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I TALK TO Olga Koch

"People need to stop thinking that a show is a one-person operation."

Credit: James Deacon

With a Best Newcomer nomination under her belt for her debut hour Fight, Olga Koch is wasting no time in returning to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with her second hour, If/Then.

This time audiences will discover that her talents extend to computer programming, having studied it at University, and as we chat it's clear that Olga's ready to have more fun this year. She's performing in a venue she loves, she knows what she wants to say and has learnt that it takes more than one person to put on a show in Edinburgh.

How did you find your debut last year?

Exhilarating and very scary. I don't know what I expected but I definitely didn't expect to get nominated, that was an incredible surprise and very nice. I had hoped that people wanted to see it but you never know.

I also assumed that Edinburgh would be a one-man job and then as I got into the development and writing of the show, I realised how many people help put a show together; producers, directors, show operators etc. and how equally important all of their roles were.

People need to stop thinking that a show is a one-person operation, it's not and it's not going to be good if you only do it alone.

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

Last Edinburgh. I'm not saying I'm going to be coming back every year but I knew about halfway through last year's run that I wanted to do another show and I knew what it was going to be and what I wanted to say.

What can people expect from this year's show?

It's been a lot more fun, it's a much funnier show and I think I've been dealing with very heavy stuff in Fight so there was a real challenge in that show to make it funny. Which was cool and I like to be challenged but at the same time, now I'm just having fun and it's great.

Computer Science is rigid logic and has played a really big part in how I see the world because I see everything as a cause and effect.

I'm also performing at the Monkey Barrel 100% which such a dream venue, I'm so so excited that I get to play in that room.

Why have you decided to call it If/Then?

If/Then is a naming convention for a conditional which is a logical sentence in that for example "If milkshake, then boys to my yard" - and I ended up studying Computer Science at university and it's become clear to me that if you learn a certain way of thinking at an impressionable age, it informs the way you see the world around you.

When did you start working on the show?

I've included some material that I've been doing for years but thematically didn't feel right when you have an hour-long structure to put together.

I actually remember sitting down and panicking at one point that I had told the best story I have in Fight and had no idea what I was going to do next. Another comedian pointed out that as good as the story was, it wasn't really mine.

The audience had no idea who I am or knew anything about me and I have years and years of material to let them know who I am. So I really wanted them to know who I was about.

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

Computers. Love. Michael Bublé. Womanhood.

Olga Koch: If/Then runs from 1st - 25th August (not 14th) at 4.30pm at Monkey Barrel Comedy (Monkey Barrel 1). Book tickets here.


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