CB: What is your show about?
Beasts: It’s called Mr Edinburgh 2016, and it’s essentially a contest between the three of us to decide who is the best man in Edinburgh/Scotland/the world. It’s a sketch show masquerading as a game show, where the winner not only gets the the coveted title of being Mr Edinburgh, but is also allowed to finish the show in whatever manner they choose. We genuinely don’t know who will triumph on any given night.
CB: Why did you want to write this show?
Beasts: This is our fifth Edinburgh show on the trot and, as every year, we wanted to try and make something bigger and better. Over the past couple of years our shows have become more and more about crowd work and that live element. A show where the audience can have a direct impact on the outcome felt like a natural progression. Also, most sketch shows play upon that competitive dynamic within the group. It seems like the sensible thing to have a competition that settles the debate once and for all: who’s the best in BEASTS? THE PEOPLE DEMAND TO KNOW.
CB: What comedians and comedy writers have impacted on the way you develop your show structures and material?
Beasts: For the last three years we’ve worked with Tom Parry as a director, and he’s played a huge part in helping out with the structural and narrative aspects of the show. When you think of Pappy’s shows – or indeed Tom’s solo work – you’re always struck by the way they manage to seem very silly but are actually underpinned by very smart structural stuff. It’d be nice to think that a little of that has rubbed off. We have other influences of course but Tom only agrees to direct the show on the condition that we big him up in interviews.
CB: What is your advice for new comedians and writers who want to write their first show?
Beasts: Maybe just to get on with it? We first gigged as a group in March of 2012 – by August we were doing a full run in Edinburgh. We weren’t brilliant, but we learnt as we went along. There’s a certain risk in that but in that early stage it’s more important to be productive than to be perfect.
Beasts will perform their new show Mr Edinburgh 2016 at the Edinburgh Festival. Tickets