Lynsey Nellis is heading up to Edinburgh this year with her one woman comedy show Talking To You Is Cheaper Than Therapy and we got the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her show, her favourite comedy and whats so good about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Actually, I’m not too bad, which is surprising considering how close it is to Edinburgh!
So your heading up to Edinburgh this summer is this your first visit to the festival?
It’s my first time on my own! I was there last year with a theatre group and we had a few creative differences (Once or twice rather loudly backstage while the show was on!) so I knew then that I didn’t want to go with a group again. It’s my sixth visit though, I’ve been every year for at least a weekend – it’s very addictive!
Why is the fringe such an exciting place to be as a comedian?
I think it’s a few things. Mainly, there’s the golden opportunity that you may be ‘spotted’ – but I feel that comedians/groups should never go up there expecting to come back famous. If you do that, you’ll end up being disappointed and probably not enjoy the experience enough. And there’s the thing that you have such a wide variety of acts there, so there’s literally anything for any taste. Also, it’s the fact that something like 10,000 like-minded people take over a city for a month! You can strike up conversations and friendships almost anywhere, and I’d argue that the atmosphere in Edinburgh throughout August is the best atmosphere in the world, ever! Like I said, it’s addictive!
How did you start in comedy?
Bizarrely, it was at the Edinburgh festival last year! A friend of ours mentioned that a comedian couldn’t do a night and they needed someone to fill in. They’d got a few acts and needed someone else and, as I’d had about 4 whiskeys by then, I said ‘I’ll do it!’ and got up and did 5 mins off the top of my head. The compere for the evening didn’t believe that this was my first ever time, he thought I’d been doing it for years! When I got back, I thought I’d try my hand at a few gigs close to home and it sort of snowballed from there, and 50 shows later, I’m back up here with my own show, a little bit more experienced, but a little bit less drunk!!
Do you still have nerves before a show and how does it feel to be stood there in front of people who expect laughs?
It’s weird, I’ve never actually had nerves before, not the hand shaking, cold sweats and panicking and forgetting the set - rather than being nervous, I worry that I’ll be a dissapointment to the people who’ve ‘invested’ their time in me. As for being stood in front of an expectant audience, there’s tension there for me until I get that first big laugh (and there’s been times that I haven’t got it at all!!) and then I can start to relax into it a bit more. But for me, there’s no better feeling than coming off stage when every jokes hit and you made however many people laugh all together!
What’s the best line you’ve used to quash a heckler?
I’ve only ever had one heckler – luckily – and when he shouted out, I completely panicked and ended up just giving him ‘a look’! That made the audience laugh and he even shouted out ‘Sorry!’. I’m still completely petrified for when I get my first proper heckle, I’ll either end up swearing at them or running off stage in floods of tears!!
Who’s your favourite Comedian?
There’s millions! At the minute, it’s a toss up between Russell Howard and Russell Kane, the way they launch themselves completely into the performance drags me in! I also adore Tim Minchin and Pete Firman, the fact that they’ve took what they’re good at (music and magic) and then turned it into an entire comedy routine that is hilarious, but also technically breathtaking has me in awe!
What can people expect from your show?
Well, my show is all about my dad, so there may be a bit of empathy from the crowd (I say crowd – the 10 people spread about over a 60 seater venue more like!!) and there is also a few cringeworthy moments that I really hope that no one else has ever had to endure. Oh, and squirrels!
If you could perform on any stage where would it be?
I was in Edinburgh a few years ago when Ricky Gervais performed at Edinburgh Castle, I imagine that would be utterly amazing to play that. There, and London. I know that’s not *technically* a stage, but I’m a northern lass and any trip into the big city woud be a magical adventure to me. As long as I didn’t get mugged. Then, not so magical.
Who else will you be seeing in Edinburgh?
I’ll be seeing Pete Firman again, this’ll be the fourth year running – it helps that he’s from the same town as me so it’s like I’m showing Smoggy solidarity (even though he plays to a full house every night!). I’ll also be seeing Daniel Sloss, and seething that he’s so amazing and he’s 9 years younger than me! And I’ll be taking full advantage of the Free Fringe and cramming in as many grass roots shows as I can get to see!
Lynsey’s show is free to enjoy and is taking place from Monday 8th to Thursday 11th at 12.30 in the afternoon at Room With A View at The Three Sisters for an hour. We would like to say a big thank you to her and wish her all the very best at this years Fringe.