Off the back of winning Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2016, Tom Lucy is making his Edinburgh Fringe debut with Needs to Stop Showing Off in Front of His Friends.
At just 20 years old Tom Lucy is a real rising star in the world of comedy having recently supported Jack Whitehall, Harry Hill, John Bishop, Shappi Khorsandi and Michael McIntyre!
Here’s what he had to say about his debut Edinburgh Fringe hour…
First of all, congratulations on winning Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2016. How did that feel?
Thank you. It was amazing and one of the first awards that I’ve ever won. A lot of people like Romesh Ranganathan, Josh Widdicombe and Johnny Vegas have won it so it’s got a pretty impressive history so it was amazing.
Was winning that the deciding factor in making 2017 your debut Edinburgh Fringe year?
I think so. I think it helps. It’s a weird thing when you do your first show because I don’t think you ever feel ready to do it. You just have to at some point do it and this seemed like as good a year as any to do it.
But that award probably did help.
What is the appeal of the Fringe for you?
It’s just got that history hasn’t it of launching people’s careers and there are other great festivals around but Edinburgh is the one that everyone talks about and all comedians are there. Even if they’re not performing.
It’s a bit like the Olympics of comedians. They spend the whole year getting ready for it, they do it and then you just have to get ready for the next one. It’s like a never ending cycle!
How long have you been working on the show for?
What’s quite nice is that because this is my first show, I can sort of do everything I’ve ever done. I’ve been doing comedy for four years so it’s almost a collection of all the best bits that I’ve done over the last four years which is what’s nice about doing a first show.
Next year I’ll have to start from scratch and just write the show in a year. Everyone always says that your second year is a lot more difficult than your first one because you have to just start again. Whereas this year I’ve got everything I can use which is really useful.
You’ve called the show Needs to Stop Showing Off in Front of His Friends. Why that title?
The title is a weird thing because they ask you for it in February and I didn’t really know what the show was going to be about then so I thought I’d pick something generic that sounds quite funny.
So I went through old school reports and saw that a Geography teacher had written that about me so I thought that’s quite funny. Let’s call the show that. So it is from an actual report.
How have the previews been going?
They’ve been going well, I’ve been doing loads all over the country. I’m really excited to get up there. It’s such a fun month but I’ve only ever done shows where I’m on with three or four other comedians just doing 15 minutes, where as this feels like I’m joining comedy big school. When you do your first show you feel like a real comedian.
An hour is a real luxury for a comedian. How have you found filling that hour?
It’s quite daunting. But it’s like anything. At first it’s daunting and then you get used to it. I remember when I first started doing comedy you just do five to ten minutes and then someone will ask you to do twenty minutes and then someone asks you to do half and hour so you just build up.
I remember thinking “How am I going to talk for twenty minutes?” that just felt like ages. But then you get used to it and it’s the same with an hour.
When I first started doing the previews I thought that I’d never be able to talk for an hour. No one wants to listen to me for an hour! But then you do it and it gets easier and now it’s really fun. I enjoy it a lot more than doing twenty minute sets.
Why is that?
You feel a bit more like you’re doing a show. When you do a twenty minute set in a club you have to leave just as you’re getting into it. But when you’re doing an hour you can sort of relax a bit and by the end of it you really feel like you’ve done a proper show and it goes really quickly. It’s a lot more interesting I think.
What can people expect when they come and watch the show?
Hopefully it’s funny. There’s not really a theme. I loosely tell the story of how I got to where I am today. I’ve just tried to make it the funniest hour that I can. A lot of shows in Edinburgh will have themes and stories and some sort of message in it.
But my goal has always been to try and make it the funniest hour it can be. So hopefully people will leave and go “That was really funny. I have to go back and see him next year.” That’s always been my aim.
You recently supported Jack Whitehall on tour. What was that experience like and did he give you any advice at all?
It just came out of nowhere it was amazing. I was doing club gigs and then he asked me to come on tour with him and suddenly I was performing in 3,000/4,000 seater venues every night for three months.
Then we ended in arenas so it was pretty crazy. I feel like a different comedian after it than the one I was before.
He’s given me loads of advice and it’s nice to have someone who’s a bit older and been through it all who you can talk to about things. I always ended up calling him about things and getting advice and I have called him about this show and I think he’s going to come and watch it. Hopefully he’ll enjoy it!
I think I’m doing some support for Kevin Bridges next year which is exciting.
Personally, what are you hoping to get out of your first year at the Fringe?
I don’t really know to be honest. I’m just hoping that I won’t go insane. That’s what I’m really hoping for because all comedians tell you is that it’s difficult and that three weeks into it you’ll have a mental breakdown so I’m not exactly filled with confidence!
I just think I’m going to enjoy it. I don’t think it’s that healthy to go up thinking what you’re going to get out of it. At the end of the day, all you can do is make this show as funny as it can be and all that other stuff is sort of out of your control.
Anyone in particular you’re looking forward to seeing whilst you’re up there?
No. I don’t like to support other comics. Of course! That’s the other great thing about it, that other people are up there doing their shows so it’s always fun!
And finally, how would you sum up your show in just five words?
Hopefully funny but not sure.
Tom Lucy: Needs to Stop Showing Off in Front of His Friends runs Saturday 5th August to Sunday 27th August at 6pm at the Pleasance Courtyard (The Cellar). Previews 2nd-4th August. No show Monday 14th August. Book tickets here.
Images: © Andy Hollingworth (1,3)