One of the sharpest comedy minds in the country just wants to be recognised by the world as a man of genius.
At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?
I’m trying to use the blurb to keep me honest. In the early days of writing material, a tried and tested method is to keep repeating your core proposition – “I love first dates” or whatever. Blurbs are a bit like that. Every comedian needs some restrictions to bring out their best work, even if self imposed.
Have the momentous events of 2016 affected your comedy in any way?
If you mean Brexit and Trump, then yes. The death of George Michael less so. The political upheavals of the last 12 months or so do feel to me like something big in society re-asserting itself and I think it would be foolish to deny them. To just carry on doing material about cats and dogs and odd socks in launderettes when the Clash of Civilisations is grinding into gear is likely to get you crushed under the first wave of heavy armour.
Who are you sharing a flat with this festival and how will you help each other survive the month?
The first couple of weeks I have negotiated the use of a friend’s flat but the second two weeks are currently rather undecided. I’m rather hoping to move to the country. If the first two weeks ticket receipts are sufficient to allow me to be chauffeured in every day that will be ideal.
Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?
I hate anyone and everyone who has a show that is ready at his point. I can’t imagine actually wanting to witness anything well written and rehearsed being performed in the same city that I am trying to get my own act together in.
Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?
Increasingly I like escaping the noise and the argy bargy as much as possible and walking up Arthur’s Seat or ideally getting further and further out! Last year my favourite day was the day off when we went due West and took a boat trip around Jura and the inner Hebrides. Transcendentally beautiful. This is Edinburgh’s unique selling point, that such a world class city is so close to truly wild places.
What celebrity death hit you the hardest in 2016 (mine was Wogan)?
Wogan is a good call, yes His calm, bemused response to the endless babble of news would have been so reassuring in the weeks and months that followed. He got me through darker days – school runs mostly – than any rock star. Having said that, Bowie was hard but more because he had just released that extraordinary and in hindsight peerlessly executed curtain call before he left. I do think we all became perhaps ever so slightly hysterical about this importance to us growing up. I remember it being quite easy to laugh at him from about 1984 onwards. And I think this was healthier.
Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.
I have recently discovered the Simulation Hypothesis. There is great hour long film on You Tube of that name which it explains it better than I can. I urge you to watch it. It has been the most profoundly disturbing thing I have encountered since I read Sapiens. And I’m still not quite over that yet, either.
Simon Evans: Genius
Assembly George Sq
2-27 Aug, 8.20pm