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Elis James – 10 Edinburgh questions

Thursday, July 19 2012

And to think Welsh charmer Elis James nearly, NEARLY got through this article without mentioning Swansea FC at some point. Great effort by the lad.


Elis James

1. What is your show about?
It is the sum total of every funny thought I have had since September 2011, vetted through the preview process and condensed into this – my stand-up odyssey.

2. Describe it in 3 words.
My fourth show.

3. What is your favourite part of the show?
The last five minutes is a lot of fun, but it might become the first five minutes, I haven't decided yet. It's all to play for, but it's a real belter of a five minutes.

4. Complete this sentence: if you like ...Elis James, Elis James impersonators and those influenced by Elis James' previous body of work ... then, hell, you might just like my show.

5. If your show were a dog, what type of dog would it be?
One of those dogs that looks, smells and acts like a cat.

6. If you could change one thing about the Fringe, what would it be?
That losing £8,000 is seen by comics as "fine". Ticket sales increase every year and the tickets become more and more expensive – so someone is making money but it's not the comedians.

7. Name 3 other shows you'd recommend seeing.
John Robins, Josh Widdicombe, David Trent.

8. What would you be doing this summer if you weren't in Edinburgh?
I would take my girlfriend on holiday and be given a glimpse into another, different way of spending August. And I'd be letting funny things I said disappear into the ether, as opposed to typing them into the notes section of my iPhone and thinking "is that material?"

9. Given the amount of radio and TV work you've done in the past few years, do you enjoy celebrity status in your Welsh hometown?
I do get recognised around town, but that's mainly by old school friends and people who work with my mum. On the way to Goodison Park to watch the Swans [Swansea FC] play Everton a friend blurted out that I was a stand-up, and fifty drunk Swansea supporters who'd never heard of me tried to make me do a set in the buffet carriage, so I had to pretend that I had tummy trouble and spent three hours in the toilet.

10. You've spoken about your love for indie music in past shows – but what about books, Elis, do you read books too?
I love books. I'm re-reading Alan Bennett's Talking Heads at the moment, it's wonderful. I'm also re-reading E P Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class which I read for my history degree. I'd love to do a comedy show about history, but I'm not sure how if I could make it funny enough. I have a recurring daydream that I quit stand-up and become a history professor, working alone on my thesis surrounded by hundreds of musty old books and journals. Wow, if I say that out loud it makes me sound like I have depression.


Here's Elis appearing on Dave's One Night Stand.


• Elis James – Speaking As A Mother is on at the Pleasance Courtyard at 7pm and he stars alongside Chris Corcoran in Committee Meeting at Underbelly at 1.30pm

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