Manchester comedian Chris Turner has a show full of tricksy wordplay, niche references, and jaw-dropping freestyle raps.
Hello. How are you today?
I’m well, thank you. My cat scratched me last night when I was trying to wash shit out of his fur, and that still stings a bit. This morning I had the final suit fitting for my wedding, and it made me look remarkably suave, which is heartening. The tailor gave me a coffee, but he didn’t have milk. Some things are good, and some things are bad. I’m well.
At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?
I kept it very vague — a pun (Los Angeles hasn’t changed Chris – he’s a Manchester lad, born and gluten-free bread), a promise of hilarious jokes, and some quotes and stars. I’ve just rewritten it for the back of my flyers, and now it is 100% accurate:
The world is getting better. The world is getting worse. 2018 has been Chris’ best year ever and he’d like to tell you about it, in this show he wrote on a banana with a ballpoint pen.
Who are you sharing a flat with and how will you help each other survive the month?
The lovely lads from Racing Minds, the excellent comedians behind the smash hit, sell-out show Aaaand Now For Something Completely Improvised (ok, I’m also in the show). It’s our ninth year in Edinburgh, so we’re used to making it through the month without killing each other — our secret is making sure that Douglas (the handsome, Scottish one) stays with his parents. As well as those sweet chaps, I’ll have my wife there too — we met in Edinburgh, I proposed there last year — having her there makes things substantially easier. She’s performing in The Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes — do go and see the show, it’s wonderfully funny (and I’d say that if she wasn’t my wife…because I’d be trying to show her that I’m supportive and generous so that she’d eventually become my wife).
Any shows you’re excited about seeing?
The aforementioned Douglas Walker’s Of Christmas Past sounds like an unseasonal hoot; Matt Rees is doing his debut hour, so that’s a must-see; and then Natalie Palamides’ Nate; Kiri Pritchard-McLean’s Victim, Complex; and Tim Key’s Megadate. I only ever get to see a few shows a year so I have to pick carefully. Don’t let me down, guys.
Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?
It’s one of the few places where I get to play to ‘my audience’ — people who’ve come to see, cheer, clap, and laugh at me, then the other 50% of the room, who they’ve brought along with them, and could go either way. That’s always the best part of any trip. A close second is our flat’s proximity to Ting Thai Caravan, the best restaurant in all of Edinburgh, and third is getting to hang with The Oxford Imps, my old improv group. I’ve missed them in LA (although not their incessant zip-zap-zop sessions and puzzled looks when I make an in-joke from when I was a member back in 2009.
The Fringe’s tagline this year is ‘Into The Unknown’. What do people not know about you?
My favourite music is disgustingly heavy Sludge and Doom (yep, those are the genres), my favourite webcomic is/was The Perry Bible Fellowship, and I was going to be a defence barrister once I graduated university, but gave up that dream for comedy.
Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.
Not enough people have written on a banana with a ballpoint pen. I thought it was a universal reference point, the feeling of effortlessly gliding along, of two things pairing together so perfectly — turns out, hardly anyone has done it, and everyone thinks I’m deluded. Give it a go, thank me later.
Chris Turner: We’re Where We Were
1-26 Aug, 9.45pm