Deadline at the Fringe are interviewing performers across the month, putting 20 questions to them off the cuff.
Richard Marsh co-wrote and co-performed Dirty Great Love Story with Katie Bonna, which won a Fringe First Award and transferred to Soho Theatre, New York and finally the West End.
This year he is back producing the world premier of Phoenix, a new one-man musical which he co-wrote with songwriter Jessica Sharman. His other Edinburgh successes include Skittles and Wingman.
First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?
I love Edinburgh. I’ve lived a lot of my life here, but always in August. I’m here with Phoenix (13:20, Pleasance Dome) which I co-wrote with Jess Sharman and I’m producing. It’s a one-person musical starring multi-instrumentalist rocktopus Andy Gallo.
- Does your time here bring on joy or dread?
- How did you travel to the capital, and are you alone or with friends?
By train, with my trusty collaborators, Lucy Jane Atkinson and Andy Gallo. Lucy’s our director, a forensic theatre brain. Andy’s the star, Ash Phoenix himself. A ridiculously talented human being.
- Where will you visit on your day off and why?
I’m not acting in the show so I’ll be heading back home mid-festival to look after my kids. Just as well, really. Making Phoenix has involved spending lots of time away from my actual children to write about an imaginary father trying not to spend lots of time away from his imaginary child.
5. What Scottish delicacies do you enjoy and, do any of them fill you with fear?
I love Cullen Skink. Partly because it’s delicious, partly because the first time I ate it was half way through a brilliant Edinburgh. My wife was up for the weekend and I’d just heard my show from the year before had been commissioned for Radio 4. So I was in a good mood.
But Cullen Skink remains delicious even without a preceding radio commission.
Cranachan I’m not so keen on. Porridge is a breakfast, not a dessert.
- Which watering hole will you most likely be stopping at?
I’m basically going to follow Andy’s lead. He’s a beer connoisseur, he even brews his own. He’ll find the good places. Inevitably, we’ll also end up drinking in the Pleasance Dome a lot, we’re on there.
- Which other act would you be most likely to recommend to a friend?
Amy Booth Steel – Honest Amy.
Richard Gadd – Baby Reindeer.
Rob Auto – The Time Show.
- Plug your show in three words.
Comic. Uplifting. Rock.
- Are you a newcomer or a veteran?
I wish I was a newcomer.
- What do you love most about the festival?
I like that there are shows you can see.
- What do you hate most about the festival?
The cost of rental accommodation.
- What is your biggest fear before going on stage?
I’m not on stage myself this year, but Lucy and I are terrified of Andy getting injured. He performs every part, plays every instrument, and also arranged the show for keys, drums, two guitars and the loop pedal.
Not only can no one else perform the show, none of us even understand his cabling.
- Quote yourself. What’s the best thing you’ve ever said?
I’m quite proud of my insta handle, speckywiththegoodhair.
- What does success and failure mean to you?
It’s down to the emotional effect your show is having on your audience day by day. That’s really what the Fringe is all about, rather than reviews / awards / the industry. Success is remembering that.
- What is your worst habit?
- Most embarrassing moment?
At the Fringe, probably the time I had to identify our flat’s rubbish for the police during a murder investigation. There was clear evidence of illegal items in our (carefully labelled and evidence-tagged) rubbish. The officer and I silently decided we would not refer to this.
After the garbage identity parade, I offered her a flyer to our show. She did not come.
- Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
Leaning on a gate with a view over a field that slopes gently away from you in a lane near where I grew up. It’s a restorative spot, with Glastonbury Tor in the background to remind you that people are cray.
- Who would you choose to be if you were not you?
- What is your greatest ambition?
- How can we bring world peace?
Bring the entire population of the world to see Phoenix – it’s extremely uplifting.