ED2014 Comedy ED2014 Interviews ED2014 Week2 Edition

Chris Martin: Fringe responsibilliness

By | Published on Sunday 10 August 2014

Chris Martin

Chris Martin is back with a brand new show at this year’s Fringe – ‘Responsibilliness’ – an exploration of the responsibilities that come with age, or more to the point the lengths he goes to in order to shirk them. We caught up with Chris to find out more about the show, his admirably complete knowledge of the McDonalds staff rating system, and why a move into musical comedy ain’t likely to happen.

CC: There is a loose theme running through the show. When you put together a new full hour for Edinburgh, do you start with the theme or does it evolve as you choose which stories to tell?
CM: A bit of both. I start working on stuff onstage, stuff I find funny or silly, and will then usually notice themes in the kind of things I’m writing about. And once I’m aware of a theme I’ll start writing to it.

CC: The responsibilities that come with growing older – and your bid to shirk them – are the basic theme this year. Are you really that big a shirker?
CM: I have realised that the only things I actually try to do well these days are comedy, playing FIFA and cooking food, and then only if it’s for someone else. I can’t even be bothered to write a note properly in my notebook, because no one one checks my spelling or neatness, my handwriting is a disaster!

CC: Does your success at recent Fringes result in even more responsibilities – ie the responsibility to better last year’s show with this?
CM: Not really. I just enjoy creating new material, and I’ve learnt how to get more material out of certain subjects, so naturally each year should be better. And it’s not like I have much else going on in my life apart from writing dumb jokes.

CC: The McDonalds staff rating system – so those famous stars on badges – also runs through the new show. How did you become such an expert on it?
CM: Simple. Mcdonalds.co.uk. Because they need the exposure!

CC: Do you think us Fringe media could learn anything from Ronald McDonald when it comes to star rating systems?
CM: Haha. Yes. They should start giving comedians badges to wear all day everyday with their reviews attached.

CC: You admit to unashamedly liking the Big Mac seller in the show. What’s your ideal McDonalds meal?
CM: Fillet of fish medium, with fanta,

CC: Doesn’t a sneaky McDonalds count as a healthy dinner during the Fringe?
CM: Anything not battered is a victory.

CC: I can’t believe I’ve just asked four consecutive questions about McDonalds. I should keep this more local. Salt n Vinegar, or Salt n Sauce?
CM: Salt n Vinegar. Licking your fingers after salt and vinegar crisps is one of the greatest things on earth.

CC: There’s a karaoke story in the show too. I take it a move into musical comedy isn’t on the cards?
CM: I’m the most tone deaf person on earth. I’d get egged offstage within one minute.

CC: We’re nearly mid-Festival now, is the show going well? What’s been the best audience responses?
CM: Yes it’s been fun. The best thing that happened was when I got heckled about Rasputin. That’s nothing to do with my show. And when I asked what it was all about, this posh old man said he was friends with my dad and I should ask him what it meant. Turns out it was my dad’s friend David, who’d bought a ticket just to heckle me.

CC: Well, I guess a ticket sale is a ticket sale! Finally a question that will only make sense to David and anyone else whose seen your show. What’s your favourite question on Yahoo Answers?
CM: Another man at one of my gigs had my favourite one. He asked Yahoo answers “if a man with one arm commits a crime how do the police handcuff him?” Delightful!

‘Chris Martin: Responsibilliness’ was performed at the Pleasance Courtyard at Edinburgh Festival 2014.

LINKS: www.chrismartincomedy.co.uk

Photo: Kat Gollock