Edinburgh Fringe comedy champion
‘YOU know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.’
That neat little one-liner was enough to land Canadian comic Stewart Francis the honour of ‘funniest joke at the Edinburgh Fringe’ this year, and some handy media attention ahead of his current tour, which has brought him to the Gaiety Theatre for tonight’s (Thursday) show.
‘It was a nice positive 48 hours,’ reflected Francis. ‘I was doing interviews back in Canada on the evening news, and I didn’t kill anyone or get locked in a mine. It was nice to be back on Canadian television, and for a good reason.’
The Outstanding in his Field tour schedule looks a punishing one that will see him on the road until December, and included filming his Hammersmith Apollo show a few weeks ago for a DVD release.
‘It’s all good, you want to strike while the iron is hot, while you’re on a roll, while the show is in your brain,’ he explained. ‘I did 46 dates in the spring and it was over before you knew it. And now that the pressure gig, the DVD shoot, is over, it’s going to be far more relaxed.’
Now totally based in the British Isles, he says he is looking forward to appearing in the authentically Victorian theatre.
‘It will be my first time in the Isle of Man. I go where they tell me! I’m excited, I love to go to new bits. I’m from Canada, we don’t have nearly the number of beautiful theatres, so it’s a real privilege to perform in them, the stories that they must have.
‘I have noticed that the Isle of Man is popping up on comedians’ radars, so whoever is booking them is doing a good job to get the acts, so well done.’
Does he notice much of a cultural difference between regional audiences, and how his deadpan one-liner format is received?
‘No, not really, everyone is the same as far as I’m concerned. The differences might be there, but I haven’t picked up on them. It’s all good, that’s why I’m living over here, because the audiences are the best in the world, especially for my style of comedy, they seem to embrace that. It’s very much a dry British sense of humour, it seems to translate better over here than it does anywhere else. I do smile though, I’m not morose, that would be too intense I think.’
His approach of punchline after punchline must be more difficult to prepare for than the story-telling comedy style?
‘Memorising is the challenging aspect. I don’t have any anxiety stepping out in front of a group of people, the anxiety is in trying to remember all my stuff,’ he admitted.
‘I memorise everything in chunks, but the beauty of one liners is if I forget one I can just throw it in later on, it doesn’t need to make sense!’
Tickets for tonight’s show, which starts at 7.30pm, are £17.50. Call 600555, pop into the Welcome Centre or visit www.villagaiety.com
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Weather for Isle of Man
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 10 C
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