Who? Jack Barry
Where? PBH’s Free Fringe @ Banshee Labyrinth – Cinema Room (Venue 156)
What are your feelings as you enter into this year’s Edinburgh Fringe season?
I’m very excited! In the past I have found it very stressful, but a couple of years ago I finally realised that it’s all meaningless. We’re all going to die, so why worry about the Edinburgh Fringe? I just want make sure that everyone who comes to see my show every day has a lovely time and we all leave good friends.
What is the premise of your Edinburgh show this year?
This year my show is all about foreigners! I love foreigners, my girlfriend is an immigrant, my grandmother is an immigrant and I was even an immigrant when I was a child (I lived in China). So I wanted to write a show about the funny things that make us all different, and how they should be seen as positives rather than negatives. Also, it’s good to see the funny side of trying to stop your girlfriend from getting deported.
What is the biggest obstacle you face(d) while putting this show together?
The hardest thing has been to finally talk on stage about my deepest, darkest secret. That I was in a low-budget Chinese feature film when I was thirteen. It’s excruciatingly awkward. I play an American character but refused to do an accent. My girlfriend and I have been together for five years and she’s only just found out about it. Usually I’m criticised for being an over-sharer, but this I’ve kept bottled up.
Has your attitude towards the Fringe changed at all in recent years?
I suppose so. When I first started going to the Fringe I was a bright-eyed student, who was just excited to be there. I went out every night and got drunk and then I’d be on the Royal Mile at 10am to flyer for six hours. These days I’m a grizzled veteran and all that youthful innocence has gone. I still enjoy it, but it’s in a much more restrained manner.
Do you have any other Edinburgh show recommendations?
Plenty! There are lots of people coming from other countries to do their first Edinburghs, which is very exciting. Especially as my show is about immigrants. Ray Badran, Aaron Chen and Catherine Cohen will all have amazing shows. I’m also looking forward to Helen Bauer’s debut. I think she’s a bit German. I’m also always excited to see all my friends’ shows. My old sketch partner Annie McGrath has a new show. I’m living with Adam Hess, Mat Ewins and Rhys James, so shout out to all of them too!
Where would you like to be in a year’s time?
I’ve been saying for the past ten years that I’m going to have a year off from Edinburgh next year, so hopefully I’ll be at home and not worrying about Edinburgh. In all likelihood I’ll be at home filling out a questionnaire for MoodyComedy, trying to get people to come and see my 2020 Edinburgh show.