Fringe First winner Richard Marsh brings his new father-son comedy Wingman to Edinburgh this year.
You’re a Fringe veteran what has been your experience in the past?
I’ve really enjoyed it. The last time I was up was in 2012 withDirty Great Love Story which I co-wrote and co-performed with Katie Bonna and we were lucky enough that the show did well – we got lovely reviews, sold out and won a Fringe First. I don’t think you should make work in order to get a good critical response. But it does make flyer-ing a lot easier.
What made you decide to bring a show this year?
All my friends are starting families. There is an epidemic of babies in London. It got me thinking about what it is to be a parent and I started working on some ideas with Jerome Wright, who plays my dad inWingman. We got a really warm reception so I persevered, we kept working, got a great director on board in Justin Audibert – and here we are. I hope the public enjoy it as much as we do.
Can you tell us more about your show?
In Wingman I play a character called Richard. We’re not exactly the same, although we do look very similar. My dad left the family when I was 13 and I meet him again as a grown man. All we both want to do is get out of each others’ lives as quickly as we can – but we conspicuously fail to do that. In short,Wingmanis a father / son comic drama reminding us of that eternal truth: no matter how bad life is, family can make it worse.We’re at the Pleasance Dome then we head to Soho Theatre in London.
What do you think sets your show apart from all the other Fringe offerings?
I’m in it. Also, there is poetry. A lot of people are a bit suspicious of poetry – I don’t know why – maybe because of school? To them I say: come and seeWingman.The poetry is funny, it is moving and also, I am willing to bet we have the best Jamie Oliver joke of the entire fringe.
What’s the show that you don’t want to miss at this year’s festival?
If I miss mine, I’ll be in trouble. Our director, Justin Audibert (you can tell he’s a proper director because he’s directed at the RSC and also because he has massive hair) is doing a show calledRaymondo(Pleasance,14:50) which sounds great. And there’sThe Man Who Would Be King(Zoo,16:00) directed by the equally legendary, much less hairy Dan Coleman. I saw a scratch of at this at the Vault Festival in February. It was looking good then so it’ll be fantastic come August. The in comedy, I really like Chris Coltrane. He’s passionate and he’s hilarious.
What one piece of advice would you give to Fringe newcomers?
Eat vegetables. I did a show calledSkittles(a sort about love – and sweets, which are more reliable) in which I ate a packet of Skittles every show. I would have been much wiser to do a show called Kiwi Fruit. (People might knowSkittlesfrom its Radio 4 incarnation asLove &Sweets. The show won a BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Scripted Comedy earlier this year. I am now straying off the path of advice to Fringe newcomers and onto the motorway of showing off. That is a conscious decision). That’s my advice – eat fruit, and come and see Wingman. Eat fruitatWingman 14:10, Pleasance Dome. You can buy bananas downstairs.
Richard Marsh’sWingman will be at thePleasance Dome from 30 Jul – 25 Aug@14:10