Jeremy Stockwell talks about bringing Spike Milligan’s A SOCKFUL OF CUSTARD to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I am an actor and theatre director. I make devised improvisational shows that, hopefully, touch the cosmic in the comic and the humour human condition.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
This show I made with old mate Chris Larner celebrates the late great British clown Spike Milligan, and the mighty maverick in all of us. It’s about two blokes making a show about making a show about their comic hero (yes, that part of the last sentence is deliberately repeated). It’s very honest. It’s got a lot of me and Chris in it.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
We thought about making a show about Spike ten years ago, but life got in the way, and we did other things. Last June Chris was asked to make a show for the RADA Festival and he suggested we have another go at the Milligan. It’s a very different show to the one we imagined ten years ago. But then we’re different men now too. It’s especially relevant to show it now, as Spike would have been a hundred years old this year!

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Be specific. Pace yourself. Don’t try to do everything. Say yes a lot. And be spontaneous and open to new and different experiences. Drink lots of water.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
There have been many. Getting my bum burned for real playing the man who really burnt his bum at the Gala Opening of Shakespeare’s Globe for Mark Rylance was pretty memorable. The smell of hot pork crackling still lingers!

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
I’m fortunate to be playing two of my theatrical heroes at this year’s fringe – Spike Milligan and Ken Campbell. Other important influences include Theatre Machine stalwarts and friends Roddy Maude-Roxby and Ben Benison. And philosopher Alan Watts. He’s somehow in everything I do.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I do a good warm-up before each show – body, mind, and voice. I like to stop before I start. And dedicate the show to the audience, and beyond.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
I can hardly wait to see this – Johannes Dillon is truly magnificent. A one off! Say hello from me.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
If you want to see two middle aged men messing about in celebration of their comic idol, come and see us. It’s fresh, new, moving, and funny. And it’s always a delight to turn the world off and dwell in playful awareness with lovely laughing likeminded people for ninety minutes.

A Sockful of Custard
Pleasance Dome (Ace Dome), Potterow, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL
Wednesday 1st – Monday 27th August 2018 (not 13th or 20th), 20:00
Twitter: @ThePleasance, @asockfulofcust2, @chrislarner, @jeremystockwell


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