FRINGE PREVIEW – Sammy J: Skinny Man, Modern World (Underbelly)

5th – 29th August (not the 16th)
9.50-10.50pm, Underbelly

Sammy J

Sammy J

Award-winning Australian comedian Sammy J was a smash hit at 2008’s Fringe with ‘Sammy J And The Forest Of Dreams’, an adult musical puppet extravaganza co-developed with puppeteer Heath McIvor.

This year, he is back with Skinny Man, Modern World, a new hour-long solo show packed with tales of Sammy’s life and experiences of being on the road.

With his unique imaginative approach to comedy, the odd musical number and impeccable dress sense, Sammy J’s show will be one to watch out for at this year’s Fringe.

We caught up with the man himself to ask him a few questions about his forthcoming appearance and his plans – not to mention his meticulous daily schedule…

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

My show is called “Skinny Man, Modern World”. It’s a collection of stories and songs, loosely linked together by the fact that I’m a skinny man and it’s a modern world.

I really can’t say why anyone should come and see it, in case it’s not the sort of show they would enjoy. I guess I would just ask them to look at my poster for three minutes and, at the end of that time, decide if they are sick of staring at my face or if they would be willing to give it another fifty-seven minutes.

If so, they can find me at 9:50pm every night at the Underbelly on Cowgate.

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

I like the idea that there’s a show for everyone, and an audience member for every show. The job of a punter is to find the right show, and the job of the performer is to find the right punter.

When each finds the other, it’s like really good theatre sex.

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

I’ve seen three Prime Ministers, two Spiegeltents, and a big tram track being built. Apart from that, it’s delightfully consistent.

Where are your favourite places in the city?

I adore the Meadows. However, this is entirely contingent on the presence of a frisbee, and a companion with whom to throw the frisbee. No combination other than this will satisfy.

I’ve been to the Meadows alone with a frisbee, and I’ve been to the Meadows with a companion but no frisbee, and both experiences were shit.

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

I once pulled something unexpected out of my bottom. I describe this curious event in all its horrific detail in my new show.

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

7am – Phone call from the President
7:30am – Jog through the meadows
8:15am – Locked out of flat
8:43am – Back at meadows; locate keys; return home
9:00am – Weetabix x 2
10:00am – Meditation
2:00pm – Wake up, alarmed
2:45pm – Go over notes from last night’s show
3:00pm – Find the notes daunting
3:15pm – Decide not to freak out as I’ve tried my hardest and after all surely the experience is the important thing, even if the audience isn’t always reacting how I wanted them to; far better to relax and enjoy the ride
3:20pm – Relax, enjoy ride
4:00pm – Arrive for interview
4:20pm – False alarm; return to flat
5:00pm – Call my wife, leave message
6:00pm – Lonely, find somebody to share curry with in Pleasance Dome
7:30pm – Regret curry
8:00pm – Meander towards Underbelly
8:15pm – Check ticket sales
8:16pm – Double check ticket sales
8:17pm – Enquire about how to boost ticket sales
9:00pm – Backstage massage and herbal remedy
9:30pm – Doors open
9:50pm – Start show
10:50pm – Finish show
11:15pm – Visit bar, try not to look needy
11:59pm – Look at watch and freak out; exit room dramatically
Midnight – Turn into a pumpkin

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

Give one thousand pounds to anyone who came to see me.

Who else are you planning or hoping to see?

Some fellow Aussies who I’m a huge fan of – Felicity Ward, David Quirk, Geraldine Quinn, and Adam Vincent.

What do you have planned after the Fringe?

A meeting with my bank back in Melbourne to assess the fallout.

Sum up your show in three words for us?

Songs, jokes, juice.

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

… accidentally. He apologises for interrupting, wishes the audience and the performer well, and carries on with his life as if nothing ever happened.

You can buy tickets for Sammy’s show on the Underbelly website

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