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I TALK TO Kieran Boyd

"I'm looking forward to having a show that hopefully I can stand behind."


He was one third of popular sketch trio WitTank together with Naz Osmanoglu and Mark Cooper-Jones but with the group no longer performing together, Kieran Boyd is returning to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe after a year off with his third solo hour, Crashing The Party.


Throughout his new hour, Kieran will be opening up about his time in WitTank, looking back on the highs and lows that brought and talking about how the group fell out, made up, and called it a day just in time for two of them to be best men at the third’s wedding.


During our chat he talks about his decision to return to the festival this year, more on what audiences can expect and the meaning of the show's title.


You took a year off from the Fringe last year, did you miss it?


No. Quite honestly. It was brilliant. I went on holiday and it was fucking brilliant. I did nine years of it in a row before taking a year off when I was in WitTank and when we had that year off I remember thinking "I'm shit." It was very easy that year to not look at anything and not follow it. On the last weekend of the festival I went online and looked to see what happened.


Last year it was much easier to go, "I'm not going. The world still turns. It's fine." and able to follow it at a distance if friends posted articles online or whatever. And I'd read them, rather than just bury my head and pretend it wasn't happening.


I think it's important not to go all the bloody time as well! I decided that I really enjoyed my first hour and by the end of my 2017 show I really struggled to get people in and I was sick of it.


When did you decide that you'd be coming back this year?


Probably before Edinburgh last year, I'd decided that I was going to do Edinburgh this year. I had a conversation with the guy who's directing my show and he said "next year" so I knew as friends were doing their previews for 2018 that in all likelihood I'll be doing an hour in 2019.


Does that mean you've had longer to work on this year's show?


Totally. It was all very broad strokes but I had ideas in my head and a meeting with my agent about it in October so that's as early as I've been for anything. You can't do that unless you've had a year off. If you've just come back from Edinburgh, the last thing you want to do is think about the following year.


What can people expect from your show this year?


It's a heavily autobiographical tale of me being in a sketch group called WitTank. Telling the story of how I met the other two guys and the rise and fall of being in a sketch group. Broadly it's about my friendship with these two guys, what happens when you are 18 and see how far you can get doing comedy.


How did you come up with the title Crashing the Party?


For a long time, the working title was Death of a Party which when I asked around, people would assume was political which then became a problem.


I just thought I liked the idea of crashing a party because when we toured as WitTank it felt like we were on a runway train that at the end came off the rails and finally crashed. I also like the allusion to unwanted guests.


Do you enjoy having the Edinburgh hour to fill?


I do actually and at the moment I'm finding it's flying by. At present I'm overrunning and I really need to get rid of a load of stuff. It's a nice position to be in but I also have a lot of stuff that isn't in yet that I would like to be in the show.


How have the previews been going?


They're going alright. I was in Cirencester last night, but it's such a weird thing because the people who go to work-in-progress comedy nights when the weather is like it is or when there's tennis on - you have to be insane so obviously no one goes to them and a lot of them get cancelled.


You end up trying to make important decisions about your show based on what eight very hot people are feeling at 10:30pm on a Wednesday. It's not fair to put that pressure on them and you can't really judge too much from that sort of audience. You have to base your picture based on several gigs.


What are you most looking forward to about Edinburgh this year?


That's a good question. I have not let myself think about the reality of Edinburgh actually. I've thought about the show and working on that but I have got to the point where I've started to miss Edinburgh and articles have started to come out of people recommending their favourite places to go and actually in two weeks I'm going to be back there and it's going to be mad.


I'm looking forward to having a show that hopefully I can stand behind. With my first hour, I really didn't know what I was doing. I'd done ten previews before I arrived in the city so by the end of it I'd learnt so much. Even about a week in I was thinking about what I should have done.


Same with my second one, I didn't really feel like I wanted to perform them again once I got back to London. I was proud of them to an extent but not uber proud of them and I'm looking forward to having one that I'm hoping will be better than what I've done before.


Finally, how would you sum up this year's show in just five words?


Charming, silly storytelling. Autobiographical. Joy.


Kieran Boyd: Crashing the Party runs from 1st-25th August (not 12th) at 2.45pm at Just the Tonic at Marlin's Wynd (Just the Wyndy Room). Book tickets here.

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