Gareth Richards

Gareth Richards

EFGs: Gareth Richards, James Sherwood, Andrew Ryan

Published on July 24th, 2010 | Jonny Abrams

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The next subject of Rocksucker’s homespun, Edinburgh Fringe-flavoured Grilling is Gareth Richards, who returns to the festival this year with his new musical comedy-based show Stand Up Between Songs…

What have been your best and worst experiences of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?

My best experience was MCing a late night gig where there was an American family in the audience. American families in Edinburgh tend to be quite wealthy and weird and come across as aliens observing our culture as they don’t really get any of the jokes. It turned out the parents were both judges and the wife had recently tried a case where a mother and son had killed their husband and father, wrapped him in cling film and put him in the freezer. Doesn’t sound funny but made for excellent banter. Worst experience was nearly getting beaten up by two massive drunk Scottish men whilst performing a whimsical free show.

Which is your favourite Fringe venue? And why?

The Cabaret Bar at the Pleasance is pretty special. I performed there every night in the Comedy Zone and the back stage area is covered in posters of stars from the past and discouraging graffiti. Those things work together to have a similar effect on your morale.

What’s the best watering hole in Edinburgh? And the best place for a bite to eat?

I had a truly apocalyptic evening at The World’s End pub on High Street. It’s a bit touristy really but my first Edinburgh I really needed to blow off some steam, and whilst I don’t really drink very much, I drank more than I had ever done before. If I was to be completely honest about my favourite place to eat, it would be KFC on Nicholson street. There comes a time when you just need something that’s really bad for you. Suzie’s Wholefood Diner on West Nicholson Street is a good place to recover from that though.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen at the Festival?

The student theatre groups flyering on the Royal Mile are always something to see. It’s usually quite gory, with fake blood and all sorts of historical costumes, WWI, Elizabethan, 50’s, medieval, caveman – students in all those costumes. It looks like Skins through the ages.

What’s the best heckle you’ve ever heard?

I don’t memorise heckles. It’s best not to think about them. Usually when someone heckles it’s because they want to be part of the show, and that person doesn’t usually make much sense. If someone is being aggressive, then the show is already not going well. My favourite bit of audience interaction for a long time was between Frank Skinner and an audience member:

F: What are you interested in?

AM: Er…travel…food.

F: You should get an ice cream van.

If you could invent your own sport, what would it entail?

I don’t think enough sports involve hiding. I used to enjoy games with chasing and hiding in them like ‘Poddy’ (which is what we used to call it in Leicestershire) or 40/40. There should be more sports like that.

Are there any other acts you look forward to seeing during the Festival?

Sarah Millican, Andrew Lawrence, Henry Paker, Mike Wozniak, Greg Davies.

Who is the Lionel Messi of comedy (ie modern day great)? And who is the Pele of comedy (ie all time great)?

Lionel Messi: I work with Frank Skinner every week on his Absolute Radio show and he is incredibly funny all the time.

Pele: Tommy Cooper.

Can you tell us anything about your Edinburgh show and where/when we can see you?

My show is called Gareth Richards: Stand Up Between Songs. It’s going to be stand-up comedy between some comedy songs. The stand up is observational wordplay about all sorts of things, including wooden spoons, DVDs, trains and how when my wife got pregnant I started thinking about death a lot. I’ve just released an EP of the recorded versions of the songs I’ll do called These Songs Could be Used in Adverts, which is now available on iTunes.

Catch Gareth Richards performing Stand Up Between Songs at Pleasance Cellar at 18:00. For more information visit www.garethrichards.net

James Sherwood

Next up for Rocksucker’s Edinburgh Fringe grilling is James Sherwood, (reviewed by Chortle in the following terms: “If you ever wondered what would happen if Bill Bailey and Marcus Brigstocke had a child…” and described by callthatashow.com as “reminiscent of a young Stephen Fry”), who returns to the festival with his new show One Man and His Piano…

What have been your best and worst experiences of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?

Every time my room is full of audience, those are the best moments. Worst? Carrying my keyboard across the city (which has a hill or two) to get to a late-night gig that is then cancelled. It’s the missed sleep that really annoys.

