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The Comedy Zone – 10 Edinburgh questions

Friday, July 27 2012

4 comics. 1 show. 55 minutes. 25 nights.
10 questions. 40 answers. 1 article. Peace out.

The Comedy Zone – Ahir Shah, Kieran Boyd, Hayley Ellis and Mark Smith

1. What is your show about?
(The four of them gave about the same answer – it's a stand-up showcase featuring the four of them every night at the Pleasance Courtyard.)

2. Describe it in 3 words.
KB: Uh. May. Zing.
HE: The. Comedy. Zone. Or Laugh. Out. Loud. You can abbreviate that if you don’t have enough space to print it out. Hopefully people will still get what it means. Unless David Cameron reads it.
AS: Four stand-up comedians.
MS: Absolutely fucking remarkable.

3. What is your favourite part of the show?
KB: Opening the show is exciting – it’s where you figure out how hard a time the lairier audiences are going to give you.
HE: I like the bit when people laugh.
AS: The interval is a pretty wild ride.
MS: I think just the unpredictability of it all. Given that it’s a late night stand-up show it feels like anything might happen. It probably won’t, but it might.

4. Complete this sentence: if you like ... then, hell, you might just like my show.
KB: Disarmingly young-looking groups of comedians.
HE: Blond women wearing ill-fitting clothes and profusely sweating.
AS: the idea of a show that due to its nature cannot adequately be described as being possessed by any of the incumbents who collectively constitute its current iteration despite the fact that this is precisely what the final part of this sentence demands.
MS: Any one of the amazing comics that have done The Comedy Zone in the past.

5. If your show were a dog, what type of dog would it be?
KB: A red setter. They’re suitably daft.
HE: A king Charles cavaller. Looks at you with sad eyes until you play with them.
MS: It would be an Affenpinscher because it was the first one that came up when I looked up "dog breeds" on Wikipedia.

6. If you could change one thing about the Fringe, what would it be?
KB: The cost.
HE: I’d probably go for a centre parting. Sometimes it gets in my eyes when it’s too long.
AS: Can I wish for more wishes?
MS: I have always thought there should be more options of deep fried or battered foods.

7. Name 3 other shows you'd recommend seeing (aka Nepotism Corner – ed).
KB: WitTank, Naz Osmanoglu – Ottoman without an Empire and Mark Cooper-Jones: Geography Teacher.
HE: Roisin Conaty, Carl Donnelly, Dan Nightingale. Three fantastically funny people who I rate really highly indeed.
AS: “Recommend” probably wouldn’t be the word but I’m certainly looking forward to both of Daniel Kitson’s shows. For the third, I would recommend Perfect Strangers, the 2012 Footlights show. I saw the first preview in June when the show was 90 minutes long, and enjoyed it a lot; two months of additional work and condensing it into an hour will, no doubt, have resulted in something even stronger.
MS: Nick Helm, James Acaster, Sheeps.

8. What would you be doing this summer if you weren't in Edinburgh?
KB: I’d be taking my first August holiday since 2005.
HE: Probably being jealous and resentful of all the other comics in Edinburgh. That and paying a reasonable rate for accommodation.
AS: I would have done anything that doesn’t involve staying in London during the Olympics.
MS: I would be looking for somewhere nice and sunny.

9. Are there any jokes/routines any of the others do that you wish you'd written??
KB: Almost certainly, though I don’t want to give them away, do I?
HE: Seymour Mace’s backing dance routine for Gladys Knight and the Pips. Hilarious.
AS: I like Kieran’s whole “white boy” shtick.
MS: Mine would be Ahir’s bit about the different Gods. It’s brilliant.

10. If LiF wanted to create a sort of Frankenstein's monster out of the 4 of you to create the ultimate comedian, which bit of you should I use?
KB: My neuroses.
HE: Mark Smith’s head looks similar to that of Frankenstein’s so you could use that instead of a part of me.
AS: My joie de vivre.
MS: Ha! Excellent. You should my skinny lady legs. They seem to be a source of amusement to many and would garner plenty of laughs.

• Kieran Boyd, Hayley Ellis, Ahir Shah and Mark Smith perform in The Comedy Zone nightly at Pleasance Courtyard Cabaret Bar at 10.45pm. For tickets see


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