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Sam Curry: My Edinburgh

12th Jul 2016

We chatted to none other than Sam Curry (who you might recognise from The Apprentice 2015!) but who has also been a professional actor since leaving university. He gave us the low-down on The D-List, in which he stars this year at Underbelly's Buttercup in Med Quad from 6 - 29 August (not 15).

Have you performed at the Fringe before?
I have performed twice before at the fringe. Once successfully and once less so. They say you’re doing well if you have more audience members than cast in your show: I know it’s a running joke but one year that really was quite touch and go. Also, we started the show my doing the Charleston as the audience (about 7-8 of them) were coming in. It was a nice idea but the only problem was that I was in a dinner suit, so by the time the audience had come in and the lights had been on your for 10-15 minutes, well, I felt like I needed a shower every day before they show had even started properly. 

Where’s your favourite spot in Edinburgh?
That’s a tricky one; there genuinely are so many little places I love. Probably one of my favourites, because I’m a fat f**k is Mary’s Milk Bar. It’s this tiny ice cream parlour in Grassmarket. What that lady can do with eggs sugar and milk is quite ludicrous. Actually, I think I was talking to her once and she actually has a PhD in ice cream, believe it or not! A PhD! IN ICE CREAM?!?! (I realise I should have probably gone for something cultural here like the Scottish National Gallery, but… ICE CREAM).

What will you be packing in your suitcase for the Fringe?
Jumpers and wellies. I remember the first time I went up to Edinburgh I very foolishly/hopefully packed a bunch of summer clothes. What a mistake! There may have been a few trips to shops in Edinburgh to buy big jumpers and a frantic phone call home asking if wellies could be sent in the post! I also probably will be packing an industrial size jar of Echinacea. I’m going to put it down to physical exhaustion and the plethora of bacteria from all different parts of the country converging in a small space, rather than a one month hangover…

Do you know who Greyfriars Bobby is?
Ha of course. It’s the statue of the terrier dog who sat for 14 years at his master’s grave until he died. I wonder though if it’s like the stature of John Harvard; you know the famous statue in Harvard with the shiny toe where everyone has rubbed it? Well, ‘interesting’ story, and a warning: my friend at Harvard, when I went round, told me definitely not to touch the toe, because what the poor unsuspecting tourists don’t know, is that all the students urinate on the toe in freshers week. Also, back to Bobby, I’ve heard that the story about the graveyard is quite untrue. I heard that someone who worked at the graveyard, or maybe just tourists, fed the dog everyday and that’s why he kept returning. As someone who has grown up with dogs, and currently has one, I can tell you that that’s a lot more likely. Dogs seem to be loyal to food, and food alone. Actually, talking of dogs, is that another thing I can pack in my suitcase?… with air holes.

What’s the best show you’ve ever seen at the Fringe?
There are two. I think both in the same year. One was a one woman show that the actress wrote, directed and performed in. It was called The State versus John Hayes. It’s about a schizophrenic killer on death row. I think it was about an hour long. It was one man/woman sitting on a bed for the whole hour. She didn’t move, or maybe once. She just told her tale. I’ve rarely been so gripped by a piece of theatre. I saw it three times. That same year was also the year that Nirbhaya was on. It was a play based on the horrific gang rape in Delhi. The whole play was performed by victims of sexual assault. It was aesthetically stunning. Aurally compelling. Emotionally horrifying. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give (or have been given) about the Fringe?
That’s a tough one. I think, in terms of shows, if you’re not performing and only going up for a couple of days, wait until your friends have been performing for a week or two. That way they will have seen/heard about the best shows that are on. Then you can spend your valuable time and money seeing things that are really good, rather than, well… Also, stay with friends and family, crash on a floor, heck, crash on a museum floor because hotels and Air BnB know when the festival is coming and all of a sudden Edinburgh decides that every room is worth as much as staying in Times Square.

To ceilidh or not to ceilidh?
"I knew him, Horatio" (Oh no wait….) 

What can audiences expect from your show?
Well, primarily it’s a comedy, so if they find it funny that’s a start. The show is  very tongue in cheek. Yes it has a message about social media and celebrity culture, but not in a sanctimonious way. It’s light-hearted. It’s poking fun at these issues and there are some great jokes in the show. I think it might be quite different to a lot of plays that are on at the festival. I think for me it’s quite cathartic and self-depricating but in a humorous way. It’s fast paced and frenetic and there are some brilliant characters in it. The strength of the show lies in the interaction of the characters: their dynamics are great and it’s what makes it so funny. It references pop culture, social media, and television a lot, so I’d say that it might be funnier for those who actually have some involvement in those things, rather than, say Proust scholars.

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