Comedy blog

Kwame Asante: Edinburgh Fringe 2018 interview

kwame asante

Hello. How are you today?

Hello! I’m doing well thank you! I’ve settled into my Edinburgh flat for the month, and think I’m finally moving into that sweet spot where I’m comfortable enough with my show to start venturing out and seeing others. The city is swelling up a bit more now as well, so it’s beginning to feel like the festival is in full force!

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

I think my show has matched the blurb from the early stages of writing, but the first days of the Fringe have been a crash-course of tone and balance. My show this year is about my experiences with weight issues; I was overweight in my late childhood and obese in my early teens. This was closely linked to my family dynamic at home in the UK, and also influenced my experiences as a first generation British African, particularly because I was still in regular contact with my relatives in rural Ghana. I also talk about my involvement in other people’s weight issues, within my role as an NHS junior doctor.

With ‘Teenage Heartblob’, I’ve challenged myself to write a more serious show than my debut show ‘Open Arms’, while trying to keep it just as engaging and entertaining. In earlier performances of the show I struggled with that balance. But one of my favourite aspects of the Fringe is having so much comedy expertise in one place, and after so many useful notes and discussions, I think I’m finally beginning to deliver the type of show I envisaged at the beginning of the journey.

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

This year I’m sharing an Edinburgh house with James Loveridge and Darren Walsh. James has an engaging story-telling style of comedy, whereas Darren is all about sharp gags with an oddball streak. I try to pitch my stand-up somewhere between the two, so it’s been a useful environment to live in. There are also plenty of perks; James is a regular host of the infamous late night show Spank, so I can always count on him to be up for a party! Darren is notoriously tall, which has already proved very useful for defective light bulbs and dubious fire alarms around our house. And of course, with me as the in-house doctor, I’ll always be called upon to pick up the pieces…

Any shows you’re excited about seeing?

I have tickets to see Natalie Palamides, Pierre Novellie and Tamar Broadbent. I’ve long admired all of their work, and I’m excited to see what they’re bringing to the table this year. Although sadly, I was one of the many fools that didn’t book tickets for Lauren Pattison early enough, and so am on the sharp lookout for dropouts and extra dates!

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

I was REALLY looking forward to the Copper Dog whiskey slush puppies that they had at the Udderbelly last year, and although I do have distinctly hazy memories of being the only person that drank them, my bank balance post-Fringe would have led me to believe my sole patronage may have indeed been enough to earn them a callback this year. Sadly it was not to be, and I’ve have now resorted to making my own at home (read ‘a mess in my kitchen’).

The Fringe’s tagline this year is ‘Into The Unknown’. What do people not know about you?

I used to be an active member of the Boy Scouts, from Beavers all the way up to Scouts and Explorers. My troop, 5th Beckenham South, was incredibly well run, and not only did the weekly meetings teach us lots of essential hands-on skills, but our summer camps would take us as far afield as the Alps in Switzerland! I’ve even completed a glacier crevice rescue course, although the furthest I’ve put those skills into practice since fishing for change from down the side of my bed, to fund my Edinburgh show…

I’m bored of all the podcasts I currently subscribe to. Can you recommend me a good one please?

I was a big fan of ‘The Andy Field Experience’ on BBC Radio 1. I spend a fair bit of time with him offstage and am a big fan of his sense of humour. I’m really pleased that he’s been able to capture it in such an accessible and quickfire. Andy will be the first to admit that his jokes aren’t for everyone (and I’ll be a close second!), but if you are tuned into his wavelength, then you are in for a treat!

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

I do a lot more shouting in this year’s show than last year, and am quickly finding that my voice was not built for it… So this is a public plea for voice-saving and voice-protecting remedies- the more homely, the better! All suggestions to @kwamedy on Twitter please!

Kwame Asante: Teenage Heartblob
Pleasance Courtyard
1-26 Aug, 9.45pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s