FRINGE PREVIEW – Little Howard’s Big Show

Little Howard's Big Show

Little Howard's Big Show

Now with three series of Little Howard’s Big Question on BBC One and a performance in front of the Queen under their belts, Big Howard and Little Howard are making their way to Edinburgh with Little Howard’s Big Show.

And, as Little Howard is a computer animated character, this comes with some technical challenges of its own.

“It’s the biggest, most extravagant show we’ve done to date,” says Howard Read, the big – and real-life – part of the original and unique double-act. “The biggest challenge is the set-up time – normally for a show, we have three hours to get in and get everything working. At the Fringe, we’re lucky if we’ll have half an hour!”

“However,” he says, “it is a bit simpler than some of the shows we’ve done before. There’s no 3D for instance. And I’m lucky because I finally feel computer technology has caught up with me.”

“It’s a sketch show with a narrative,” he continues. “There’s been a government crackdown on people who are not entertaining; and Big Howard has been declared ‘clinically unfunny’. So he has to prove he is funny – with the help of Little Howard. It’s really about how much people need each other.”

Howard has done stand-up for 15 years, but pitches Big Howard & Little Howard firmly at a family audience.

“There’s a huge audience who want to be entertained,” he says. “I aim for the balance of broad and cerebral comedy – I think having the mix of the two is the trick.”

He first came to the Fringe in 1996 and has been a regular ever since, often attending with his family.

“Being at Edinburgh with your children can be quite strange,” says Howard. “But it is wonderful – and it’s great to see all the comics you normally see in passing and be able to spend a whole month with them.”

And what does he expect Little Howard to be getting up to in his time off in Edinburgh?

“He usually goes up Arthur’s Seat several times,” says Howard. “And he’ll be collecting flyers. He loves flyers so much, and he makes papier-mache dinosaurs out of them.”

“But most of all he’ll be doing what he enjoys doing best. Humiliating me.”

Little Howard’s Big Show runs from Aug 3-29 (not 17) at 16:40 at Assembly George Square. Further information is on the Fringe website.

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