Hello, what’s your name, and what on earth are you going to be doing in Edinburgh this August?
My name is Nick Helm and I will be performing my new show This Means War!, as well as trying to keep my head down, catch up on some sleep, eat healthily and exercise daily.
Tell us more about your show...
My show is on at 5.30pm at The Pleasance Queen Dome and is a big giant shambolic mix of music, poetry, jokes and shouting.
How are you preparing for your marathon Fringe run?
I am preparing for Edinburgh by just trying to get my show together. Health, sleep, social life and diet all go out the window, so I imagine the daily struggles of the festival will come as quite a body shock once I am up there, so probably best to see my show early.
Food and/or drink – what do you take to keep you going through the madness?
I tend to survive on very little food in Edinburgh, which isn’t really ideal, but I don’t like eating before I go onstage and then after I usually have to be somewhere else. I survive on a diet of paracetamol and Red Bull usually, and then Tennent’s after my show.
London’s taken some of the hype with the Olympics this year – what do you think is the best way for Edinburgh to grab it back?
I think anyone going to Edinburgh expecting the Olympics is in for a serious disappointment. Edinburgh can take the high road by just carrying on as usual as if nothing was happing and shouldn’t act so needy. It’s unbecoming.
If you’ve been before, what’s your favourite part of the Edinburgh festivals?
My favourite part of the festival is having so many friends in one place. You don’t really get a lot of opportunity throughout the year unless you gig with them, so it’s a bit like going to camp where you get to hang out with each other and see each others shows and find out what they’ve been working on for the last year.
What would be your biggest piece of advice to any performers coming to Edinburgh for the first time?
It is not cool to see 28 sunrises in a row from the Brookes Bar smoking balcony. Try and mix it up a bit and see some of the other bars that Edinburgh has to offer.
Whoever else are you most excited to see in Edinburgh this year?
I am most excited about seeing Tony Law this year. His show last year was hands down the best thing I saw. I am also looking forward to seeing James Acaster, Josh Widdicombe, David Trent, Pat Burtscher, Chris Boyd & Anna Friedberg, Paul F Taylor’s Paulie Show, Pappy’s, Matt Crosby, Bridget Christie and Michael Legge.
What’s been your most memorable festival experience?
In 2009 I did a show with James Acaster and Josh Widdicombe in the middle of nowhere that no one came to. That was very memorable.
Any favourite Scottish word/phrase?
It’s not a word or a phrase and is probably considered an offensive national stereotype, but I am very much looking forward to having a deep fried haggis at four in the morning at some point.
What would be your best tip for any punters coming to their first Fringe?
Try and base what you go and see on word of mouth and descriptions rather than how many stars it has on its poster. I had people flooding out of my show last year because they thought they were going to like it. They didn’t.
And finally, when/where/how can we see your show?
You can see my show by coming to The Pleasance Queen Dome at 5.30pm and asking for a ticket for Nick Helm: This Means War! Probably best to get there before 5.30 really as that’s when it starts.