Edinburgh Fringe

Ian Smith: Edinburgh Fringe 2015 interview

Ian Smith - Photo Idil Sukan

Ian Smith – Photo Idil Sukan

Having received critical praise for his first two fringe outing Ian Smith returns to Edinburgh with is third show “Whereabouts”. Ian has also popped up on BBC Three at the Fringe and appeared on BBC panel show Sweat the Small Stuff.


Hello Ian, How are you today?

I’m good thanks, I’ve just ordered a realistic male mannequin online for my show, and am about to hang my washing up. It’s all go.

Are you ready for another month of Edinburgh Fringe action?

Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been hidden away in my house writing, only going to preview or buy 35p energy drinks from the corner shop – so I’ll be pleased to be outside and in a beautiful city. I still want to make a few tweaks to the show – but I’m excited about it!

At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?

Oh, that’s a good question. In one word, I’d say ‘quite’. The show is about me moving house, the inescapability of the internet and overthinking things. My blurb said ‘whereabouts things are and whatabouts they’re doing there’ – so I guess it does.

What are your tips for getting people to see your show?

This year my plan is to flyer between 4am and 6am. There’s less competition. The down sides are less people, but you have to try different things. I’ve also bought this bloody mannequin, so I’m hoping people will enjoy his cameo enough that word spreads around!

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to see in your audience?

One year a musician I really like came to see it – I was in a good mood for the rest of the day. It’s ways nice when people you really respect come along (and like it – it would be awful if people you really respect hated it). Also, it’s very nice when people who have seen your previous shows come back to see you the following year – that’s a big compliment.

Who are you sharing a flat with this festival and how will you help each other survive the month?

Evelyn Mok, John Hastings, Phil Jerrod and Chris Betts – I’ll be buying a lot of ginger, lemon and honey to make a dink that tastes terrible, but stops me from losing my voice. I guess I can make that for people – I’ll be a sort of medicine man.

Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?

Mother India. It’s the best bloody Indian restaurant in the world. I say this so much in interviews – I’m really hoping for a free meal at some point. It’s incredible. I love it so much I get really annoyed with people if they say they haven’t been or don’t want to go. Ginger chicken curry. Yes please.

What’s your topping at The Baked Potato Shop on Cockburn Street?

Probably some chilli. This question’s a real curve ball.

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

Pauline Perpetua Quirke (born 8 July 1959) is an English actress, best known for her role as Sharon Theodopolopodos in the long-running comedy series Birds of a Feather from 1989 to 1998, and again since 2014. She co-stars in the series with her lifelong friend and frequent acting partner Linda Robson and actress Lesley Joseph. Quirke has also played Hazel Rhodes, in the soap opera Emmerdale from 2010 to 2012 and since 2013, Susan Wright in the drama series Broadchurch.


Ian Smith: Whereabouts
Pleasance Courtyard – Beneath
Aug 5-30, 7pm
Previews £6, Non-previews £8-£9

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