The surrealist streams of thought and extravagant dress sense of Joey Page are becoming more and more recognisable throughout the UK thanks to appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks (where he resembles Noel Fielding’s eager younger brother) and live shows that have evoked such comments as “wonderfully weird” and “spaced out magical”.
He also appeared on the bill of a Robin Williams tribute night to raise money for Weirdos’ live production of Hook, for which we will have eternal respect.
We chatted to him about his Edinburgh Fringe show Reality Is Outside, Paradise Is In Your Brain.
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How are you today Joey?
Hot! I know by the time people read this we will all be in Edinburgh soaked to the bone from the daily downpour and people will be say ‘what is he moaning about?’, but it’s hard to dress like a Dandy idiot in 30 degree heat.
On a scale of cardboard to Christmas, how excited are you for the Fringe this year?
Christmas eve, I am so excited and nervous. It’s my first year at the Pleasance and I’m really proud of my show but I am also worrying if five star Father Christmas thinks I’ve been good enough to warrant a visit this year. I will deffo try and bribe him with biscuits though.
What’s your show about (in a maximum of two sentences and without using the following words/terms: unique, defiant, sassy, action-packed, thrill-a-minute, crazy, random, middle-class hip hop)?
It’s a bit about how my brain and my imagination don’t really get on, but mostly about escaping the boring, depressing world we live in for an hour. I just want to bring people into my little alternative world for a bit and have a look around the inside of my head.
Who should come see it? And who do you want to come see it?
People who are bored of normal run of the mill comedy and what to see something a bit different and silly. I want David Bowie to come and see it but he never returns my advances.
What is the full range of emotions an audience member can expect from your show?
Confusion initially then wide eyed wonder and a renewed faith in the idea it’s okay to be silly and for once to do something strange. Then, at the end, surprise because it was better than they expected before they came in.
Is the show easy to adapt for a Radio 4 show in case it wins the Fosters’ Comedy Award?
So easy, I would be like a breath of fresh air to a tired old industry. Alternative comedy is just coming back into fashion, I think.
How long did it take to come up with the show’s name? And what did you reject?
I had it straight away someone very close to me said it to me ages ago so it’s kind of a tribute to her…….but close contenders were “Look it’s Me doing this” “Joey No Jokes” “Be original or die” and what it think my title will be next year “The Golden Peacock Hour”
Do you have a favourite Fringe memory?
When I first came to the Fringe I was on my own and staying in a hostel out by the estuary. It was at the end of a mile-long road and with a caravan park on one side and the sea on the other with no street lights. The nightbus wouldn’t go down there, so I used to have to stay out until the first normal bus at 7am for fear of being clubbed to death and thrown in the sea. I used to climb in my bunk just as all the tourists were leaving the dorm for the day like a weird vagrant cat, sleep til about 5pm and then start again. One afternoon this Japanese guy was on his phone so I drew back the curtain on my bunk and shouted “some of us are trying to sleep” like a Jim Henson puppet then shut my curtain again. I have been in love with the Fringe ever since.
What else are you looking forward to in Edinburgh this year? We recommend the Piemaker, The Baked Potato Shop and a pleasant stroll.
Every year my mates and I watch the first Match of the Day on BBC and have a Chinese. We make a real night of it and nobody talks about comedy, it’s like a little oasis in the middle of the festival so I always enjoy that…..that and the moment you step of the train and can smell the malt from the factories and you think “ right let’s get stuck in to this festival” it’s so great.
Here’s a space to write anything you want about any subject. Go for it:
Well obviously I’m going to shoehorn a show in here aren’t I? Well not really it’s kind of just a plea to Fringe goers, there is so much good stuff to go and see in Edinburgh, you must make sure you see a bit of everything. There are so many comedians who are borderline artists doing such creative things. Go and see some alternative stuff like Charlie Chuck, Luke McQueen, Sara Pascoe, Gerry Howell, Trevor Lock or this guy called Joey Page he looks like a bumbling idiot but he’s actually quite good… oh wait that’s me. No seriously though just go out there and take a punt on something different… that’s kind of the message of my show don’t be like everyone else do something refreshing and life will always be a bit more exciting that way and it will make us all happier in the long run….and probably better looking though I can’t guarantee that.
Joey Page: Reality Is Outside, Paradise Is In Your Brain
July 31 – Aug 26, 8.30pm
£8 – £9.50