Fringe Q&A: Phil Cornwell

Who is Robert Lemon Alackadaddy? Well he’s certainly a geezer that’s done many a thing. Come meet Phil Cornwell’s altered ego. One of the UK’s best impressionists; his cult appearances including Stellar Street and Dead Ringers. He’s also been in nearly all the Alan Partridge shows and films, and has voiced many characters on Spitting Image, Bob The Builder and also (his most famous voice) Murdoc in the Gorillaz!

Is this your first time at the fringe?

No. Seventh time I think. First came in 83 with a marvellous production called Rock Tartuffe. It was so good I can barely remember it, other than it was in the appropriately named venue, The Hole in the Ground.

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

It’s a piece I’ve written called “Alackadaddy” ‘Tis the mental meanderings of a man quite possibly disintegrating before our very eyes. His name is Robert Lemon Alackadaddy. An alcoholic in denial. There is a great sadness and glorious emptiness to his booze and drug addled life. The great thing is he doesn’t seem to care. Does he?…He’s a total fantasist. The name Alackadaddy was taken from a word Kerouac used in his eponymous “On the Road.” I just love the word “Alackadaddy” it can mean different things I suppose. This man feels, though he may not know it, that he lacks a dad.

How much work has gone in to getting it ready for Edinburgh.

I’ve been listening to a recording of it since last November. I have a base of material that I wrote. It will enable me to explore with it. I love to improvise, but in order to do that I need to have that solid base.

Are you nervous ahead of your opening night?

A little. You need a some fear, its like rocket fuel. I’m going try to go on and just trust the process as they say. Who’s they?…don’t start that…sorry.

There’s thousands of shows on. Why should fringe goers fork out to see yours?

I think it will be at the very least an interesting experience to behold. It might even make you think about the glorious meaningless and importance of existence. It might of course be somewhere to dry off if its raining. I’d love to see it. Unfortunately I can’t.

Are there any other shows you’d recommend?

I’ve heard Stewart Lee is doing a new show. You could do a whole lot worse than go see him. A master of his craft.

What’s on your hit list of shows to see?

I don’t really know what’s on there yet. As I say though, Stewart Lee is one I will go see.

What are you planning to do on your days off?

Relax. Let go a little. Be. In Edinburgh. It’s a wonderful city. Oh yes…and I shall try not to think too much. Never a great idea.

Sell your show in no more than ten words.

Come see a man living his life of ragged imperfection.

Phil Cornwell’s new comedy show Alackadaddy will be at the Underbelly Dairy Room at 4:15pm from 31st July – 25th August. For tickets go to

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