Sooz Kempner brings 90’s nostalgia to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in MEGA DRIVE

Name of Edinburgh show: Mega Drive
Venue: Globe Bar
Performance time: 1pm
Show length: 1 hour
Ticket price: FREE!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I’ve been a stand-up comedian for over 10 years and trained in musical theatre at the Royal Academy of Music. This is my seventh solo hour at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Tell me about your new show, what it is all about?
Mega Drive is a look at growing up in the 90s, playing on the Mega Drive and how my own mega drive has taken me to this point. It’s a great show for literally anyone who remembers the 90s, whether they played video games or not.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2019?
Last year I did a show about Sonic the Hedgehog and it was bizarrely relatable to a very diverse audience across the festival and I realised retro video games are actually a great gateway to my own brand of off-kilter nostalgia. I use my mum as a barometer and none of the show goes over her head even though she never played on the Mega Drive so this is truly a show for anyone who remembers the weirdness of being a kid.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Performers! Go. To. Bed. FOMO hits hard at the fringe and for the first 5 days adrenaline will fool you in to believing you can stay up all night yelling in the Loft Bar and then do your show in the day. Then suddenly you’ve got fringe flu and you’re in agony crawling through your show. Go to sleep, nap in the day, don’t be afraid to go home at midnight. The fringe is long and you’ve got to recharge. Punters! Think of a fringe show as an hour-long marriage. Til death us do part. You do not need to walk out of a show, you’re a grown adult and you can sit still for an hour even if the show isn’t good. Unless you’re facing a comedian who is a sort of cross between Jim Davidson, Donald Trump and Satan you can sit like a grown-up for an hour and not ruin somebody’s day just because you’re not having as much fun as you’d like for an hour. Also, go down Mosque Kitchen. It’s great value good food.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
In December 2018 I was in Jonny Woo’s All-Star Brexit Cabaret at the London Colliseum. 2500 people saw me step back after the final bow….and fall over my monitor speaker. It was horrendous. I couldn’t get up. Some say I never have.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Comedians like Stewart Lee, Josie Long and Hannah Gadsby showed me you can do whatever you want on stage and that if you find it funny other people usually will too. Steve Coogan showed me you can disappear in to a character. Watching Eddie Murphy’s stand-up when I was a teenager showed me you can be really cool and be a comedian (but I haven’t quite mastered that yet, shit!).

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I like to sing as I set up my equipment. I whack on a song and sing along to get me pumped. In 2014 it was Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love and last year it was Sonic Boom from Sonic CD.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
SO MANY! Too many to list here but there are wicked debuts from Stuart Saint, Helen Bauer, Sophie Duker and Eleanor Higgins. I also can’t wait to see what Eleanor Morton, Rosie Jones, Lucy Frederick, Laura Lexx, Adam Larter and Luke McQueen have come up with this year. And sweet JESUS for classy entertainment I’m going to yum up Myra DuBois, Christina Bianco and Lindsay Sharman and Laurence Owen’s shows. And OH who can forget that the King of Edinburgh, Nick Helm is bringing his first solo hour to the fringe in over 5 years! 2019 is gonna kick OFF!

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
It’s free, it’s on nice and early and it’s just the perfect way to kick off your day. Nobody leaves my show in a bad mood. Except Mario.

Thanks for having Tea With Wilma


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