Edinburgh Fringe 2022 
Interview

Ali Brice 
I Tried To Be Funny, But You Weren't Looking
VENUE 156 - 
PBH's Free Fringe @ Banshee Labyrinth - Chamber Room 
Aug 6-28, 16:50 /  
Tickets
July 14, 2022
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Ali Brice is embracing life after almost losing it. Three years on, he's admitted defeat and is back on his feet and trying again. Through therapy, friends and... sausages, he's living in the moment and celebrating the little things life has to offer. A sincere, heartfelt and happy show, expect silly stories, big questions, and jokes aplenty from a ridiculous man with a stupid moustache.

 

Hi Ali thank you for taking the time to talk with The New Current, how does it feel to be heading to Edinburgh Fringe and PBH’s Free Fringe this year?

 

Hello. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.

 

It feels great to be heading to Edinburgh. I haven’t been since 2019. Up to then I had been every year since 2010, so it will be great to be back. It’s my favourite time of year.

 

I’m excited to be part of PBH’s Free Free Fringe. I haven’t performed with them since 2011!

 

Do nerves ever set in ahead of a fringe run?

 

Absolutely. They come in waves. One minute I’m excited and can’t wait, the next I’m thinking, “What the hell am I doing?”.

Right now, there are about three weeks until it kicks off an I am terrified. I just have to trust that I will have a great time – I always do!

 

What was your first fringe experience like?

 

It was an absolutely whirlwind. I had dreamed about going to the Fringe, but it was so much better than that. I loved it. I felt like I had arrived in a place I had been looking for all my life. That might sound dramatic, but it’s true.

 

The fringe is a mad ride. It’s frustrating, disappointing at time, tiring, exhausting, soul-destroying – but ultimately hopeful, thrilling, rewarding, life-affirming. I love it.

 

What’s been the funniest comment you’ve gotten for your shows?

 

“Sorry lads, I thought you were shite” – said by an audience member leaving the first fringe show I ever did, a split bill with two other comedy friends (Alan Larter and Mark ‘Steppy’ Step Hen Son).

At the time it broke my heart, but now I realise he was correct. I’m glad to report I have got much, much better.

 

Are there any shows you’re looking forward to seeing during the Fringe?

 

Ronnie Sweepstakes: It Sweepstakes Two to Sweepstango.

Alan Larter: Tall Tails

Joz Norris: Blink

Christian Brighty: Playboy

Sooz Kempner: Playstation

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"I love weaving the show into whatever happens in the room, it’s exciting and means no two shows are the same."

Can you tell me how I Tried To Be Funny, But You Weren't Looking came about, what was the inspiration behind your new show?

 

For me lockdown coincided almost exactly with therapy. I spent two years talking about myself and figuring out things from my past and coming to terms with things. Therapy was transformative for me and I celebrate that in my show.

 

It’s about my journey with mental health and something I did in 2018 that almost meant I wasn’t here anymore.

 

But it is not a sad show, It is a very positive, very silly show.

 

How much does your show evolve/change during a fringe run?

 

It changes on a daily basis. I love talking to the crowd and making them part of the show. The thing I love hearing the most after a show is, “I couldn’t tell where the crowd-work ended and the show began.”  I love weaving the show into whatever happens in the room, it’s exciting and means no two shows are the same.

 

Have you always had a passion for stand up?

 

From the first time I saw stand up I knew that it is what I wanted to do. I love it.

 

How much has your approach to your stand up changed since your debut?

 

My debut show was about a man called Eric Meat and featured 3 other characters: Phil Collins, Neil Buchanan’s Dad and a candle. It was mad. Over the years, as my confidence has grown, the characters have been slowly removed. This year, it’s just me on stage – but I’m still mad and silly. Only this time I am talking explicitly about real things about my life.

 

Is there any advice or tips you’d offer anyone making their debut at the fringe this year?

 

Just have fun.

 

And finally, what do you want your fringe audiences to take away from I Tried To Be Funny, But You Weren't Looking?

 

If just one person comes to the show and it resonates with them and they take steps – no matter how small – towards a positive change, that will be enough for me.

 

That, and I hope people leave having laughed loads at something they didn’t expect to.