Hello, what’s your name, and what on earth are you going to be doing in Edinburgh this August?
My name is Alistair Barrie and I am going to be doing my solo stand up show Urban Fogey, a new play called Coalition and topical panel show No Pressure To Be Funny which is being produced by Amnesty International. I'm also appearing in all manner of extra shows such as Best of The Fest, Late 'n Live and Spank. As far as I'm aware, all of these will be taking place on earth, and if not, Amnesty will track me down and start a letter writing campaign.
Tell us more about your show...
The stand-up show is the culmination of three years of irritation with the government, the weather and bad manners.
The play is about a weak Lib Dem Deputy PM surrendering all of his principles to the Conservatives, so pure fantasy, a bit like Lord of The Rings. Phil Jupitus plays an Orc, Jo Caulfield is The Wicked Witch and I'm Elf Minister. The topical show is presented by LBC radio's James O'Brien and created by me and former Perrier nominee Nick Revell using the news. We're also using Mark Thomas, Ian Rankin and Pippa Evans but they don't know that - they think they're coming on a demo.
How are you preparing for your marathon Fringe run?
I haven't touched alcohol for three months and I've been to the gym every day. As a result I'm already knackered.
Food and/or drink – what do you take to keep you going through the madness?
Food-wise, I write a restaurant blog called Food Ponce so I'm planning to take advantage of Sweet Melinda's, Creelers, The Kitchin and anywhere else that anyone recommends.
Drink-wise I'm planning to have my first ever dry Edinburgh Festival, so I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologise for my behaviour from about 8.00pm on the 26th.
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?
Declare war on London during the Festival. You'll be able to capture a significant number of POWs without even leaving Scotland.
If you’ve been before, what’s your favourite part of the Edinburgh festivals?
Knowing that I'll run into new/old/good/bad friends at any moment.
What would be your biggest piece of advice to any performers coming to Edinburgh for the first time?
That bit that feels like a nervous breakdown in the third week does not make you more unusually sensitive, artistic or talented than anyone else. But if you play it right you may be able to get someone who thinks it does to kiss you.
Whoever else are you most excited to see in Edinburgh this year?
I have to plug my flatmate's show here as he's very needy. Hal Cruttenden is a comic genius who already owes me for a very good joke I gave him. Now he has to do the washing up as well.
What’s been your most memorable festival experience?
Many years ago I fell in love with a girl who took me to see some amazing theatre, which proves how unusually artistic, sensitive and talented I am. Then we had sex in a bush. I think it was week three.
Any favourite Scottish word/phrase?
And what would be your best tip for any punters coming to their first Fringe?
Buy a few tickets in advance, buy a few on the day, and go to something completely random at least once. Oh, and follow me on Twitter @AlistairBarrie as like most comedians I now measure my self-worth entirely in terms of social media and you don't want to have blood on your hands.
- Alistair Barrie’s new stand-up show Urban Fogey will be at the Underbelly Bristo Square from August 1 to 26. For tickets go to edfringe.com.