Edinburgh Fringe

Edinburgh Fringe 2016 interview: Tom Neenan

tom neenan vaudeville

We first saw Tom Neenan alongside the equally brilliant Nish Kumar in the now sadly defunct sketch duo the Gentlemen of Leisure.

Both performers have gone on to achieve great acclaim and success in their own right, with Nish last year picking up a Best Show nomination, while Tom has becoming a masterful storytelling, producing hour-long yarns that are engaging, bewitching and bloody funny.

At previous Edinburgh Festivals he’s covered haunted houses and extraterrestials and this year he promises to bring to you tales of “magic, malevolence and misfortune” in the world of vaudeville.

Hello. How are you today?

Never better. Never. I’ve never ever been better, ever. Never.

Are you ready for another month of Edinburgh Fringe action?

It’s a month long!? This is a joke, I know it is a month long. I don’t think I am ever ready. I am prepared, but never ready.

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

Pretty well. I think my programme blurb represents the show I’m going to be performing. My shows are usually narrative shows so its important I’m not miss-selling them.  I tend to avoid promises I can’t keep. Words like “Juggling” “sword swallowing” or “Live taxidermy”.

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

  1. Write and perform a good show. (Crucial)
  2. Flyer for that show. (Either by yourself or through the medium of others)
  3. Big up your show to everyone you talk to. (Hairdressers, carpenters, that guy Rex who you think is a friend of your dad’s but he doesn’t seem to know your dad’s name)
  4. Use words like “buzz”, “Hype”, “Selling out” and “Synergy”
  5. A.B.C, Always Be Creating buzz for your show.
  6. Drink more water.
  7. Double click  – Install drivers manually.
  8. Leave sauce to simmer for 5/7 minutes.
  9. Bohemian Rhapsody
  10.  Lords a leaping.

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

I am sharing a flat with the brilliant comedian Ed Gamble. We’ll both make sure we are clean and tidy boys.

Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?

Obviously Ed and Nish, but other than them I want to see:

  • The One Foot In the Grave Dining Experience / 4:15
  • Har-mony Har-Problems from the A Cappella Fellas / 7:16 and 5:04 (weekdays)
  • Puppetry Of The Eyes / 00:00
  • Nicholas Parsons: So I Suppose This Is Offensive Now / 01:30
  • The Leicester Revu-a-trons: Netflix And Lol  (A Sexy sketch show) / 07:45
  • The Goodnight Sweetheart Dining Experience  / 19:43 – 19:97
  • The Reduced Sarah Kane Theatre Company / 13:30

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

Having an excuse for not replying to emails. And ambiance.

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

A potato topped with another potato. I call it the Bunk Bed Bake. Tough to finish, but worth it.

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

This is a poem I have written. (Make sure you read until the end)

Lovely day

Have a

Now please

I promise

You will laugh

And scary

It’s funny

Of the festival

Every day

In the Underbelly

At 4:15

This month.

In Edinburgh

My show

You should see

(Now read from the bottom, up)

Mind. Blown.

Tom Neenan: Vaudeville
Underbelly Med Quad
3-28 August, 4.15pm

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