Canadian stand-up Bobby Mair took a year out from the Edinburgh Fringe last year but is back with a brand new hour, Loudly Insecure.
Here’s what he had to say about his new Fringe show and his upcoming Viceland UK sitcom...
This is your fourth Edinburgh Fringe show, what keeps you coming back?
I just love it. You start to build up a small group of people who come to see you and every year it just gets a little bit bigger and you get to write a new show and go through that process.
How long have you been working on this year’s show?
Probably about a year-and-a-half ago and over the course of the last year-and-a-half I’ve been slowly piecing it together and then a month before Edinburgh you realise that you haven’t done nearly enough work practically keep writing for the month of July.
As a stand-up you’re always working on new material. It’s just part of the process so compiling an hour show you just take what you’ve done and then try and find a shape to it.
What’s the show all about?
My shows follow more of an American stand-up tradition so it’s not like about anything specific. I talk about being adopted and trying to find my biological family, getting married, having more empathy. I just had this sudden rush of empathy earlier this year and how that applies to the news when the news is so black and white.
Why have you called the show Loudly Insecure?
It was supposed to be a play on “Quietly confident”, so some people are quietly confident whereas I’m loudly insecure.
How have the previews been going?
Previews have been going great. I did one in Hartlepool the other day and I don’t know what I expected but it was good. It’s a great learning curve.
How important is Edinburgh Fringe to you?
It’s amazingly important. It’s the best Fringe festival in the world by far. A million people come through each year and I used to hear about it when I was living in Canada doing stand-up and then I moved over six years ago in July and my first Fringe was then.
I only went up for two weeks but it was incredible. I was doing about four spots a day, seeing so many comedians and it’s just a great chance to perform. Even if you just go to the Fringe and don’t perform you can see up to 10 shows a day and if you’re performing you can perform on 10 shows a day, it’s an incredible opportunity that kind of only exists there for that one month a year.
And the hour is a real luxury isn’t it for a comedian?
Oh yeah, it’s great. You usually only get to do about twenty minute spots in clubs where you have to hold their attention constantly and fight for them to not talk, but at the Fringe they’re usually sat back, they’re listening and they’re OK with some longer pauses.
What’s been the biggest thing you’ve learnt throughout your years at the Fringe?
Probably that whatever I expect to happen, isn’t going to happen. All I can do is just try and have a good show and enjoy that show that day. It’s best not to get too caught up a big plan.
What are you most looking forward to about the Fringe this year?
Being back at The Hive. The Hive is like a grungy nightclub where the floors are always sticky and you’re in a cave and there’s just puddles of water everywhere and electrical cords going through them. It’s like gross but perfect, so I’m pretty excited to be back there.
Anyone in particular you’re looking forward to seeing perform?
I’m looking forward to seeing my friend Tim Renkow, he’s great. My wife, Harriet Kelsey who is very funny and probably my best friend from Canada, Dylan Gott, who’s doing his second hour show. We started together and he’s a great comedian.
Outside of the Fringe, what are you working on?
Me and my wife have just filmed a sitcom together for Viceland, Bobby and Harriet Get Married. We’re pitching it as a reality sitcom, it’s us playing versions of ourselves and it’s totally plotted and then some of the dialogue is improvised. It’s more narcissistic versions of ourselves planning our wedding and we filmed at our actual wedding. It comes out early August I think.
So that’s been taking up all my time in the last few months but I’m sure something else will come up.
Finally, how would you sum up your show in just five words?
Hopefully very funny to you.