Ian Smith talks about granting wishes in CRAFT at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I’ve been performing stand-up for about 8 years. This will be my fifth solo show. Last year, my show ‘Snowflake’ won an Amused Moose Comedy Award and a ThreeWeeks Editors’ Award and then I got to perform it at New Zealand Comedy Festival. I’ve also done some acting work – ‘Popatron’ on BBC2, ‘Officially Special’ on Sky and ‘The Ark’ – an actual, proper drama, on BBC1.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
My show is about indecision, but it’s also about origami and a few other seemingly unconnected elements. I don’t want to spoil the show, but there was an email exchange about the categories my show was listed under, and it’s resulted in some things happening – like having to perform some of my show outside.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I start thinking about a new show straight away, but probably don’t start working on it until the beginning of the year. I work more and more as the deadline gets closer! I think it will be relevant because the biggest hot potato of 2018 is surely the re-emergence of origami.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Bring a thin rain coat. I don’t know what they call them, windbreakers? It can rain at the drop of a hat, which is annoying because you’ll want a hat on to stop your head getting wet too. Don’t bring a thick rain coat though – it’s wet, but it stays warm. It’s a tropical environment.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I once, not at the Fringe, tried to blow out a candle on stage, but did it with such ferocity that all the wax went in my face and in amongst my beard and eyelashes. It is very difficult to get wax off your face and try and maintain control of a room, never mind any dignity.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
I love Johnny Vegas, his silliness and his fearlessness. He was the first comedian that totally blew me away.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I usually roll my sleeves up and then roll them down again and then roll my sleeves up again and then roll them down and then roll them up again. I do all of that about four times. Then I usually tell myself how silly it is that I’m rolling my sleeves up and down so much. As I’m doing this I’m usually going over the order of the show and telling myself off when I miss a bit out. What a relaxed man I am.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
There are so many shows, and lots that clash with mine! But, I always look forward to seeing The Pin and loved Mat Ewins’ show last year. I was talking to another comic who said he goes to see circus stuff, I might do something like that too. There is so much on at the Fringe, I’m going to try and see something a bit different this year.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the Fringe?
Because it will include all of the following things – me being outside the venue while performing, an origami demonstration, a wish being granted LIVE right in front of your eyes, some water, stand-up and an additional cast member. I have a lot to do!!

See Ian Smith: Craft at the Underbelly throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 1st – 26th August. For tickets visit www.edfringe.com

Buy tickets to West End theatre shows (some great discounted offers)
Subscribe to my mailing list for all the latest theatre news, special offers and competitions