FRINGE PREVIEW – Rob Rouse: The Great Escape (Underbelly)

August 5th – 29th (not the 16th)
8.30-9.30pm, Underbelly

Rob Rouse

Rob Rouse

Comedian Rob Rouse should be a familiar face, having frequently popped up on television’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats, The Friday Night Project and 7 Day Sunday.

Since starting his comedy career in 1998 when he won the So You Think You’re Funny? competiton, Rob has received bucketloads of critical acclaim and his My Family And The Dog That Scared Jesus Fringe show last year was a sell-out.

Rob’s currently touring and working every hour available, and is now working on a project with the TV company behind Gavin & Stacey and The Mighty Boosh – so expect to see a lot more of him soon.

Rob gave us some more info about his show as well as his insights into the Fringe, based on 12 years’ experience.

Tell us a little bit about your show – where’s it happening, what’s it about, why should people come to see it?

It’s called ‘The Great Escape’ at 8.30pm in the Underbelly. It’s about leaving the big city for the countryside and essentially turning into a wild animal!

I want people to come and see it because I think it’s the funniest show I’ve ever written. Previewing it has been great fun, now I just want everyone to see it.

What do you think the best things about the Edinburgh Fringe are?

“It’s the only time you can get away with such a blatant parade of egotistical self absorbed self promotion” – My girlfriend Helen wrote that answer! I love it, it’s essentially the World Cup of comedy, what’s not to like?

What changes have you seen – good or bad – over the years?

It’s definitely grown since I first came up 12 years ago. It’s much more competitive and you can’t do anything half-baked up there.

That’s good though because it means the punters get better shows. Rather than comics with hangovers reading stuff off bits of paper!

It’s now much easier to buy vegetables in Edinburgh now than it was 12 years ago

Where are your favourite places in the city?

Arthurs Seat. I try and go up every other day to preserve my sanity.

What’s the strangest or funniest thing that’s happened to you at the Fringe?

I remember one year a tramp staggered into the back of my gig through a fire escape and joined me onstage in an impromptu double act.

Describe, if you can, your ‘average’ Edinburgh Fringe day…

Get up and 7pm have some tea, go to work, stay out till 6am.

That was 12 years ago!

Now I get up in the morning, have breakfast, do interviews, go out for some fresh air, have lunch, a catnap, potter, do the show, then maybe another, then bed.

Bizarrely, my shows are exponentially funnier and better now!

If money was no object, what publicity stunt would you do to promote your show?

I’d do a massive Evil Kneivel jump from the top of Arthur’s Seat onto the stage in my venue every night to start the show.

Who else are you planning or hoping to see?

I haven’t looked at the fringe brochure yet, I always find it so overwhelming. I struggle when there’s too much choice, making plans is something I’m very bad at.

So I’ll just wander from one thing to the next and see what I find, that’s always more exciting for me.

What do you have planned after the Fringe?

In all seriousness it’s a big ask of your partner to deal with all that this job throws at you when you’ve got a family. We’ll spend the last week or so of the festival all together and then my girlfriend Helen is going on a retreat cos I’ve been so busy and self absorbed for the last few months!

So, I’ll spend the time, just me and my son, going camping, poking stuff with sticks, digging holes and stuff. Can’t wait.

Then we’ll all go on holiday together when Helen’s re-centered herself and won’t want to rightly kill me!

Sum up your show in three words for us?

Dead-funny road kill.

Complete this joke for us: “A man walks into a Fringe show…”

He’s a tramp and got in through a fire escape.

You can book tickets for Rob’s show on the Underbelly website.

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