Comedy blog

Richard Gadd: Edinburgh Fringe 2015 interview

richard gadd edinburgh fringe

Richard Gadd won huge acclaim at last year’s Edinburgh Festival for what by all accounts was a exhilarating and thrilling hour of mad, flower eating, unsettling comedy.

Hello. How are you today?

Next question.

Are you ready for another month of Edinburgh Fringe action?

You can never fully be ready for Edinburgh. It has this knack of overwhelming you no matter how much preparation you do. This is my seventh year up at the festival and it is still not any easier. I have tried everything in the past. I have tried getting super healthy. I have tried meditation. I have tried comfort eating and binge drinking, but but nothing can quell the intensity of doing shows days in day out and the pressure of expectation. Edinburgh never looses its ability to test you. But that is also why it is so thrilling and exhilarating at the same time. It is like a drug. Not that I have done drugs…

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

Pfft! I don’t think I have ever written a show before the blurb deadline in my seven years of doing Edinburgh. Not even close. I need the fear and the pressure of the month creeping up into me to get me writing and creating and dashing for that finishing line. So I am always intentionally vague in my blurbs. I think it says something like “the troubled comedian return for a third years running” and mentions nothing of this levitation trick I do with my penis for an hour. Hopefully that answers your question.

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

“Anti-flyering” – a term I have coined – helps. I feel so many people walk around Edinburgh getting handed flyer after flyer and slogans chucked at them like “five star show” and “one to watch” and “must see” and “Guardian top ten” that it all becomes so bland. So I try and flyer with self-deprecation instead. “Two star show anyone?!” or “Something to put in the bin sir?” Another technique is to just stand by a bin and throw your flyers in in one by one shouting “I WILL SAVE YOU THE HASSLE!” The second you get them laughing, the more inclined they are to come to your show. I just realised I might have given away my best trick here…

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

Only my parents, really. As long as their there smiling – through pity or pride – then I do not really care who comes. I tend to do my shows just to make my parents proud so they are the only people on the planet who would leave me feeling disappointed if they they did not turn up. Not that they would. They have not missed a single thing I have done since birth. I am doing one in LA in September so that will be a big test for them. Apart from that, I feel you should just appreciate the audience you are given and not care about specific people. In Edinburgh you are lucky to get an audience at all – so I think it is good to appreciate that.

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

Catching up with friends. I am from Scotland and a lot of my old friends gravitate towards Edinburgh during August and you rekindle all these old friendships you once had. It is always nice and humbling when somebody special from your past turns up to see you and you catch up like no time has passed at all. Like all good festivals, it brings people together.

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

Tears. I bring my own topping.

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

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Richard Gadd: Waiting For Gaddot
Banshee Labyrinth
8-30 August, 11.30pm

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