Sooz Kempner talks about bringing SUPER SONIC 90’S KID to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Name: Sooz Kempner
Name of Edinburgh show: Super Sonic 90s Kid
Venue: Globe Bar, Niddy Street
Performance time: 1pm
Show length: 60 minutes
Ticket price: FREE!
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
In early-00s drama school wasn’t an option for the likes of me with no family money and I decided to do a degree in scriptwriting which is a very sensible career with guaranteed income etc. I put more effort in to the university musicals than I did in to my dissertation and after finishing my 3 years at uni (2:1, no messing) I pursued performing, working as a Christina Aguilera tribute act and a pianist in the North Sea until I saved up all my pennies and went to drama school in 2009. I took up comedy at the same time and now I get to do musicals and stand-up comedy for a living.
Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Super Sonic 90s Kid is my 6th solo hour and it’s about how I grew up in the 90s playing Sonic, watching 90s movies, listening to 90s music and whether my choices then, over 20 years ago, have made me who I am today and if I can change that.
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I did my first preview of this show in February and I’m finding that it’s relevant to anybody who was once a teen with big dreams who wondered what the hell happened. It’s been surprisingly universal.
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
PERFORMERS: Sleep. Eat well. Drink a lot of water. Drink very little alcohol. I never drink when I’m up at the fringe and make an effort to shovel down vegetables. And by vegetables I don’t mean chips. I try to limit my chip consumption to 1, maximum 2, punnets per day.
VISITORS: Understand that if you’re going up to support a friend who is doing a solo show they won’t necessarily be the best company. It’s real work for a month and they won’t always be able to be your tour guide up there. Make a list of shows you want to see before you go and definitely make an effort to see stuff you wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else. The comedians off the telly will be available to see anytime so go see someone you’ve never heard of. And if you see a free show, even if you weren’t particularly entertained, put something in the bucket at the end.
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
One of my 2016 shows went so appallingly badly that as I left the stage I was welling up. On that particular day the audience were just not in to the show from the second I started and it was a long, long hour. One of my drama school teachers had come along having never seen me do comedy and afterwards his face was saying that it was time for me to find a new career. I’ve never been able to get over it.
In 2015 a couple had a fight in my show. They were screaming at each other and I gave the man a hug to make him leave.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Bridget Christie because she did 10 years at the fringe, sometimes playing to just one person in the audience, with little recognition and then in 2013 brought a show that somehow was the perfect hour for that moment in time and BAM she won the main award at the fringe. She’s on Netflix now, check her out.
Speaking of Netflix, Hannah Gadsby’s show last year was one of the most phenomenal hours of anything I’ve ever seen. I’ve since watch the show on Netflix and though you’ll never capture the visceral feeling of the room when I saw it live it’s still incredible in the recording.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Cup o’ tea, quick siren, look in the mirror and panic I’ve never said anything funny in my life.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
I can’t wait to see what Adam Larter and Luke McQueen have come up with this year, they’re always a right treat. Also reliably brilliant are Eleanor Morton, Athena Kubgblenu and Eleanor Tiernan and I’m really looking forward to the debuts from Sindhu Vee and Stevie Martin. And my brother Luke Kempner if he can squeeze me in coz he always sells out so if you have any sense you’ll come to my show, fans!
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
It’s definitely the only show at the fringe that blends Sonic the Hedgehog with Les Miserables.