Who? Laura Davis
What? Better Dead Than a Coward
Where? Heroes @ Bob’s BundaBus – Top Deck (Venue 212)
What are your feelings as you enter into this year’s Edinburgh Fringe season?
I’m looking forward to it. 2017 was my first year at Ed Fringe and it was all a big swarm of new experience. 2018 I was doing a show that required me to dress up as a ghost every night and I also decided to compound my stress with getting married halfway through the festival. This year feels like I know the festival, I don’t have to dress up as a ghost every night, I’m stoked to be on Bob’s BlundaBus and I know where I can get the best baked potatoes (8ft from the BlundaBus conveniently enough) so I’m all set. If the baked potato van isn’t there this year though everything could be thrown into chaos. I know it’s a massive festival and a big churning behemoth of a thing, but if you change your mindset just a little bit it can also just be a really great way to spend a month in an incredibly beautiful city eating chips, so I’m going to just focus on that aspect.
What is the premise of your Edinburgh show this year?
Better Dead Than a Coward is the title of the show and also a personal motto of mine. Sort of my own bastardised, much blunter version of all the sayings along the lines of ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’ and people fearing death so much they forget to live. So this is a show about fear and chaos and life that I mostly wrote riding around drunk on a London bus. London busses really being the perfect place to contemplate all of those things.
What is the biggest obstacle you face(d) while putting this show together?
Every year that I write a new show take the part of my last show that was my favourite and try to write an hour that captures the way that one part felt. Sort of like taking a cutting of a plant. The last show I wrote was Cake in the Rain (which you can buy a very cheap download of off of my website…ahem). The thing I liked best about that show was the couple of parts in it that I really got to let go of myself in. Sort of relaxed and supercharged at exactly the same time and it requires a fair bit of trust in the audience to be able to do. I think the biggest obstacle in putting the new show together has been trying to pin that down and commit to it. It feels like trying to paint a detailed picture of something I only got a couple of glimpses of.
Has your attitude towards the Fringe changed at all in recent years?
It is my third year at the Edinburgh Fringe and I’m doing Free Fringe for the first time. I understand the machinations behind the Fringe, but I wanted to reduce my overheads and ticket prices so that I’m not left in debt and more people can come and enjoy the show and we can all just fucking relax for a bit. I respect that it’s probably a lot more complicated than I can see at face value but I just feel like the system of artists losing thousands of pounds while punters pay high ticket fees stinks like a big, damp, stinky arsehole left to stink.
Do you have any other Edinburgh show recommendations?
Always go and see Alice Fraser, and James Nokise any time you get the chance. They’re both such incredibly smart and wonderful performers that really make you feel like you’ve learned something without being patronised.
Where would you like to be in a year’s time?
I’m really happy with where I am this year, but I’m looking forward to seeing the outcomes of some projects I’ve been working on and would hope that this time next year feels similarly exciting with some new ones. Or that said, I would like to be walking along a rugged beach somewhere which is mostly all I really like to do anyway. I’m very ready to quit comedy at some point and go into aquaculture and seaweed farming so if I’m not in the program guide for next year that’s probably where I’ve got to. I guess long time fans are welcome to come and buy tickets to my seaweed farm if they really want.