Comedy blog

Ian Smith: Edinburgh Fringe 2017 interview

Ian-Smith edinburgh fringe

This is the fourth solo show for Ian Smith, who played a prominent role in Richard Gadd’s hugely acclaimed Waiting for Gaddot in 2015.


Hello. How are you today?

Hello. I’m good thank you. I’m about to go to a nice cafe and do some work on my show. Hang on, it’s just started raining quite heavily, so I might stay indoors.

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

Pretty closely. My show’s called ‘Snowflake’ – it’s about uniqueness… like everybody else’s. It’s also about a holiday to Tromso, which is in the Arctic Circle (like the Magic Circle but for temperatures). There is a lot of snow there – so that’s the double meaning of the title.

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

Well, calling your show ‘Snowflake’ in a time when that word has become synonymous with politics may lead to some people being very confused about the content of the show. I stood in some dog shit in February 2016 if that’s considered momentous?

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

I’m going to be with David Callaghan and whoever he has chosen to join us, for he is the master of the flat. His choice is final. If I have to share my room with 8 people while he gets three rooms to himself, so be it. It’s in his hands. He’s a very funny man and cousin to my old drama teacher. I will help him survive by shouting ‘Look out!’ at him at random intervals to keep him on his toes. I’ll do it while watching his show as well. Keep him on his toes. Safety is all about toes, and keeping on them.

Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?

Joseph Morpurgo’s last show was amazing, so I’m looking forward to seeing his this year. Also, Tim Key’s work-in-progress show and Jonny Pelham.

(Update – the rain has stopped again)

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

Mother India. The food there is amazing. I’m also looking forward to going in a steam room in the mornings. I’m no expert, but there’s something about steam that is just brilliant. It’s better than regular water and ice as far as I’m concerned.

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

Gene Wilder – I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the West End not long after and they sang ‘Pure Imagination’ from the original.

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

I’ve just done a three part web series with the brilliant people at Turtle Canyon. It’s called ‘Hope You Come Up Here’. It’s an old VHS-style travel programme where I go around my home town with the (actual) mayor, Terence Smith. He was the youngest (and best) mayor in the UK and is currently running to be MP for Brigg and Goole. I’m writing this two days before the election, so I don’t know if he’s won [He didn’t, sadly – Ed].


Ian Smith: Snowflake
Underbelly, Med Quad
2-27 Aug, 5.15pm
£10-£12

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