Which is your favourite Fringe venue? And why?

I’m at the GRV, which is great. There’s a backstage hang-out area which is the kind of place I’d spent seven Fringe years looking for, and finally it exists.

What’s the best watering hole in Edinburgh? And the best place for a bite to eat?

My flat. The Fringe is so madly busy, any touch of domesticity is like the kiss of life. A bottle of wine and a roast chicken with me and my flatmates makes you feel human again.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen at the Festival?

A pavement artist who had the traditional range of celebrity examples of his work. Though next to Julia Roberts and George Clooney, I’m pretty certain he also had Enoch Powell.

What’s the best heckle you’ve ever heard?

An audience member once asked me, “What’s a split infinitive?”

If you could invent your own sport, what would it entail?

There’s a game in Edinburgh this year of triangular football – three teams, triangular pitch. I don’t know how many balls there will be. (If it were up to me, there would be two.) That is surely worth a try.

Are there any other acts you look forward to seeing during the Festival?

Everything on the Five Pound Fringe. The Five Pound Fringe is the future of the Fringe. Once performers and venues realise that you can sell tickets for a fiver, and it works, then more people will come to the Fringe, people who come will go to more shows, and maybe, just maybe, we might persuade some people who actually live in Edinburgh that the whole thing isn’t a ghastly swindle.

Who is the Lionel Messi of comedy (ie modern day great)? And who is the Pele of comedy (ie all time great)?

Daniel Kitson and Eric Morecambe. And they do similar things with their glasses.

Can you tell us anything about your Edinburgh show and where/when we can see you?

Oh, if I have to. My show is James Sherwood – One Man and his Piano at the GRV every day at 7pm. It will involve me demonstrating that my piano is an incredibly entertaining thing. I will be doing this for one reason and one reason only – I’m trying to sell it. So if you live in Edinburgh and would like a piano, come see the show, and you might well get a bargain. And if you come to the show and buy the piano, we will refund your ticket to the show (which is only a fiver, by the way).

For more information, please visit www.sherwoodcomedy.com

Andrew Ryan

The next comedian to be subjected to our Edinburgh Fringe grilling is Andrew Ryan (2009 Hilarity Bites New Act of the Year and brilliantly, if ambiguously, reviewed by CityLife as “funnier than Ardal O’Hanlon”), who comes to the festival for the first time to perform, in tandem with partner-in-mirth Joe Lycett, the aptly-named show An Hour of Humour…

What have been your best and worst experiences of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?

It’s my first time in Edinburgh. So far it’s been great!

Which is your favourite Fringe venue? And why?

The White Horse. That’s the venue I’m in this year and it’s amazing. So nice and clean and fresh. Come have a look at around 5.15pm every day!

What’s the best watering hole in Edinburgh? And the best place for a bite to eat?

The Library bar and restaurant, I hear.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen at the Festival?

Nothing as yet though I’m sure I’ll be able to report a lot of strange goings on after a month of sleep deprivation.

What’s the best heckle you’ve ever heard?

A woman in Leeds said once, “Hey love, you look like a duck.” I was talking about cheese at the time.

If you could invent your own sport, what would it entail?

It would be a cross between football and hurling with loads of extra breaks and timeouts to catch your breath. No contact (I’m a wimp) and it would be called hurlball! You can handle the ball and kick it like a football – basically do whatever you need to do to put it in the net.

Are there any other acts you look forward to seeing during the Festival?

Ardal O’Hanlon, Jason Cook , Gary Delaney, Sarah Millican, Chris Ramsey and many more!

Who is the Lionel Messi of comedy (ie modern day great)? And who is the Pele of comedy (ie all time great)?

I think Tommy Tiernan & Dave Allen are my two greats.

Can you tell us anything about your Edinburgh show and where/when we can see you?

An Hour of Humour – 5.15pm at The White Horse. 7th August to 28th August. It’s a double header with Joe Lycett and we do 30 minutes each. Come and watch the funnies! It’s part of the Free Fringe as well so you can’t lose.

For more information, please visit www.andrewryancomedy.com

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.