Joz Norris (left) discusses his new role in the play Timmy.
Hello. How are you today?
I’m good thanks. Was supposed to read a story and do some magic to a bunch of babies today but it was too hot so no babies came, just one little boy, so we put the Wii on and played Mario Kart. Wiped the floor with him. I found it quite moving because I’ve been playing a lot of Mario Kart recently and if I slip any further behind than 4th I fly into a rage, and this kid was trailing at 12th throughout and he was having the time of his life. I don’t know at what point we lose the ability to just enjoy what we do rather than always striving to be the best at it. He was absolutely awful at Mario Kart, this kid.
At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?
Well, here’s the funny thing. I’m not doing a show this year. I know, weird! I was all set to not do Edinburgh full stop and change things up a bit, but then it got to April and I’d forgotten to arrange any alternative things to do with my time, like a holiday or anything, and then my friend Roxy Dunn got in touch and said she’d written a play (Timmy) I’d be really good in and would I like to do it and I thought “I guess I could spend my year of not doing the Fringe just doing the Fringe, that might be fun,” so now I’m in a play. I’m therefore not responsible for the programme blurb, but it’s pretty accurate as it briefly describes the plot of the play then lists Roxy’s credits. It doesn’t list mine as I was cast after the deadline, but rest assured that my credits are present and correct.
Who are you sharing a flat with and how will you help each other survive the month?
Again, because my decision to be in Edinburgh full-stop was pretty last-minute, I’m a bit vague on this. I know I’m sharing a flat with Ali Brice, Matthew Highton, Andy Barr, Siiri Raja-Aho and Tim Renkow, but I’ve just seen that Pat Cahill is in the thread too and I thought he was only in Edinburgh for about a week, so I don’t know what’s going on there. I guess we’ll help each other out by first figuring out who is actually in the flat, and then just being kind to each other.
Any shows you’re excited about seeing?
All my usual favourites, really – Eleanor Morton, Adam Larter, all the shows of the idiots I’ll be living with, Lucy Pearman, Sam and Tom, Harriet Kemsley, Marny Godden, Helen Duff, John-Luke Roberts, Mat Ewins, Will Seaward, Beth Vyse. All of those are people I habitually recommend every year, so some special shout-outs to some of my favourite newer acts, or people making long-overdue Fringe debuts, or very exciting Fringe returns after long hiatuses, and that would be Heidi Regan, David McIver, Hannah & Charlie, Sean Morley and Will Andrews. Really especially excited about those. My good friend Mr Fruit Salad is doing a show too.
Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?
The Botanics, as usual. Seeing Gregor and Jamie at the Hive. Tony’s pie and peas and mash. I’m especially looking forward to getting to be up there with all my friends and enjoy all the creativity of the place, but without the pressure of doing my own solo show every day. I think my ego will weigh on me slightly less heavily this year, and that might well actually transform the entire experience.
The Fringe’s tagline this year is ‘Into The Unknown’. What do people not know about you?
Nobody knows what it feels like to be me, but that’s ok because I don’t know what it’s like to be anybody else either. The solution is to not worry too much about knowing and not knowing stuff.
I’m bored of all the podcasts I currently subscribe to. Can you recommend me a good one please?
Eleanor Morton and Will Seaward’s excellent Mythsteries podcast.
Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.
I had a tough year this year and I’m finding my way out of it now but I’ve had to figure a lot of stuff out about myself. The thing that helped me more than anything else was something a friend said to me, and I thought I’d repeat it here in case it strikes a chord with anybody who ever finds themselves in any sort of trouble where they need their friends around them. My friend said to me “Nobody’s fine. We’re all alone but we’re all there for one another” and I thought that was great. So keep smiling and keep looking out for the people you care about.
Assembly George Sq Studios
Aug 1-27, 4.15pm