Comedy blog

Edinburgh Fringe interview: Carly Smallman

Carly Smallman Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Carly Smallman has made a name for herself in recent years as a musical comedy act with a penchant for sweetly sung funny songs with the occasional disturbing twist.

With a background in improv, she can be devastating off the cuff, and was even once the guitarist in Abandoman.

Her CV includes appearances on Rob Brydon’s chat show and a finalist nod at the Musical Comedy Awards.

Catch her in Edinburgh in the Appalling Carly Smallman at the Gilded Balloon Teviot.

_ _ _

How are you today?

Hi sweetie! I’m alright. I just had a manicure which makes my nails looks like the fur of a tiger, so I’m feeling pretty swish right now.

On a scale of cardboard to Christmas, how excited are you for the Fringe this year?

I suppose that question depends on your feelings towards cardboard and Christmas. Personally I’m obsessed with Christmas so I’ll take that to be the positive end of your cardboard/Christmas scale. I’m feeling very excited because this year I will be doing my first solo show, ‘The Appalling Carly Smallman’. I’m probably more excited about Christmas 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)?

A hopeless (but hot) woman’s appalling behaviour is unveiled and examined for the entertainment of others. She is dead funny.

Who should come see it? And who do you want to come see it?

My show is incredibly fun and is all about being a late twenty-something who struggles to find any sort of stability. It’s incredibly outspoken and honest, so I think you should come and see it if you’re a bit of a reprobate, if you find it hard to cope with life’s demands, or if you like laughing in any capacity whatsoever. Just come along and see if you like it. I’m very charming… I’d really like Robert Downey Jr to come and see the show. And then we could have sex afterwards.

What is the full range of emotions an audience member can expect from your show?

My show doesn’t really have a ‘serious message’. It’s pretty fun and pretty silly. I think most of the emotions would be positive ones, unless you really hate having fun – in which case they wouldn’t be.

Is the show easy to adapt for a Radio 4 show in case it wins the Fosters’ Comedy Award?

I’m not quite sure how to answer this question. I’m not going to the Fringe to win awards or get on the radio. I’m just going up there to have fun and improve as a comedian. Besides, I think if my show were to be broadcast, there might be a few appalled listeners…

How long did it take to come up with the show’s name? And what did you reject?

It was incredibly easy to come up the name of the show. ‘The Appalling Carly Smallman’ is my nickname – so it’s basically a self titled show. Like a self titled album, but less pretentious and more appalling.

Do you have a favourite Fringe memory?

There are so many to choose from. One evening a few years ago I got a bit tipsy and ended up going home with the winner of Beauty and the Geek. How I laughed.

What else are you looking forward to in Edinburgh this year? We recommend the Piemaker, The Baked Potato Shop and a pleasant stroll.

My family are all from Edinburgh so aside from the show I’m looking forward to seeing my granny, aunts, uncles and cousins for some much loved family time.

Here’s a space to write anything you want about any subject. Go for it:

I recently read World War Z. It was a great book. In my excitement, I rushed to see it at the cinema as soon as it was released. It was bloody rubbish. I recommend that you don’t waste two hours of your life on such a douchey zombie flick. There are plenty more good ones to choose from. I hope I have helped you to avoid a big mistake (and I’m sorry if you have already seen this film and I have just reminded you of how lame it was).


The Appalling Carly Smallman
July 31 – Aug 25, 7.30pm
Gilded Balloon Teviot
£6 – £10

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