Luca Cupani looks to God to help him fulfil his dreams at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I trained as an actor in Italy (at Scuola Colli in Bologna), then I moved to London. I was looking for a chance to be on stage in front of people and I heard about stand-up open mic nights. They said that the best open mic night was the Gong Show at the Comedy Store (also known as “the London’s most brutal open mic night”) and so I booked a slot there. That was my first ever gig (24th February 2014), surprisingly I won it and I fell in love with comedy! Then one year later I won So You Think You’re Funny? in Edinburgh.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
It is called ‘God Digger’ and it is about me trying to make it. I am a practising Catholic (for real!), so in my quest for glory I walk hand in hand with sinful ambitions and congenital guilt. I am also gifted with a natural hypochondria, that prevents me for being too relaxed and happy (I guess this is a plus). Will God help me in fulfilling my dreams?

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I have started working on it since last January, although I have always thought that my religious faith can be a natural source of humour. Whether they are religious or not, the audience of my show might find interesting (and hopefully funny) the daily struggle between my religious beliefs and my aspirations: I’m trying to be successful both in this life and in the next one, feeling guilty all along.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
I would suggest to both performers and visitors to go and see as many shows as possible (not just comedy) and to enjoy that energy, that unique chance of meeting people from all over the world!

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Nothing really major, but once I had a weird heckler. I had literally just started, I said “Good evening, my name is Luca, I’m Italian” and a lady from the audience said “No, you are not Italian”. I wasn’t expecting that and before I could reply another lady stood up and replied “No, actually I think he is Italian” and then they started arguing among themselves to find out if I was Italian…

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Among my biggest inspirations there are Woody Allen’s movies (I love his witty dry humour) and Robin Williams’ stand-up: I really liked his energy and how easily he could improvise a routine.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
To be honest I don’t really have any ritual, I just take a deep breath and try to pretend I’m calm.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
There is a long list of shows that I hope to see, here is just some of them (in alphabetical order):
Anuvab Pal: Empire
Ed Night: An Aesthetic
Romina Puma: It’s all my mother fault
Tim Renkow: Tries to punch down

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the Fringe?
What sets my show apart from other comedy shows at the Fringe is essentially my style. I am quite clean (even when I talk about sex), I tend not to pick on my audience and I never swear, because I find it more challenging. I would say that my show is for those who enjoy storytelling with an endearing (sometimes dark) humour and an Italian accent.

See Luca Cupani: God Digger at the Underbelly throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 1st – 27th August.


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