Who? Isa Bonachera
What? The Great Emptiness
Where? Gilded Balloon at Old Tolbooth Market – Top (Venue 98)
What are your feelings as you enter into this year’s Edinburgh Fringe season?
I cannot wait for the Edinburgh Fringe to start, I cannot be more excited about my show Isa Bonachera: The Great Emptiness, it includes my funniest writing to date, and plenty of surprises, including planetarium projections and wearable electronics.
What is the premise of your Edinburgh show this year?
The Great Emptiness is a tour of the weirdest parts of the cosmos, and a reflection on broken dreams and burn-out. An hour of original and offbeat comedy, filled with gags and plenty of out-of-this-world hilarious silliness. This show is the a real-life story about my obsession to become an astronaut, the extreme lengths I went to achieve that dream, and the events that lead to the death of that dream. This includes stories involving Mars Rovers, meeting astronauts, and my experiences accidentally being involved in some of the major scientific discoveries of the century, such as the discovery of the Higgs Boson. The Great Emptiness gives an insider view of the best and worst parts of the world of science, and critiques the toxic culture of overwork that preys on people’s dreams.
What is the biggest obstacle you face(d) while putting this show together?
As a performer from a working class background, I have really struggled financially to cover all the costs associated with the Fringe, this year has been especially difficult because of the exponential rent increase. I am lucky to have a full time job, so I can cover the costs of going to the Fringe without accumulating a massive debt (like many other performers do), but that means that I have less time to focus on my comedy. Starts are always hard, and I think that I’m close to getting to a place where I can make a living from doing comedy.
Has your attitude towards the Fringe changed at all in recent years?
I love the Edinburgh Fringe, I love that I conveniently can see as many shows as I want each day, and the non-stop gigging. There is no other place where I can live and breathe comedy 24/7 for a month. I feel that comedians that don’t go to the Edinburgh Fringe are missing out on a great opportunity to showcase their work and that is a pity because not everyone can afford to go to the Edinburgh Fringe.
Do you have any other Edinburgh show recommendations?
I have too many to list here, I have already planned what I am going to see at the Fringe and it is more than 70 shows. To name a few, this year I am very excited to see Josie Long, Phil Wang, Kieran Hodgson, and Ahir Shah.
Where would you like to be in a year’s time?
I would like to be where I am now, gigging all across the UK but doing more radio and TV work (If you are producer, please come to my show!).