ED2011 Columns ED2011 Comedy ED2011 Week2 Edition

Guest Editor Andrew Maxwell

By | Published on Wednesday 17 August 2011

Andrew Maxwell

Our second Guest Editor of 2011, Andrew Maxwell, introduces the two performers he has chosen to interview.

So, welcome to my issue of ThreeWeeks, I hope you enjoy everything that follows. In amongst it all you will find two interviews I have done for you, interviews with two of my favourite performers: Glenn Wool and Sammy J.

I picked Glenn and Sammy partly because they are both very interesting performers with interesting stories to tell, and partly because there are some really obvious things you could ask both of them, and I wanted to set myself the challenge of getting through both interviews without resorting to those predictable questions!

With a comedian like Glenn, who is known for his provocative material, the primary pitfall in an interview would be to immediately leap into politics, or religion, or sexuality, or some other area where it’s easy to offend. So I wanted to get through an entire interview with him without doing that.

In the case of Sammy, as somebody who works with puppets, he must be tired of all the fisting jokes, or being asked mundane things like ‘where the puppet sleeps’. These were the things I was avoiding there.

I think Glenn is a great person to talk to at this stage of the Festival. You know, as the nights start drawing on into the dawn. He’s a man that has been there and done it all. It’s an uplifting story. Of having partaken in so many late night drunken exploits, and yet he always survives.

There will be people here at the Fringe for the first time, some performing, some working backstage. And, you know, you get to that point half way through Week Two, when the rain hasn’t let up for days on end, and you can barely swallow even a banana once a day, and you’re wondering whether you’ll survive. Well, I point to the great hulking hairy mass of Glenn Wool as proof you shall survive.

And likewise with Sammy J. The Fringe is so intense, you spend so much time with the same small group of people. And it becomes a strain. And you get to the point where you start to wonder if you can make it through the rest of August with the people you’re working with, or your venue staff, or the people in your play, or the people you’re in a sketch troupe with, or maybe your agent, or your lover, or someone else that’s, like, am I going to make it through to the end without strangling this fucker?

And again here’s proof positive that it can be done. Sammy is a man who has to share the stage with a drunken, lecherous, angry puppet, and he’s done it so many times, but he’s yet to strangle the puppet. Although he has fisted it. Damn, that was on the ‘don’t go there’ list.

So, basically, I wanted my two interviews to be heart-warming stories of human survival. I think I did that. Or perhaps I didn’t. To be honest I don’t frankly care any more, because I dropped my iPhone down a portaloo toilet last night and my entire world has caved in. But I’ll survive. You will too if you read this issue of ThreeWeeks.

Andrew’s show ‘The Lights Are On’ was on at Assembly George Square at Fringe 2011.