Who? James McNicholas
What? The Boxer
Where? Pleasance Courtyard – Bunker Two (Venue 33)
What are your feelings as you enter into this year’s Edinburgh Fringe season?
I’m really excited. I’m a bit stressed, obviously, but on balance I’m really looking forward to getting up there and getting going.
What is the premise of your Edinburgh show this year?
It’s about my grandad, who was a world middleweight boxing champion. It’s about how tough he was, and how soft I am. The only real scar I’ve got was acquired chasing a penguin over some rocks.
What is the biggest obstacle you face(d) while putting this show together?
It’s the first time I’ve ever done a show that’s really personal. Talking about real people is always tricky – my mum and grandma feature quite heavily in the show, so when they came to see it in preview I was pretty nervous.
Has your attitude towards the Fringe changed at all in recent years?
I think as I get older I realise that a lot of the trappings of ‘success’ – reviews, awards etc – don’t really mean all that much. What matters is that you make a show you care about and believe in, and I’ve done that this year.
Do you have any other Edinburgh show recommendations?
Ciarán Dowd’s Padre Rodolfo is going to be an incredibly funny show, and Tom Parry’s Karaoke is unsurprisingly joyous. I’ve also directed Raphael Wakefield’s show Wengerball, and it’s another interesting story which is ostensibly about sport but really about something altogether different.
Where would you like to be in a year’s time?
If I feel like I’m getting better and improving, I’ll be pretty happy with that. And maybe on a beach.