Mark Dean Quinn is one of the great unsung heroes of the alternative comedy scene, managing to be one of its most supportive players while creating subtle shows of real ingenuity and individuality.
Hello how are you today?
I’m good about two months ago I felt like I was falling apart at the seems. Like a cheap plastic sports bag full of emptiness and sadness. I had genuine concerns about my mental health. Today I feel like there is something in the bag. It may be a cheap pair of plimsolls or a sweaty towel but it is definitely something. I’m really looking forward to the Edinburgh Fringe today.
At this stage how closely does your blurb match the content of your show?
I mainly say in my blurb I’m proud of my show and I would like people to come and this is still very true.
The show has taken me three years to build. That is a large part of your life dedicated to an idea. I want people to see it and I am proud of it. I say people will get sweets and there are buckets in the show. Both of these things are true. I don’t really like not telling the truth.
Have the momentous events of 2016 affected your comedy in any way?
The momentous events on a global scale haven’t really effected my comedy. It highlights the need to laugh because things have been awful. People suffer around the world on a daily basis. Its an amazing privilege to have the freedom and opportunity to stand in front of a group of people and share a part of yourself. To entertain and for someone to invest in their time in you. I think laughter is important but I personally think it is also important to say something. Sometimes to inspire, other times to share so people know they are not alone. We are all shouting into the void, its just nice when we can hear some laughter in there so we know we are not alone.
Who are you sharing a flat with this festival and how will you help each other survive the month?
I’m sharing with excellent humans. It’s essential. Fill your life with as many good people as possible. That’s how you survive the month, that’s how you survive the year. There are so many good people in the comedy scene. People who will really look out for each other. We may be a bit of an insecure group of people but so many of us do this because we care.
If you want to see the shows of my flatmates I highly recommend them. They are extremely talented people and all very different types of comedians.
John Kearns: Don’t Worry They’re Here. 17:00 Heroes @ The Monkey Barrel
Pat Cahill: The Fisherman 14:50 Heroes @ The Monkey Barrel
Lloyd Griffith: in:Undated 19:00 Pleasance @ Pleasance Dome
Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?
Its a really exciting time for comedy. The Heroes line up is spectacular. Bob Slayer has put together one of the best line ups I have ever seen at the fringe. I would honestly recommend seeing every show. Unless it contains magic. I can never bring myself to recommend magic. I’m not saying you shouldn’t see the magic. I’m just saying I won’t recommend it. Also I recommend never going on a bouncy castle; the injury to pleasure ratio is inconsistent with a good life choice.
A short list of good life choices that I will be going to see, please mentally add my flatmates to this list as well
ACMS: The Alternative Comedy Memorial Society 23:50 @ The Monkey Barrel
(ridiculously talented people doing ridiculous things)
Marny Godden: One Tooth 15:45 Heroes @ The Hive
(one of the most joyful performers you will see)
Stephanie Laing: Mad About the Boy 17:00 Nightcap
(great human, better comedian)
Andy Barr: The Tropic of Admin 22:40 Heros @ Dragonfly
(hard to explain, its best you just go)
Ali Brice: The Never Ending Pencil 14:30 Heroes @ The Hive
(one of the best character comedians I know decides not to do character comedy)
Consignia: Panopticon 23.30 Laughing Horse @ The Mockingbird
(late night, a long way out of the center of town, and an incredibly inaccessible show, last year I watched then six times)
Shit Theatre: Dollywould 21.15 Summer Hall
(the funniest artists at the fringe)
Also if you have children I can highly recommend Comedy Club 4 Kids 17:40
I honestly cant recommend all the acts I want to see as there are so many.
Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?
Its hard to explain how much I look forward to the Edinburgh festival. I’m genuinely in love with it but this year I’m looking forward to trying out all the vegan food. Edinburgh was voted most vegan friendly food city.
What celebrity death hit you the hardest in 2016 (mine was Wogan)?
I forget which years things happen. John Peel hit me quite hard
Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it
I suppose this poem written two weeks before heading to Edinburgh sums up how I feel about the fringe
Edinburgh steps on empty streets
Fresh breathed air punctuated by the sound of distant gulls of sea
Surrounded by dreams not yet broken
Hopes still hopeful
I step on
Over tramlines through alleys
Fuck only McDonald’s is open
So I order a coffee and wait for my heart to wake
To breathe in joy and exhale sadness
My Show is called Mark Dean Quinn: My Heart on a Plate 22:00 Heroes @ The Hive
please follow me at @markdeanquinn if you would like
I hope you have an amazing fringe
Mark Dean Quinn: My Heart On A Plate
2-27 Aug, 10pm