Dan Nightingale: Well conceived notions?
By Chris Cooke | Published on Wednesday 15 August 2012
We were impressed with the concept: take nearly-twelve ill conceived ideas and turn them into one winning show. Then our reviewer was impressed with results. A Q&A had to follow.
CC: I think we can guess the premise of the show, but tell us the basics, and how the idea came about.
DN: It’s obviously a show of all the ideas I had for shows. The Fringe Programme deadline was upon me and I didn’t like any of the ideas I’d had enough to do them for an hour, so I thought it might be funny to do them all. And I have. It’s an insight into the creative comedic process of an indecisive stand-up. It’s ended up being a really fun show to put together and perform. There’s lot’s of variety in what I’m talking about and it’s interesting to see people’s reactions to each section of the show. I’ve done a fake poster for each one and good God do I look ridiculous in some of them.
CC: Eleven and half ideas for Fringe shows – ill conceived they may be, but were you not tempted to hold onto these for eleven and half years of Festivals?
DN: No, the next eleven and a half years of shows need to be much better conceived than this lot.
CC: Or perhaps you could have sold them on to eleven and half other comedians desperately trying fill out their Fringe Programme forms?
DN: That could be a good way to make some money earlier in the year. Sell on the duffers and keep the gems.
CC: What persuaded you back to Edinburgh this year?
DN: I love the Festival and this is my fourth full month of being here. Last time I was here properly, in 2008, I did my first full hour. It went pretty well, but I knew I needed a little longer out of the Fringe spotlight to develop my comedy. Last year I was at home during the Festival and I actually missed being here and knew I’d be much more able to do a show to the standard I wanted.
CC: How does doing the Fringe compare to performing as a stand-up the rest of the year?
DN: It can be really tough, when you’re playing to small crowds and then, later that night, there’s a midnight show and you’re not on until 2am, and the stress builds. You have to be made of fairly sturdy stuff to do the full run. On the flip side of the coin, if you get a friendly knowledgeable Festival audience you can have so much fun as a performer. The circuit can also be lovely, but often they want a certain simple type of stand-up and aren’t willing to be challenged with more complicated ideas. Stag dos from Croydon don’t tend to be huge fans of whimsy.
CC: Have you seen any good shows at this year’s Fringe yet? How about ‘The Eleven And Half Stolen Shows Of Dan Nightingale’ for Fringe 2013?
DN: That’s a fucking great shout. Good thinking. Although I’ve not got round to seeing many shows yet. I’ll be going to see: Chris Stokes, Matt Forde, Danny Buckler, Carl Donnelly, Luisa Omelian, Danny Mcloughlin, Harriet Dyer and Paul McCaffrey. I’ve also heard David Trent’s is a great show to see. So they’d better all be prepared for me to steal their concepts.
CC: What are the best and worst bits about doing Edinburgh?
DN: Best bit, being in Edinburgh for a month. What an amazing place to live, even if it’s just for a month. Worst – the constant temptation of late night boozing. I’ve done well with that so far.
CC: Have you caught up with Auntie Christine yet? (Yeah, it’s possible we read your quick quiz with The Skinny)
DN: She’s coming on the last night. Good grief that’ll be interesting, because she joins in!
‘The 11 And A ½ Ill-conceived Edinburgh Shows Of Dan Nightingale’ was performed at Pleasance Dome at Fringe 2012.
Photo: Stuart Armitt