Deadline at the Fringe are interviewing performers across the festival, putting 20 questions to them – both as an artist and as their stage or performance alter ego.
Joz Norris is Mr Fruit Salad in – Joz Norris is Dead. Long Live Mr Fruit Salad.
Award winning comedian, actor and writer Joz Norris has died, retired or just gone on holiday. Who cares? All that matters is that Mr Fruit Salad, a fictional chimaera he created as a form of self-care, has developed autonomy, started performing comedy and is putting on a show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
First we hear from Mr Fruit Salad…
- First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?
Ah don’t even no how ah’m here in jeneral, let alone in Eddenbruh spesifikally. Evree mornin ah wake up an go “None of this makes any sense.”
- Does your time here bring on joy or dread?
Depends on the day of the weke.
- How did you travel to the capital, and are you alone or with friends?
Ah yoosually swim upriver from Pontefract, which takes menny daze but meenz wenn ah get to Eddenbruh ah’m reddy for me lunch.
- Where will you visit on your day off and why?
Ah will sit in the audience and watch mah own show, becos it’s the only day ah’ll be able to see it.
- What Scottish delicacies do you enjoy and, do any of them fill you with fear?
Ah love a tattydog, me. Iz a sort of sossidge wrapped in potatoze, which is the sort of thing ah’d come up with if ah woz a cook man.
- Which watering hole will you most likely be stopping at?
The Firth of Forth. Good cleen water.
- Which other act would you be most likely to recommend to a friend?
Joz Norris is gud.
- Plug your show in three words.
Come see it.
- Are you a newcomer or a veteran?
Ah came up last yeer an did a sort of a how you say a werk-in-progress, but this year is mah big debut! Ah’m hopin for Best Newcomer and think ah’m in with a veeerrrrry gud shot at it!!!
- What do you love most about the festival?
The fakt that it makes me feel like ah exist for more than a few minits at a tyme.
- What do you hate most about the festival?
All the awful shows.
- What is your biggest fear before going on stage?
That sumboddy will see me for wot I am an pull mah beerd off.
- Quote yourself. What’s the best thing you’ve ever said?
“Kick the box!” is mah catchphrase. I say it and then ah kick an imajinary box. Iz veeerrry funnee.
- What does success and failure mean to you?
- What is your worst habit?
If ah see a bunch o’ snails, ah cannot help but pikk them up an juggle with em, which is distressing for them an irritating for mah friends.
- Most embarrassing moment?
Wonce throo up in an Uber all over Stevie Nicks cos she’d fed me too much pork belly.
- Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
Koh Rong Samloem, a lil dezert iland near Kambodia. Met a kuttlefish there and that boy taught me a LOT.
- Who would you choose to be if you were not you?
Joz Norris is gud.
- What is your greatest ambition?
To win Best Newcomer at the Eddenbruh Komedy Awords.
- How can we bring world peace?
And now we hear from Joz…
1. First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?
I’m mostly here for my annual walk around the Botanical Gardens at the end of August,
which I love with all my heart. I just put on a Fringe show to justify the journey, really.
2. Does your time here bring on joy or dread?
Neither of them seem quite the right word. It’s a form of joy laced with utter self-doubt and
stress and exhaustion and it’s a form of dread laced with enormous fun and delight and
creative freedom. My friends and I call it the “Edinburgh Tens.”
3. How did you travel to the capital, and are you alone or with friends?
I’m coming up by train as usual, and will be travelling alone. I love solo train journeys, I get so much reading and listening to music done. Bumping into someone you know on a train isthe worst feeling.
4. Where will you visit on your day off and why?
I will visit Ilam Hall, a beautiful old Gothic manor in the middle of the Peak District, because my friend is getting married in it.
5. What Scottish delicacies do you enjoy and, do any of them fill you with fear?
Potato scones are incredible. I keep trying to persuade the proprietor of my local cafe to startdoing them with his fry-ups and it’s starting to annoy him.
6. Which watering hole will you most likely be stopping at?
Probably the BlundaBus most often, because it’s where all my friends hang out and because I want to try and achieve my goal of getting a jacket potato named after me at Tony’s potato van.
7. Which other act would you be most likely to recommend to a friend?
I have so many favourite acts whose work I adore, but I think the show I’d be most likely to recommend is the amazing Lucy Pearman because I cannot even begin to imagine what sort of person wouldn’t find her shows absolutely delightful.
8. Plug your show in three words.
Mr Fruit Salad
9. Are you a newcomer or a veteran?
I’m a veteran, though that word suggests some level of authority and wisdom and I’m very
much still an idiot figuring it out as he goes along, which is the best thing to be.
10. What do you love most about the festival?
The feeling that this is what I do, and I’m doing it and I don’t need to doubt it. You can spend a lot of the year spinning your wheels and wondering what the next project will be, but during the Fringe you really think “Wow, this is my JOB.”
11. What do you hate most about the festival?
All the ego and all the vanity. Exhausting.
12. What is your biggest fear before going on stage?
I never fear doing badly in and of itself, because it happens every now and again and you
just accept it, but my biggest fear is the possibility of doing badly AND there being someone I know and love and respect in the audience, that’s a horrible feeling and I always hope to avoid it.
13. Quote yourself. What’s the best thing you’ve ever said?
“All you can do is all you can do, y’know?” Oh, also, “Your life is bigger than the things it get snagged on,” that’s another one of mine.
14. What does success and failure mean to you?
Success and failure are entirely self-determined. I think successful people are people who
are able to make their outer reality reflect their inner world. I think failure involves twisting or compromising your inner world in order to reflect your external reality.
15. What is your worst habit?
Cracking my neck and knuckles, or worrying about money when I don’t need to.
16. Most embarrassing moment?
Slipping over in front of 200 people while doing TV warm-up for Celebrity Squares, then
being publicly sacked by Warwick Davis.
17. Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station at East Midlands Parkway, because I think it’s beautiful and
it makes me feel safe.
18. Who would you choose to be if you were not you?
Julian Barratt. I think he’s had an absolute dream of a career.
19. What is your greatest ambition?
I’d love to make a TV show one day. Maybe a sitcom, maybe a spoof documentary thing,
maybe some sort of narrative comedy-drama. But I’d like to one day tell a funny story
through episodic filmmaking.
20. How can we bring world peace?
Stop being so convinced you’re right about everything, and listen to other people and try to
understand how to bridge the gap between different people’s experiences of the world.
Venue: Heroes @ The Hive
Dates: 1st – 25th Aug (not 9th/10th)