The Spayne and Spigwell Advertiser sent their indefatigable reporter, Gladys Weems, to Edinburgh to check out the progress of local comedian Jolly Jim Jardine as he assaults the Fringe in more ways than none.
GW: So, how’s it going?
JJ: Not well, to be honest, Glad. Or should I say to be Glad, honest?
GW: No, I can’t see any reason why you should.
JJ: Fair enough. I think my main problem is the lack of audiences. There’s just so much competition out there and a lot of the other comedians have what I’d call unfair advantages.
GW: Such as?
JJ: Well, being famous, having done more on telly than just getting thrown out of an Apollo audience, having an army of publicity people giving out flyers, contacts in the big press, coming from bigger cities …
GW: … being funny?
JJ: Don’t start that crap again. Funny is subjective and anyway, being unfunny worked for Andy Kaufmann, Ted Chippington, Stewart …
GW: Yes, but they were trying to annoy the audience from the start. Then again, I understand you do that with your rather aggressive flyering technique.
JJ: Yeah, but that’s sort of comedic in itself – gives them a flavour of the in-yer-face style …
GW: … scares them off too.
JJ: It works back home. I can’t see why it’s so much less effective here.
GW: Just a suggestion, Jim, but it may be that Wyberton being small and Spigwell minuscule, means you know most of your victims. No one here has any real fear that you’re going to smash their windows if you don’t see them at the gig. And they’re not even their own windows while they’re up here.
JJ: Yeah, well, it’s all in fun. All part of the act.
GW: Including all those cases for damage to property back home?
JJ: This is the fringe. It’s different, innit?
GW: Obviously. But I want to come on to the name change, Jim … or should I say, Andy?
JJ: [laughs] Yeah, well, that slightly went wrong.
GW: Was it an attempt to get away from the bad press?
JJ: Bloody hell, no. I’ve only made the nationals a couple of times anyway and no one from Spayne can afford to come to Edinburgh in August. No, it was simple a funny idea I had. …
GW: Wow, that’s a first.
JJ: Oi! Seriously though, I was trying to get a spot at the Stand comedy venues, so I thought Andy Liver would make a fun name, in the context.
GW: It all makes some sense now. So Potting Shed Andy Liver isn’t simply an overstretched idea.
JJ: Well, it is; maybe a bit oversophisticated for my audience …
GW: Both of them?
JJ: Piss off! I’ve had a few punters in the street get it, though they don’t seem to realise I already thought of it. If I’ve heard “You ought to be playing at the Stand!” from one person, I’ve heard it from six.
GW: Two of whom you attacked, I hear.
JJ: Smartarses. Can’t stand ’em.
GW: Indeed. Good job they’re not pressing charges. But back to the title of your show. It is actually taking place in a potting shed, I believe? Somewhere in Stockbridge? Is that part of the PBH Free Fringe?
JJ: No, they wouldn’t have me either. So I found this potting shed … I think the owners are abroad somewhere. Hope so anyway. Saves accommodation costs, too. And it’s more a sort of JJJ Negative Fringe.
GW: Jolly Jim Jar…
JJ: Yeah. And before you ask, it’s negative in that I’ve taken to paying people to come. Thank fuck the shed only holds about six people.
GW: So, any sell-outs yet?
JJ: Fuck no, I couldn’t afford that.
GW: Can’t say I’m surprised. Your only review so far said you even make Peter Buckley Hill seem funny by compari…
The interview was terminated at this point when Jardine/Liver grabbed our reporter by the throat and attempted to strangle her. He was remanded in custardy at Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court. All further performances of Potting Shed Andy Liver have been cancelled.
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The vaguely real and occasionally funny Dai Lowe is appearing in Well, It’s Woody, daily at The Street Bar, 2 Picardy Place, EH1 3JT. Check out the PBH Wee Blue App for details of that and loads of other shows by the stars of tomorrow, the has-beens of yesterday and the no-hopers of today, all performing for whatever you’re prepared to chuck in the bucket at the end.