Who? Simon Caine
What? Every Room Becomes A Panic Room When You Overthink Enough
Where? Sweet Grassmarket – Grassmarket 4 (Venue 18)
What are your feelings as you enter into this year’s Edinburgh Fringe season?
Excited but nervous. As always. I’ve got the funniest show I’ve ever had, but I had an idea about a month ago to expand it into an immersive, interactive comedy play which I hope to bring up in 2020. So I’ll be playing around with the format and trying things out daily. Which is exciting as an idea, but worrying as industry might be in.
What is the premise of your Edinburgh show this year?
It’s about overthinking, anxiety and sex. To a lesser/greater extent, I find the one time I don’t overthink everything. So I’ve written a show that shows how we all (most) of us think too much about life in general. Even the emotionally stable who have come have enjoyed it… except for six therapists who came on a work outing on the first preview months ago. Two of them gave me a card after. I guess if you’re going to scout for work, a show like mine is the best place to start.
What is the biggest obstacle you face(d) while putting this show together?
I overshare a fair amount and I don’t notice it anymore. So it’s coming up with ways that will allow me to describe true things without being too graphic. Also I thought the show was about social media for the first six months of writing. But then my director (John Gordillo) got on board and he showed me that the through-line is actually about sex. Although given how quickly I check my phone after I’ve cum it might as well be about both. It has really helped (and been frustrating) to have an outside eye on the production.
Has your attitude towards the Fringe changed at all in recent years?
Year 1 (2013) – I did a Free Fringe show and the bucket was for Cancer Research in memory of my granddad. It helped me learn to budget as I knew I wasn’t getting 1p of the money so this one was just fun.
Year 2 (2015) – Debut hour. This I took more seriously but still had a lot of fun with. I was lucky at all turns in hindsight from the people I stayed with to the venue deal to the location. Everything.
Year 3 (2017) – second show. I loved this show but it was just a bunch of jokes. It meant reviewers didn’t like it and industry didn’t come and audiences were mixed. I loved how I could just do them in any order and play around. Turns out… audiences don’t always like that (unless you make it a thing).
Year 4 (2018) – I took this one so much more seriously. I adored the show. It had so much structure and ideas and was something I thought could tour. So invited tons of industry and got a bunch of bookings. This really helped my confidence and I loved the venues I played.
Year 5 (2019) – I’m more relaxed. I’ve done this enough times I get how the rollercoaster goes. But I’m not resting by any means. I want to sell more tickets and get more fans. That’s been my main aim in the last few years. Fans. An audience. To be a sustainable writer/producer.
Do you have any other Edinburgh show recommendations?
Bec Hill is amazing and always a ray of joy. Stuart Goldsmith I think is doing something interesting with his WIP show. Joz Norris has created an alter ego that’s exciting. Adele Cliff is always consistently hilarious and well-paced if you love one liners.
Where would you like to be in a year’s time?
Back in Edinburgh. Doing this show, but as a 90-minute comedy play.