Comedy blog

Laurence Owen: Edinburgh Fringe 2015 interview

laurence owen edinburgh fringe

Not only is Laurence Owen a brilliant comedian, he is also a very talented musician and composer, working on numerous award-winning productions. He’s combined both skillsets in his new Edinburgh Fringe show Cinemusical, where Owen parodies and pays homage to Disney, James Bond, westerns and other cinema staples.


Hello. How are you today?

Hoarse. But still grand. Like a grand horse. Thanks for asking.

Are you ready for another month of Edinburgh Fringe action?

As of very recently, yes, just about. My last preview at the Museum Of Comedy was far more enjoyable than I expected and I’m now actually looking forward to it. It’s an absolute killer on the vocal cords so I’m fully expecting to be hacking up blood by August 31st, but it’ll be blood well spent.

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

Reasonably close. It doesn’t give much indication of quite how much stupid plot I’ve crammed into my show about film music, but it’s got the basics down. Essentially the show is a one-man musical about different stock film characters going on an adventure together, backed by an original score. The programme blurb says something approaching that.

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

That’s for me to not know and for you to tell me.

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

John Lasseter. Maybe if he comes along, he’ll decide Randy Newman is too long in the tooth to score the Pixar films anymore and he’ll give me a job. Failing that, anyone who likes films but hates high production values. Come on in.

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

With me is ace character comic Lindsay Sharman, aka Madame Magenta, who is also my wife of three months (and they said it would never last). Also in our flat is character and musical theatre champ Sooz Kempner and waspish firebrand stand-up David Mills. I imagine we’ll be drinking a lot of excellent coffee.

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

Zoo! Koalas! Pandas! Last year we saw an armadillo doing laps of its enclosure and it was brilliant. I put a video on Facebook and a lot of people said it was disgraceful and that the armadillo clearly felt trapped and frustrated. I wasn’t sure, so I looked it up, and apparently it’s very normal behaviour and the armadillo was perfectly happy. So that was a relief. I felt vindicated.

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

I know I’ll probably be denied entry to Scotland for this, but I’m not a baked potato eater. It’s just… too much spud. I like a sweet potato, but really, an old school tattie just feels like death by starch. But if you’re forcing my hand, I’d just drown the thing in beans and tabasco and then drink loads of liquid.

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

When Bernard Herrmann recorded the music for Psycho, he told all the string players not to use any vibrato. This made violins sound spindly and weird – the long notes slightly out of tune, and the short notes thin, like a slicing knife. It was a very strange new sound, and it really adds to the chills of the Psycho score. There you go. You will never, ever need to know that. It’ll just take up valuable space in your brain forever.


Laurence Owen: Cinemusical
Voodoo Rooms
8-30 August, 1.45pm

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