Edinburgh Fringe 2022 
Interview

Tom Ward 
Anthem
VENUE 515 - 
Monkey Barrel Comedy - Monkey Barrel 1 
Aug 3-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-28, 22:25 /  
Tickets
July 14, 2022
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Tom Ward returns with a brand-new construction of offbeat observations and top-notch whimsical detours. His favourite themes are all here: love, the 90s, living in a house… But this time he’s venturing out beyond his beloved suburbs to take on the planet, mental health and gender politics.

 

Hi Tom, thank you for taking the time to talk with The New Current, how does it feel to be heading to Edinburgh Fringe and Monkey Barrel this year?


I’m excited and full of dread for the highs and lows! The highs always proceed some new layer of hell, but similarly the lows can be followed by utter highs. So why buy into either?

 

Congratulations on your debut at the Apollo, what was this experience like?

 

Unreal! Got a standing ovation, the first I’ve ever had. I don’t know what happened. I think maybe they saw how much it meant to me, the gig had gone well and for a moment my ‘hard man of comedy’ image dropped (ha).

 

The reviews you gained for you comedy has been amazing, does it add additional pressure on you getting such positive praise for your shows?

 

Not really no, as they’ve been offset, (almost as if ordained by God to keep me in check) by a plethora of average reviews too (often on the same day as they good ones – head fuck or what?)

 

What has been the best comment you’ve gotten from one of your shows?

 

Ooh, that on Apollo I was like ‘an assassin on rollerblades’ (Red Richardson). Nice. You can’t beat a customised compliment.

 

What does it mean to be heading back to the fringe?

 

That I haven’t escaped the filthy conveyor belt of circuit and fringe, circuit and fringe. Though this may feel different as I’m doing my first tour afterwards.

 

If you could use one word that best describe your show what would it be and why?

 

Fruity.

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Watch comedy so you can see what’s being talked about, be willing to learn about how you come across and don’t put a time pressure on it.

Any show/performer you’re looking forward to seeing at the Fringe?

 

I’ll know this one better when I arrive and see who’s on, I will be interested in someone else I promise.

 

Can you tell me how Anthem came about, what was the inspiration behind this new show?

 

Moving towards more risk, passion, opinion. Bigger, louder, wider.

Have you always had a passion for comedy?

 

Always – since I can remember it was about having a laugh. That became even more relevant through the teenage years when the ship was sinking

 

How much flexibility do you allow yourself with your show once it is running?

 

I like to be loose when it’s running in case the room wants something else, or something comes up. But I’ll also try not to turn it into a chat ‘cos that’s lazy

 

Do you have any tips or advice for anyone wanting to get into comedy?

 

Show your vulnerability without being fake or ambitious about it. Watch comedy so you can see what’s being talked about, be willing to learn about how you come across and don’t put a time pressure on it. It takes as long as it takes. Or ignore all of this because I really don’t know anything.

 

And finally, what do you want your fringe audiences to take away from Anthem?

 

The euphoria and mess of it all.