Kae Kurd’s debut show centres around the comic’s personal history, being part of a family of political refugees who fled Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime and settled in the UK. The show, entitled Kurd Your Enthusiasm, will be at the Pleasance Courtyard throughout August.
1) What excites you most about the Edinburgh Festival?
The prospect of hoards of people coming to see me in their droves. White, Black, Asian, Muslim, Jew, Christian, all in their various different shades and beliefs coming and paying good cold hard cash in order to make sure I succeed and become the next best thing. On a serious note, the fact that you stay up so late and things are still open, I love the fact you can go to Palmyra on Nicolson Square at 3am and get a Pizza.
2) What is your first Edinburgh show about?
My Edinburgh show explores my life as a refugee and immigrant and my upbringing in South London all amongst the backdrop of current affairs and themes. It’s my truth and my life with a lot of opinions and theories. Come and laugh and take away something as well.
3) Does your comedy attract a certain type of audience?
People that aren’t easily offended I think – so in essence really cool people. I hate when people get offended on others’ behalf, you might as well walk into A&E completely healthy and complain to the staff about waiting times. I think that’s the beauty of stand up comedy, it’s the one medium where opinions can be shared without censorship, but the moment the performers start to edit things out or they start to pander to audiences we’ll be going down a slippery slope. I like to think I get a young, intelligent audience that like my stuff.
4) What would be your worst Edinburgh accommodation nightmare?
I think my worst accommodation nightmare would be what I’ve seen a few other comics do where they share rooms, some of them didn’t have a bed to stay on and were sleeping on a floor for the month. Meanwhile not everyone had a key so they’d have to leave the house in turns or together. Some people I’ve heard of have had mice staying with them and not paying rent. I’ve seen ceilings fall in in some people’s houses. I’ve been lucky with accommodation, I was staying at a hostel in a single bed, but even that was okay.
5) What is your most treasured memory of your comedy career so far?
Probably playing at the Hackney Empire. It’s just a great feeling hearing that wave of laughter come back at you.
6) What show will you definitely be seeing at the festival this year?
I’m going to see Dane Baptiste, Tez Ilyas, Alistair Williams – there’s a lot more, that’s just off the top of my head. I always end up seeing a lot of stuff just by luck when I’m up there as well or on word of mouth.
7) What do you hope to gain from the Edinburgh Festival this year?
I really just want to have a successful show that people come to an enjoy. I want to play to full rooms essentially, make me feel loved, people.
8) What do you imagine your last ever show will be about? (If you dare imagine!)
Kae Kurd – The Last Word.
It’ll be my retirement show – my last ever tour. It’ll finish with a massive show at the o2 arena, I’d have rappers, actors, everyone in the crowd. It’ll be an autobiographical show about how my life has panned out and become the way it is and my view on the world. The fact that we got rid of the royal family, Beckham is now prime minister, Ant and Dec have broken up and have rival chat shows on bbc1 and Itv1. In a completely unforeseeable turn of events Piers Morgan converted to Islam before he died and become really popular and how Changing Rooms had come back but it was just rival robots re-doing people’s houses with the frozen head of Handy Andy presenting the show. Reviewers gave it 4 and half stars as they said my performance had got lacklustre as I’d got older but my writing had remained sharp.