An experienced improviser James Ross is taking his first stand-up show Leopardoptera to the Edinburgh Fringe.
Hello. How are you today?
At least a six.
Are you ready for another month of Edinburgh Fringe action?
Yeah, I’ve got this massive pile of money and I’m just looking for an open furnace to shovel it into! Take that, The System!
At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?
In the sense that both are miserable, brutish and short, I would say “entirely”.
What are your tips for getting people to see your show?
There is absolutely no substitute for talking to people, making them laugh, and directly hand-selling your show. None. Anyone who tells you anything else is a liar, or is a PR who wants to take your money and use it to wallpaper their third yacht. Talk to your public, they’re the reason you’re there in the first place.
Is there anyone in particular you’d like to see in your audience?
Beth O’Brien. It’s my secret wish that one day I’ll be good enough that she’d want to represent me. But I’m too shy to ask. Will settle for the Chuckle Brothers or anyone willing to grant me three wishes without unintended consequences.
Who are you sharing a flat with this festival and how will you help each other survive the month?
My wonderful partner, my wonderful flyering crew, the wonderful Steph Laing (Nincoompoop – 2145 @Cowgatehead) and the wonderful Sian and Zoe (Endings – 1235 @Silk). Mostly we’re going be braiding each others’ hair, talking about boys, pillow fighting, comparing breasts etc. We may also go on an adventure involving smugglers, and, maybe, socialism. In all seriousness: fruit, vegetables, no booze until week three at the earliest, sensible bedtimes whenever I haven’t got late night showcases in an attempt to be fitter, healthier and more productive, a pig, in a cage, on antibiotics.
Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?
I’m actually looking forward to hitting the Mile and talking to a lovely comedy-savvy audience that really care. This year I’m going to try doing a UK tour of people’s front rooms – persuading enough people to put me up for a night and getting their mates in for a private show – taking comedy beyond the clubs like the journeyman minstrels of old. So I’m looking forward to insinuating my way into people’s homes, like some sort of confidence trickster.
What’s your topping at The Baked Potato Shop on Cockburn Street?
I like the one that’s a new potato, stuffed inside a small potato, stuffed inside an A-size potato, stuffed inside a Premium potato stuffed inside a Jumbo potato. They call it the Potatohouse Blue.
Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.
The Edinburgh fringe and the PBH Free Fringe in particular is a wonderful opportunity to take a chance on something you wouldn’t otherwise see. Seize that chance, take that risk, because tomorrow you may be dead. So may I if I carry on with this potentially very dangerous idea to tour the nation’s front rooms.
James Ross: Leopardoptera
8-29 August, 4.45pm