ED2010 BEST BITS: A man of many faces, and fluttering familiarity, Kevin Eldon expands his sights this year by debuting his first ever solo show in Edinburgh. ThreeWeeks’ Nick Pearce caught up with the man of mystery to see how his ‘Titting About’ has been going…
NP: So how does it feel being back in Edinburgh?
KE: It’s lovely to be back. I’m always oddly surprised to be reminded what a beautiful city it is. I get here and think, “Oh yes, I remember: nice friendly folk, lovely buildings, and eighty shilling beer. Hurrah!”
NP: I’ve yet to read a negative review for ‘Titting About’. How have you found it so far?
KE: People have been very kind. I didn’t know what to expect really, and I was a bit anxious. But the audiences have been absolutely lovely. I’m relieved. And grateful.
NP: Is this show character based, or are you exposing yourself… figuratively speaking?
KE: A bit of both really. There’s a bit of stand-up chit chat, and some character comedy. I was going to call the show ‘Silly Con Carne’, but my friend Liza, who is a fairly impatient driver, is often heard saying “oh come on man, stop TITTING ABOUT”, so I nicked it off her.
NP: Many have speculated about the frequency of cameos and ancillary characters in your career. Why start a solo show here and now?
KE: Well I haven’t really ever stopped doing stand up. I just don’t do a lot of it. I said to myself at the beginning of this year, “Do something a bit different”. I couldn’t be arsed to climb down a volcano crater, so I got a one man show together instead.
NP: Most people will recognise you from something, even if they can’t pinpoint from what. Do you ever toy with their hazy memories?
KE: If people ask me where they’ve seen me, I often answer back in Latin.
NP: You’ve said in the past that you disapprove of career comics. How does that translate to the Fringe, where everyone is vying for attention?
KE: Gosh, that makes me sound frightfully haughty, doesn’t it? Maybe I was going on about people who get into comedy for advancement rather than enjoyment. I’m sure there are a few comedians that are here to make their dreams of fame come true. But there are many more comedians that are here because they love it, and because there are lots of people who appreciate it. You can see a lot of them at ‘The Stand!’
NP: Stewart Lee is also performing at The Stand. Are you collaborating with him again?
KE: We’ve been going to see a couple of shows together, but that’s about it. I’ve got an episode of a Radio 4 sitcom to write while I’m here. And quite frankly, having the discipline to sit down and write instead of going to see some Russian clowns is proving bloody impossible. Damn those Russian clowns.
NP: Doesn’t a solo show risk the entering the spotlight you’ve previously avoided?
KE: One of the reasons why I’ve never done a solo show is just fear. I had to challenge that. I was being rather weedy. So I made myself do it, and I’m glad I have. It’s a real bonus, people seem to like it. I’ve always wondered if I’m an actor or a comedian, but both labels are just terribly unimportant. I’ve decided to describe myself as mixed race.
NP: Are there any other shows that you’re particularly eager to see in Edinburgh?
KE: Russian clowns! Simon Munnery, and Jeremy Lion Goes Green: both are hilarious.
Kevin Eldon’s show ‘Titting About’ was performed at The Stand during Fringe 2010.