The Best Of The Edinburgh Fest are back for Adelaide Fringe.
Some of the freshest comedians hot from Edinburgh are hitting our shores to give us all they've got and prove that they're worthy of being part of a show which deems them the 'best'!
All hailing from the UK are Ian Smith, Maisie Adam and Markus Birdman, who are part of this year's showcase which is a sell-out year after year during the festival.
Here, they each answer questions about comedy and what they'll be bringing with them.
How does it feel to be in a show that deems you as the 'best'? Maisie: Bloody honoured! Edinburgh Fest has so many brilliant acts so to be coming all the way over to Australia in a collective that’s dubbed the 'best of' is a huge honour. I’m so excited! Ian: It's either a lot of pressure or a really good get out if I get any heckles – I can just point at the show title and shout, "technically you're wrong" at them, until they're either quiet or leave. It's really nice to be chosen to be on the show though, especially alongside two other really great acts. Markus: Completely correct and as it should be!
What will you be bringing to Adelaide Fringe? Maisie: Hopefully some non-stop LOLs, but failing that, probably sun cream, a selection of outfits that are completely weather-dependant, and some exercise/work-out equipment that will get used once and then chucked back in the suitcase. Ian: I'm going to be bringing my very pale skin that hasn't been subjected to sun on a long-term scale before. I'm more than happy for people to come and visit me throughout the Fringe and document how red my body becomes as the month goes on. I thought about bringing my PS4, but I decided it'd be nicer to actually leave my room sometimes. Markus: A suitcase of solid gold jokes, an appetite for red wine, and a pair of swimming trunks for the seaside, so tight, they will frighten the coastguard.
What do you love about comedy? Maisie: How much variety there is! I was always a comedy fan growing up, but mainly just watched stand-up and sitcoms, but since it’s become my job I’ve loved discovering all these other quirky sub-genres! That’s why festivals like this are great; you can see stand-up, sketch, character acts, clowns, cabaret – it’s brilliant! Ian: I really love the times it feels 'in the moment', where you lose track of the time and where you are because something happened in the room that led to ten minutes of nonsense. It's also great when every person except one is really enjoying the gig – because then not only do you have a nice gig, you get to see one person absolutely baffled as to why anyone is enjoying themselves. Markus: The unparalleled joy I can bring to my people, the booze, and the ability to sleep in.
What's the biggest misconception about comedy? Maisie: I always get told I’m “so brave” for doing comedy. But I – and a lot of my other stand-up mates – do it because we enjoy it. I can’t speak for all comics, but personally, I love doing stand-up because I get to say things that make people laugh – sometimes to really big audiences, rather than just my mates at the pub, which is probably what it’d be otherwise! Ian: That we all wear extremely long shoes and will squeeze water into your face whenever we present you with flowers. Markus: That it's okay to use a guitar.
What is the biggest difference between UK and Australian audiences? Maisie: I am yet to find out! But I’ll let you know when I do! That’s what I’m most looking forward to, finding out all the differences between the audiences. Ian: I haven't been to Australia before – so my only observation so far is that Australian audiences are much further away from me. Markus: I'd have to say, the place that they were born.
How will you make sure your set is the BEST of the 'Best Of The Edinburgh Fest' shows? Maisie: By taking each show as if it’s the first. One thing I notice at Fringe festivals – especially towards the end – is you can tell the performer has performed the same thing 20 times and this is just another day in the office. I don’t want any of that. Each show should be fresh, energetic, and with the performer being fully present and “in the room”; have that feeling that anything could happen/change/switch at any moment! Ian: I don't know if the venue will allow it, but I'm going to set fireworks off after every single one of my punchlines. Markus: I've hired a circus elephant, taught it to play 'Waltzing Matilda' on her trunk, and each night I intend to sabotage my fellow acts, with a voluminous stage invasion.
Who, in your opinion, is the best comedian, full stop? Maisie: Wow. Big question! The best comedian right now, I’d say is Rose Matafeo. The best comedian of all time – for me, it would be between Robin Williams and Wanda Sykes. Ian: This is too hard – I think I know my three favourite comedians to varying degrees, so I don't want to say and then for them to see it. That'd be embarrassing. So if I were pushed, I'd just make one up. . . Jimmy Punchlines. Markus: God. Take a look around.
Why should audiences see your set? Maisie: Because you’ll have never seen me before (this is my first time in Adelaide!) and that’s what comedy and Fringe festivals are all about – seeing something/someone you’ve not seen before and then blowing your socks off* *is 'blowing your socks off' just a British phrase? If so, I promise it’s not a rude euphemism! I just think you’ll really enjoy my comedy. . . Wink wink. Ian: Because I come from a town in England that has seen three different girls get trapped inside basketball hoops within the last three months. One a month! No relation to each other. All cut out by the fire brigade. So, there'll be lots of stories like that. I seem to get myself into weird situations and I think you'd enjoy hearing about them. Markus: Because I'm really really really really good at it. For example, last week an old Irish lady laughed so hard she actually stripped naked and did an impromptu Native American Rain Dance. I've still no idea where she produced the snake from. That's nuns for you. So, who'd want to miss that?
Best Of The Edinburgh Fest plays Umbrella Revolution at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights 14 February-15 March, and Studio 7 at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 14 February-15 March.