Rarely Asked Questions

Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Spencer Jones aka The Herbert

Spencer Jones Presents The Herbert In Proper Job was one the shows that I saw in Edinburgh this year that restored my faith in the power of comedy. Every night Jones would perform in front of an audience who probably had little idea who he was and by the end of the hour he had them all in the palm of his hand. And quite a few of them dancing onstage. It’s a weird act but also an accessible one, falling somewhere between the old school prop comedy of Tommy Cooper and the new school of clowning as embodied by Dr Brown.

Rarely Asked Questions: Dina Martina

When I saw Dina Martina at the Soho Theatre in 2008 I was expecting a fairly generic drag/cabaret act. That’ll teach me to judge a book by it’s garishly bewigged cover. Martina straddles all sorts of genres and styles, from performance art to multi-media to outrageous costumes and back again.

Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Doug Stanhope

The first time I encountered Doug Stanhope he was in bed in his Edinburgh Fringe flat. I think he may have been tattooing himself at the time. The second time I encountered Stanhope he was doing a gig at the Tron pub and there was nearly a fight onstage between a disgruntled punter and Scott Capurro. Stanhope doesn't even need to be performing to produce an electrifying atmosphere.

Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Joe Lycett

It’s really only a matter of time before Joe Lycett becomes a household name. The Birmingham-born comic has been building up a right old head of steam over the last few years. He has become a TV regular doing the usual stand-up showcases as well as the panel game circuit and has got that common touch – in a good way – that means that he can be a bit mean and people still warm to him. His storytelling material ranges from the observational to the campaigning.

Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Will Durst

At last a voice of reason amid the babble of insanity. Will Durst picked up an Edinburgh Comedy Award way back in 1989. He is the epitome of the sharp, eloquent jokesmith who sets out to get laughs but also say something relevant. Durst has performed in front of US Presidents and was a correspondent for the Comedy Channel during the 1992 elections. In 2012 his show Elect to Laugh ran for 41 weeks at San Francisco's Marsh Theatre.

Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Pierre Novellie

Pierre Novellie is undoubtedly the finest stand-up comedian with a degree in Anglo-Saxon Norse and Celtic history to come out of South Africa via the Isle of Man. Scrub that. Forget the sub-clauses. He's just pretty bloody good. He might look like he ought to be an international rugby player and he might have a name that makes him sound as if he should be a poncy chef but he is actually a natural comedian. Confident and assured onstage with a natural gift for storytelling. It’s all a ruse of course.

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