Richard Todd talks about bringing ‘the perpetual resurrection of hope’ to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Richard Todd
Name of Edinburgh show: We Need The Eggs
Venue: The Pleasance Courtyard, Attic
Performance time: 10:45pm
Show length: 1hr
Ticket price: £10

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I grew up in Seaham, a small coastal mining town in the North East of England: nothing to do, a betting shop next door to the post office – cash your giro, blow your giro. My school is now an old folks care home, so the opportunity to end where I began is available. A fine art degree, coupled with terrible interview technique, led to five years unemployment, during which I eventually signed on, wept, and ate Greggs pasties in a ghastly tight, mole skin Gucci Suit, bought upon graduation and eventually the only presentable clothing I had (the look was of a fuzzy-felt gimp, sans mask). Great times. Performing came about when, living in Glasgow, struck by a sudden malaise, I went to the doctors to get antidepressants; the only appointment I could get was five days away, I thought ‘I won’t make that’, and had heard the stand-up circuit was a bastion of mentally unstable individuals shrieking inanities, and the rest, as they say, is far too long an answer.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
The obsessive pursuit of absurd ideals in spite history and experience telling you they will end in failure. The perpetual resurrection of hope.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I started writing it in October 2017. Though back then it was a different beast – uncategorisable, formidable, capable of taking on the world, now it’s more akin to a Gerbil with some pep.

Hope is pretty relevant most years, even if you’re penning your signature on an unemployment cheque while dressed as a mole skin gimp.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Expect nothing. Unless you’ve handed over money in a transaction, in which case expect whatever you requested. But otherwise, expect nothing, play it by ear.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I can’t recollect anything particularly embarrassing or funny happening onstage. However, according to Sunil Patel, the funniest thing I have ever done at the Fringe is run through our flat’s kitchen in a pair of shorts, trip over, hit a wall, and do a little fart.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
The other day I got told an act I started out with had quit and was very happy now. That was pretty inspiring. I tend to be impressed by individual shows more than an entire repertoire, thus my inspirations are: Richard Gadd ‘Breaking Gadd’ for the scuzzy, punk vibe and energy; Joseph Morpugo ‘Soothing Sounds For Baby’ for having such a large scope contained within such an intimate story; and John Kearns ‘Sight Gags For Perverts’ for its stillness (opening song aside).

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I have a roll-up. Only one. Two roll ups might draw a crowd.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
I have no idea who is there other than a few friends doing debut shows, so Crizzards, Heidi Regan and Ross Smith.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Time and location are all I can draw on at present.


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