Comedy blog

Louise Reay: Edinburgh Fringe 2017 interview

Louise Reay Edinburgh Fringe

Clown comic Louise Reay has stood out among other comedians at the Fringe by performing her show entirely in Chinese to much acclaim and some audience confusion.

This year she puts on an immersive comedy show where the audience experiences life in an authoritarian regime, based on a dialogue with Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

Hello. How are you today?

I am very hungover and relieved the Brighton Fringe has finally ended

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

Actually surprisingly accurately, although my show now has a kind of weird dark undertone, which is definitely not the show I planned to make, it just came out! Doh! It’s a lot better for it though (I hope..) but so much more embarrassing to perform.

Have the momentous events of 2016 affected your act in any way?

Yes completely. My show is actually a direct response to how cross I was about bloody 2016 and the rise of the right/alt-right/authoritarian politics across Europe and America. It will go down in history as a big year I think and the UK will not come out of it looking good.

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

I am going to be in a big shared house with about 10 comics, none of whom I know very well, this is actually probably the most terrifying aspect of my Edinburgh 2017. Shit, what was I thinking?

Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?

Ooh.. Butt Kapinski and Seymour Mace

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

I have never managed to make it to that beautiful beach that’s day tripable from Edinburgh. I’m sick of looking longingly at other comics’ instagrams of days trips, I really hope this is the year I get there. Also excited to be in the Stand for the first time this year.

What celebrity death hit you the hardest in 2016 (mine was Wogan)?

I am as cynical about this kind of thing as the next comic but I was so so so sad when David Bowie died, I really hadn’t ever been affected by celebrity deaths before, but this was real! I loved that guy. What a great final album too. Also Rick Mayall – how great was it everyone posting his standup videos from when he was about 21 in the Comedy Store, what a talent.

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

There are currently 259 journalists in jail around the world – which is the highest figure in 30 years… all these people fighting for their freedom of speech, while I was free to write anything and all I could think of was this average waffle. Sorry guys.

Louise Reay: Hard Mode
The Stand
3-27 Aug, 5.55pm

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