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Quick Quiz: Michael Redmond

By | Published on Sunday 6 August 2017

This August the Edinburgh Festival celebrates its 70th anniversary. To mark the occasion, we have asked a plethora of performers about their personal Fringe experiences. Today, comedian Michael Redmond.

TW: What was you first ever experience of the Edinburgh Fringe?
MR: My first Fringe was in 1988. It was a sort-of double act with the comedian Bob Mills. I can’t remember the venue but nobody turned up the first night. However, later on, when we were in the bar at the old Gilded Balloon in Cowgate, we told everyone there were twelve people there. The following night we had three people in. This time, in the bar later, we told people we’d had just the three audience members, but that they’d been more responsive than the previous night. Suffice to say, it was a humbling experience.

TW: What’s the best thing you’ve ever seen performed at the Fringe?
MR: I think it would have to be Bill Baileys’ show, in 1993 I think. I’d seen him perform a few times already on the circuit in London, but this show was really special. I wouldn’t call it a musical comedy show, but it had both music and comedy… really unique and hilarious.

TW: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen performed at the Fringe – so bad it was good?
MR: It was in 1992, when I was doing my show ‘Live And Harmless ‘ at the Gilded Balloon. Someone convinced me to see a theatre company from the Netherlands perform a play. The thing was, the play may have been brilliant, but the problem was it was performed in Dutch. Apparently the company involved had the idea that it would stand out because all the dialogue was in Dutch. They didn’t seem to realise that nobody had the faintest idea of what was happening, unless you happened to speak Dutch. There were only about ten people in the audience at the start. Judging by the fact that eight people walked out halfway through, leaving just myself and my friend, I’d say there were no Dutch speakers in that night.

TW: Which of the Fringe shows you performed in do you most fondly remember – and why?
MR: It would have to be the previously mentioned ‘Live And Harmless’. It was the first time I’d performed a solo show and it received quite a lot of great reviews. Most of the shows were sold out and I had a really great time.

TW: Name a Fringe performer – past or present – who you’d like to join on stage? 
MR: I’m a big admirer of Seymour Mace, who was nominated for a comedy award two years ago at the Fringe. He does a lovely piece at the end of his act sometimes, when he puts himself in place as one of the backing singers from Gladys Knight And The Pips to the tune of ‘Midnight Train To Georgia’. It has to be seen to be really appreciated! So, I’d like to join him one day on stage as a second member of the Pips.

TW: Other than performing and seeing shows, what is your favourite thing to do in Edinburgh during August?
MR: If I’m being really honest, taking refuge in my flat and reserving as much energy as I can for my show! It’s a tough slog performing each day, but usually worth it.

Michael Redmond performed ‘I Wrote A Joke In 1987’ at Gilded Balloon Teviot at Edinburgh Festival 2017.