Who? Eleanor Colville
What? Google Me
Where? Just the Tonic at The Caves – Just Out of the Box (Venue 88)
What are your feelings as you enter into this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Season?
I Cannot. Bloody. Wait. I’m very excited. And nervous. And a little bit scared but I’m really just looking forward to diving right in. I took a break from Edinburgh last year for personal and family reasons, and although it felt sad at the time, I think it was the best thing I could have done for myself and my comedy. Now, I’ve actually had time to miss the craziness of the Fringe and just can’t wait to get back to it. It’s going to be a bit of a different Fringe for me this time around – it’s my second solo show so I’m used to the perils of going alone but I’ve never sacrificed so much to do the Fringe before. I think there’s a big leap up between taking your student sketch show up to Edinburgh in your summer off University and trying to do it as a fully-functioning professional adult in trousers. Like, I’ve actually quit my job to do this. So, I guess that could be seen as an added pressure, or just an affirmation that I do think the show is worth that and that there’s no place I’d rather be but the Fringe come August!
What is the premise of your Edinburgh show this year?
Haha, the premise is that I, Eleanor, struggling to write my show, follow a WikiHow link and create an AI Robot that uses a deep learning algorithm to write the best show ever. It uses all my online data to generate material, so retracing my own digital footprint of Facebook feeds, YouTube comments and google search histories I create a whole host of characters. It’s basically me googling myself, investigating my dependency to ask the internet the questions I’m too scared to ask anyone else. It’s a funny but true story of what it’s like growing up as a millennial in the digital age of big, scary data and looks at the relationship between social media and mental health.
What is the biggest obstacle you face(d) while putting this show together?
Time and money. Not even joking. I don’t understand how artists are meant to do the Fringe or even commit to theatre or the arts in general without having super wealthy parents and it makes me very sad. I don’t have the luxury of living with my parents, I moved to London and work full time just to afford my rent. I’ve found I’ve had to be super disciplined to write my show and gig in my spare time and I’m still struggling. I think something really has to change because it is just so unfair the risk associated with following a career in the arts for someone from a low-socio economic background compared to the risk faced by an individual from a high socio-economic background. Which is a real failure because then you just get very homogenized shows which is boring for everyone.
Has your attitude towards the Fringe changed at all in recent years?
Yes. I think more needs to be done to make the Fringe more accessible. At the moment it feels like the artists are the customers and not the other way around. Having said that, I still think the energy and buzz of the Fringe is incredible and I can’t think of a comparison where you get (especially in comedy) people at the top of their game socialising and hanging out with newbies. I think I’m going to try approach this Edinburgh more like work. I say that now, you’ll still find me hungover on a Tuesday morning flyering in the rain and cradling a toastie.
Do you have any other Edinburgh show recommendations?
Yes! That’s the other amazing thing about taking a show to the Fringe – you have a month to see other people’s great work! High on my hit list are Raph Wakefield’s Wengerball and Archie Henderson’s Jazz Emu. Ken Cheng always kills it and I’m excited to see Ben Pope and Moon’s show. I’m also looking forward to all the shows from people I don’t know! I love Rose Matefeo too. And if anyone can get their mitts on Daniel Kitson, omg.
Where would you like to be in a year’s time?
In a year’s time I would like to be on a beach sipping a piña colada from an obnoxiously large straw. Haha. I don’t know. I’d like to be going to the Fringe again if I can afford it, I’d like to have found a way to be able to dedicate more time to writing new stuff and I would like to have written a play.