Fringe interview: Scott Bennett

People say it’s brave to do stand-up comedy. It’s braver to let someone you love do it. This year Scott Bennett has finally made a decision and it’s changed his life and the lives of those around him. What does it mean to follow your dreams when you feel like you have so much to lose?

Rob Brydon tour support, BBC News Quiz writer, The Chris Ramsey Show writer and Amused Moose Edinburgh Award nominee Scott Bennett returns to the Fringe with an honest and hilarious new show.

This isn’t your first time at the Fringe.

No, third time. I was up in 2013 for a compilation show and did my debut hour in 2015. In between that time we have squeezed in a few kids and some real life.

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

The show is about what it feels like to follow your dreams when you feel like you have too much to lose. It’s effectively a story about what happened last year when I decided to quit a career to be a professional comic. It’s told in three sections which cover the build up to the decision, how I coped in the months after (spoiler alert: not very well!), the sacrifices made by myself and others, and how my life has changed as a result. There are also stories about some brief celebrity encounters, the love a man has for his shed, and why playing crazy golf with a seven-year-old is a terrible idea.

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

I’m always writing, so I’ve been kicking the basis of the show around for a year or so now. However, weaving that together into a show is the hardest part of the process.

Are you nervous ahead of your opening night?

Yes and no. Yes, because I think nerves are good as it shows you care, but also, I’m excited as I really love the show and I can’t wait to do it every day in front of people who love comedy!

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

Everyone wants to follow their dreams, but circumstances and life prevents them from doing so. I think this show is an insight into what doing something like that actually means, the people it affects and how you discover just what type of person you are as a result. It’s also taking topics like anxiety, parental responsibilities and discussing them in a frank but hilarious way. One final but pertinent reason is that I am dragging the whole family up to the Fringe on this insane vanity project, instead of going to the south of France, (the preferred option by a 3-1 vote) – so it’s important that it goes well as I need to maintain the illusion of respect from my own children.

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

There are a few of my colleagues putting on shows this year that I will be able to see. Dan Nightingale, who hasn’t been to the Fringe for a while but is brilliant to watch, Kiri Pritchard Mclean who is always great, Hayley Ellis and Chris Washington, whose star is on the rise. I’ll also be seeing Glen Wool, who is always inspirational, Scott Capurro and Jerry Sadowitz, as they do the comedy I admire but would never do myself!

What’s on your hit-list to see?

Glen Wool, Rob Kemp.

What are you planning to do on your days off?

I’m doing the Knock Knock Podcast at the BBC tent on Potter Row with Helen Lederer at 2pm because I think I could do with just one more day that month where I can get the opportunity to talk about myself, plus it’ll be hilarious and Helen is a legend so I’m not missing that. Afterwards it’ll be dinner, drinks, a kids show with the family and then I’ll probably fall asleep in front of a BBC4 documentary about Marillion.

Sell your show in no more than ten words….

Doing comedy isn’t brave… letting someone do it definitely is.

Scott Bennett: Leap Year, 5:55pm, Just the Tonic Mash House, until 26 August,

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