Fringe Q&A: Izzy Mant

TV producer Izzy (The Windsors, Peep Show, Harry & Paul) has been pathologically tactful all her life. She’s run away from conflict and crashed headlong into mistaken identity, public disgrace and the Zimbabwean ambassador. But that ends now! Come help Izzy conquer politeness addiction and reclaim rude. Combines stand-up, storytelling and hardly any puppetry. The first rule of Polite Club is: you do not talk about Polite Club. Unless someone asks you nicely.

Is this your first time at the Fringe?

No, I’ve been to fifteen Edinburgh fringes, directing shows, and then as a TV producer spotting talent – but this is my first time as a writer-performer.

Tell us a bit about the show you’re in this year?

Polite Club is about the ridiculous things we do out of ‘good manners’, and the costs of being too polite. It follows my journey to overcome politeness addiction and reclaim rude.

How much work has gone into getting it ready for Edinburgh?

A year and a half’s work. I wrote down all my stories of overpoliteness, not knowing whether I was writing tragedy or comedy. Then I tried it out on audiences who confirmed it was comedy, by laughing. Hundreds of stand-up gigs later I have something you might call a ‘show’ with slides, music, props, and an ironic puppet.

Are you nervous ahead of your opening night?

Who wouldn’t be? Oh, psychopaths. Psychopaths could probably do an Edinburgh show without being nervous at all. My aim is to become a psychopath by 31st July.

There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?

You’ll relate to this show if you’ve ever been over-polite, under-polite, or just the right amount of polite. The subject seems to hit a nerve, and make people laugh. People come up after and tell me about the things they shouldn’t have put up with, the relationships they shouldn’t have stayed in, the apologies they shouldn’t have made. Also this is probably the only show on the fringe with both swearing and tap dancing.

Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend?

Josie Long, Fern Brady, Alfie Brown, Rose Matafeo, John Kearns, Tom Ballard, any of Kieran Hodgeson’s shows, any of Mark Watson’s shows, The Guilty Feminist, Gabby Best, Jordan Brookes, Our Mums Wouldn’t Watch This.

What’s on your hit-list to see?

Eddie Izzard, Jena Friedman, Drunk Women Solving Crime, This is Going to Hurt Live, Frank Skinner, Kiri Pritchard-Mclean’s work-in-progress, Tony Law & Phil Nichol, Tiff Stevenson, Spencer Jones, Nish Kumar, Jess Fostekew, London Hughes, Goose.

What are you planning to do on your days off?

For 15 years I’ve been intending to go up Arthur’s Seat and I’ve somehow never managed it. This year, spurred by a debut performer’s optimistic spirit and sensible footwear, I WILL do it.

Sell your show in no more than ten words….

TV comedy producer turned comedian conquers overpoliteness. Eff off.

Izzy Mant’s debut stand up show ‘The Polite Club’ is at the Underbelly Dexter Room Bristo Square at 2.50pm from 31st July – 26th August. For tickets go to www.edfringe.com

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