Bethany Black had it tough in recent years, getting dumped by her fiancée followed by illness and a fractured leg.
Then her life turned around with a starring role in Russell T Davies’ TV series Cucumber Banana Tofu, becoming the first trans person to star as a transgender character in the UK, as well as appearing in Dr Who! She calls herself an “idiot” in her blurb, but this should be a smart, powerful hour of stand-up
Hello. How are you today?
Hello! I’m doing great today, I’ve had an afternoon nap and I had one of my heroes and now good friends Russell T Davies come to see my show last night and he loved it. So today is a good day.
Are you ready for another month of Edinburgh Fringe action?
I swing wildly from “YASSS!” to “Oh god, I’ve made a terrible error, this is going to be the worst thing I’ve ever done with my life and I should have quit and retrained as an undertaker.
At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?
*Has a quick check* Oh wow. It matches exactly. That’s a first. I honestly didn’t expect that. I do know that next time I’m going with as vague as possible, “An hour of comedy” I reckon. Maybe even more vague, “Bethany Black will be on stage for an hour trying to make you laugh”
What are your tips for getting people to see your show?
Make sure it’s a good show. It seems simple but I forgot that last time, and made an okay show. Also lie, lie through your teeth, “Oh you like Michael McIntyre? She’s just like him.” then as long as the show’s good you can get them to stay. Also emphasise the value, you could see my show 7 times for the price of a ticket to see Amy Schumer, and I’m DEFINITELY better, at least in value terms. I guarantee you more laughs (No refunds).
Who are you sharing a flat with this festival and how will you help each other survive the month?
I am staying with my pal Trish who is not a performer, she lives in Edinburgh all year round and has a spare room. We’re both recovering alcoholics so we’ll be supporting each other and having a laugh. I’ve learned that staying in the bubble of the Fringe with people who are all only thinking about the Fringe is really bad for your mental health. I’m not sure how, after 16 years of Big Brother on the telly we haven’t all figured that out yet.
Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?
Michael J Dolan – The Most Villainous Michael J Dolan is at the top of my list. and Bridget Christie: Mortal is my other, other than that I’m looking forward to seeing stuff by accident.
Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?
Eating at The Mosque Kitchen for one of my meals every day. I’m a creature of habit.
Salt and sauce on your chips?
ABSOLUTELY, within minutes of arriving in Edinburgh I always get chips with salt and sauce and a can of Irn Bru, if you’re going to enjoy the city you need to go native as soon as possible.
Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.
I’m really excited about the fringe this year and apprehensive in equal measure, I’ve got a great show this year, but that little doubt at the back of my mind is going “It’ll be just like the bad year you had, when those three guys on acid ruined your show on the night you had all the press in and you ended up with an average of 6 people in per night and shared a flat with a loud Australian who did all his housework in a tiny pair of underpants with a tiger on them, you were above the pie shop next to Forbidden Planet, and spent most of the run thinking ‘I could have stayed at home and smashed up a PS3 every day and still have lost less money'” And then I try to swallow that worry down and get on with my day. Hero’s journey innit? Without peril and the chance that you’ll fail in the final battle the narrative sucks.
Bethany Black: (Extra) Ordinary
The Stand 2
4-28 August, 6pm