Who? Jim Tavaré
What? From Deadpan to Bedpan
Where? Laughing Horse @ The Counting House (venue 170)
Are you prepared for what this year’s Edinburgh Fringe has in store for you?
Nothing preps you for those cobbled hill climbs especially after acquiring 30 bone fractures in a Los Angeles car accident the previous year. The legacy of which left me severely injured and unsure if I would ever walk again let alone attempt Edinburgh with a new show. Here we are, 17 months later, flight is booked, exorbitant accommodation secured and ‘From Deadpan to Bedpan’ is written. Im sure there will be technology challenges along the way, drunken hecklers and the weight of the comedy industry around my shoulders but this, compared to what I’ve been through over the last year and a half will be small potatoes. Bring it on…
What is the premise of your Edinburgh show this year?
Survival-against-the-odds story of how a spur of the moment decision led to exponential life change nay, total entropy as I was rendered nearly dead and completely smashed to bits after a car accident broke my neck, 12 ribs, punctured my lungs and left me with a detached hand and a right leg that now has more metal inside than the Tin Man. The show also features a cute fluffy dog called Mr Kippy-who was in the car with me at the time of accident.
What was the biggest obstacle you face(d) while putting this show together?
The biggest obstacle I faced was not knowing if I was actually going to make it in order to tell this story. On a practical level I had enormous difficulty being able to use a keyboard with both arms being dysfunctional. As for writing longhand it was eight months before I could write again in a straight line. I had no idea what the future held but at the same time I had nothing to lose and I believe working on this show literally kept me alive and away from self pity.
Some writing days were painful. For instance, having to re-visit the nasty elements like flashbacks of the impact, subsequent opioid dependency and seeing my family struggle to cope with our new reality. Other days were uplifting, however as the show took shape and my comedy instincts returned.
Who would most enjoy your show?
It’s a free Fringe show. This suits my narrative as I was left with extreme medical bills which rendered me flat broke. (Room and board in ICU was $652,000.) Telling this story at the Free Fringe is my way of thanking everyone who bought a ticket for the benefit that helped me and my family. I’m hoping people will also come if they have had trauma or an accident and are perhaps struggling with related issues like pain or anxiety. I believe it’s still possible to live life to the full after a life-changing event and not let it define you.
Do you have any other Edinburgh show recommendations?
I haven’t been to the Edinburgh Fringe for 20 years so I fully intend to catch up with old friends and to see what they are doing: Zoe Lyons-one if my all time favorite comics, Terry Alderton is bringing up a musical this year, Justin Moorhouse is a highly skilled comedic storyteller, Bennett Arron is always funny and Julian Dutton is doing a show all about Wilson from Dad’s Army.
What is your favourite thing about Edinburgh as a city?
Los Angeles is my home now so I’m used seeing new buildings all the time. I’m looking forward to taking in some old architecture again. Dreading those bloody cobbles, though.
What are your plans for after the festival?
I would like to see if ‘From Deadpan to Bedpan’ has traction. If so, I would like to tour the UK for 3 months and explore the possibility of intimate confessional storytelling as a TV format.