Edinburgh Fringe 2022
Comedy's miserable, cheeky scamp is returning with the weight of the world across his shoulders and some burning questions in his soul. Primarily: why on earth is everyone not just constantly screaming in fury?
Hi Will thank you for taking the time to talk with The New Current, how does it feel to be heading to Edinburgh Fringe and Pleasance Courtyard this year?
I’m really excited to be back at the Fringe. I missed it terribly in 2020 and whilst I went up and had a fun time in 2021 I’m looking forward to it all coming back in all it’s glory.
Do nerves ever set in ahead of a fringe run?
Oh 100%. Because the shows are essentially the culmination of a year of work there’s that fear that you’re not giving a great impression of yourself in the show. But I think I, and all the other performers that take the shows up deserve the greatest time up there. And speaking of which, do buy tickets to my show (wink).
What was your first fringe experience like?
Oh my. I went up in 2011 to do a three hander with two other comics that was as midnight in a room that I think I’m being far too nice to when I describe it as a cupboard. It was a month of extremes. The room held about 18 and some nights we squeezed 25/30 in and others we performed to each other with no audience. I slept on a sofa and had the greatest month of my life.
What’s been the funniest comment you’ve gotten for your shows?
Well. I remember during my show in 2017, on a day that, and I’ll hold my hands up, was not going very well, the room was so quiet that I heard someone lean over to their friend and whisper ‘why is he doing this to us’. But a nicer version is during my show in 2019, a show I really liked, that was about my relationship as an adult with my imaginary friends from childhood there was a man in the front row that was just SO engaged. To the point that I spoke to him as I’d never had a reaction like it. I asked him why it resonated so much and he said ‘well, I’m a psychiatrist and it’s just that you’re fascinating’. Which I’ve chosen to take as a compliment.
Are there any shows you’re looking forward to seeing during the Fringe?
So many. Shows that I’ve seen in preview and thought were fantastic include Rachel Fairburn, Josh Pugh, John Hastings, Garrett Millerick, Maisie Adam. But again, I reckon that everyone should go and see all the shows. But mine first.
Can you tell me how Iceberg came about, what was the inspiration behind your new show?
The show is about anger and rage and the things that make me angry. But I think that most people are a lot angrier than perhaps they show outwardly. We (my partner and I) had a horrible start to the year and the show came about from the anger that caused me and the way that she and I dealt with it. But it’s a fun show I promise. Apart from 1 bit. Popped some emotion in.
"I suppose I want them to like the show and the message, but if I had to distil it then, oh I don’t know, it’s hard to answer this without looking like a prat, or spoiling the show."
How much does your show evolve/change during a fringe run?
Personally I try to keep the show as similar as possible throughout the run, though hopefully on tour after the fringe there will be additions and variations to keep the whole thing fresh and relevant.
Have you always had a passion for stand up?
I’ve loved stand up since I was a teenager. I worked at Pizza Hut from about 15 and my dad used to wait up for me on a night shift and we would watch ‘Jongleurs Unleashed’ ‘ The World Stands Up’ and ‘Edinburgh and Beyond’ over and over again. Then at University I used to go to the Manchester Comedy Store late show most weekends by myself and just sit and watch and love it.
What has been the biggest changes to your approach to your shows been since you got into stand up?
I think when I first started writing hour shows I made the mistake that a lot of people make in that I was writing the shows that I thought I should be writing, but now I’m writing shows for me.
Is there any advice or tips you’d offer anyone making their debut at the fringe this year?
The Fringe at the end of the day is supposed to be fun. Obviously work hard and do the best job you can, but enjoy yourself.
And finally, what do you want your fringe audiences to take away from Iceberg?
Hmmm. I suppose I want them to like the show and the message, but if I had to distil it then, oh I don’t know, it’s hard to answer this without looking like a prat, or spoiling the show. I just want them to have a nice time, AND SEND ALL THEIR FRIENDS TO SEE IT AS WELL.