before the big game. I’m like a boxer, except not physically fit in any way.

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 never drink before I go on stage because I am a total lightweight. My granny can out-drink me! For this very reason I will be limiting my alcohol intake over the month of August. I’m not sure what I’m limiting it TO, but I feel that getting completely wrecked every night isn’t a great idea (it can lead to ‘festival shags’).

What qualities do you expect from a Fringe venue?
Heat. Lots of heat. And lovely front-of-house staff.

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 shan’t be reading any reviews until the end of my run. Whilst it would be nice to get some good reviews (and I hope reviewers do enjoy it), I’m not performing for the reviewers. I’m performing for the lovely folk who decide to take a punt on a Fringe debutante!

Next year, will you consider returning as a double act?
I was in a double act in 2010 with super-duper lady Luisa Omielan. We had a show called You’re Not the One: A Guide to Love and Dating. We basically helped people through their love-life woes (despite being two clueless singletons at the time!). If the right project or person came along I would consider doing it again.

Do you undertake any superstitious rituals before going on stage?
I keep my plectrum in my bra, so before I go onstage I stuff my hand down said bra to check that it’s there (even though I already know it is).

If you were about to perform at the Fringe for your tenth year, where would you expect your career to be at that point?
I have so much that I would like to achieve over the course of my career! I’d like to continue to progress as a comic, do more scriptwriting, create something commissionable for the radio, host a chat show, have my own sell-out smash-hit tour, and find time to reproduce with a willing volunteer. If I have managed to successfully achieve even one of those things by my tenth year at the Fringe (where I hope to be in a much larger venue!) I will be laughing.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, 3¬–25 Aug (not 13), 7.30pm, £8–£10 (£6–£8). Previews 31 Jul–2 Aug, £5.

Carly Smallman - Romantic Lovesong On Rob Brydon Show

Appalling Carly Smallman

  • 2 stars

RBM. Carly Smallman is appalling. At 27 she thinks she will probably never own a house, meet the one or stop watching cartoons. She tells strangers that she works for NASA just to sound more exciting, and binge eats in public changing rooms. A warm, honest and very funny stand up show (with songs) which looks at the…