ED2017 Caro Meets ED2017 Comedy ED2017 Interviews ED2017 Preview Edition

Caroline Mabey: Quetzals

By | Published on Wednesday 5 July 2017

Caroline Mabey heads northwards this summer as a pretty much verified Edinburgh Veteran (we should get them those ticks like on Twitter) as she presents her fifth full length show ‘Quetzals’, which is mostly about the fact that her memory isn’t quite what it used to be, and an attempt to memorise the 103 allowable two-letter Scrabble words.
That sounds interesting, thought I. So, time for a quick chat.

Caro: Right, let’s start with what’s coming up this August: what’s your new show about?
Caroline: My show is about having a great time. Probably the best time you can have in Edinburgh in August. I mean there’s not much else going on here, is there? This town is dead! Maybe that’s why they have so many ghost tours. Amirite? Actually, the ghost tours look great. My show’s probably the second best time you can have. Go on the ghost tour.

Caro: What made you want to do a show with memory as a theme?
Caroline: I can’t remember! Of course I can, but if I told you I’d have to kill myself.

Caro: Do you touch on any other themes within the show?
Caroline: Scrabble. The ghosts of childhood aspirations. Eye tests. Timecakes, and how to turn an positive into a negative (and back again).

Caro: Do stick mostly to planned material or do you improvise?
Caroline: Even though most of what I say might look like just a load of nonsense off the top of my head, it’s actually exquisitely-crafted, high-end bespoke stand-up comedy. Obviously I can’t remember most of it so luckily my show has quite a lot of improvisation built in. There’s no malevolent audience participation, but every show will be different depending on who walks in (and who walks out).

Caro: As well as your fifth full length show, you’re also bringing a second instalment of your work as a double act with Michael Legge, the Two Stupids. How did your collaboration with him come about?
Caroline: Great story. Michael and I have always hated each other so in 2015 we decided to ruin each other’s Edinburghs by collaborating. And we’ve just gone from strength to strength to strength.

Caro: What can we expect from the new Two Stupids show?
Caroline: Expect all you like, the Two Stupids will confound you. It’s basically anything too stupid for a proper show. Silly, fun, joyful idiocy. And Michael Legge shouting.

Caro: And what’s all this about an audiobook…?
Caroline: Alan Partridge did it. Tina Fey did it. And now it’s the Two Stupids’ turn. It’s called ‘Two Stupids: Fifty Shades of Two’ and is set to be PHENOMENAL. Basically. it’s an opportunity for us to show off without having to do any facial expressions, which can be pretty exhausting.

Caro: You’ve been performing in Edinburgh for quite a few years now. What keeps you coming back to the Festival? Do you completely love it or are there times when you hate it?
Caroline: Anyone who tells you they completely love the Edinburgh Festival needs to go to the doctor immediately. I do love it, but it can be a cruel mistress. But it’s good for you to have all your hopes dashed once a year. Isn’t it?

Caro: Other than performing, what do you like to do when you are in Edinburgh?
Caroline: I like a bit of whiskey, a lot of coffee and some hot museum action. I like to go to places that haven’t been infected by the festival, to find a bit of calmth.

Caro: Are there any shows you are definitely planning to see?
Caroline: So many! Sarah Kendall, Jordan Brookes, Sara Pascoe, Peter Brush, Simon Munnery.

Caro: What do you get up to the rest of the year? Is it all stand-up or do you do other things too?
Caroline: I do so many things! A big project right now is my podcast, called Self Renovators.

Caro: Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Caroline: Yes! It’s self-improvement for lazy-boneses. Each episode we (me and American comic and former psychotherapist Taylor Glenn) road test a self-help tip we find on the internet. It’s fun and silly but serious enough to be useful.

Caro: Do you have any grand plans or ambitions for the future?
Caroline: Total world domination.

Caro: What’s coming up next for you after Edinburgh?
Caroline: Harvest festival.

Caroline performed ‘Quetzals’ at Just The Tonic at The Caves  and in ‘Michael Legge & Caroline Mabey Are Two Stupids’ at Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters at Edinburgh Festival 2017.

Photo: Idil Sukan