Bella Humphries is a comedian, writer, and actor from Swindon who is now based in North Wales. She also hosted the BBC Radio Wales show Bleeding Hell, where she discussed her battle with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. This subject forms part of the basis of her debut Fringe show, ‘Square Peg’. We spoke to Bella about the show, how she turned to comedy, and her hopes and expectations for the month.

Can you tell us about ‘Square Peg?’

‘Square Peg’ is my debut hour and is a show all about exploring who I am. It tells the story of moving to rural North Wales during the pandemic, desperately trying to fit in and find my feet. Only to then get a surprise diagnosis that changed everything.

For those unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe your comedy style and approach to performance?

I’d say my approach to my comedy is to be very honest and a bit confessional onstage. I want the audience to feel like they’re my best mates and we’re having a good old gossip. My stand-up is very anecdotal and I draw endlessly on my own life experiences (for better or worse!).

Part of your show deals with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, which you also discuss in your show for BBC Radio Wales, Bleeding Hell. How do you find the humour in such a topic?

Through necessity – if I don’t laugh I’ll cry! But seriously, I’m at a place with it now where I feel comfortable enough to laugh at it. It’s taken so much from me and I want to take the power back from it.

‘Square Peg’ is your debut Edinburgh show. What are your hopes and expectations for the month?

My main hope, honestly, is to come out with a show I am really proud of. I have loved working on it so far and I can’t wait to see how it evolves over the course of the month.

Who are your comedy heroes, the people who inspired you to get into stand-up?

Sara Pascoe is a massive comedy hero of mine. I was absolutely obsessed with everything she did when I was in my early twenties. It was actually after watching a work-in-progress she did of ‘Lads Lads Lads’ that I decided to try stand-up in the first place. So I am forever thankful that I went and watched it!

Apart from your show, what else are you looking forward to (or even perhaps dreading) about the Fringe?

I’m excited to watch some comedy that is not my own. When you’re prepping for the Fringe you can get so caught up in what you’re doing that you forget other shows exist, almost. So I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends’ shows and to take a chance on something completely different and new – one of the best parts of the Fringe!

Beside ‘Square Peg’, can we expect to see you performing elsewhere during August?

You can see me at the ‘UK Pun Off‘, ‘A Political Breakfast‘, and hopefully some more spots during the month!

Are there any other acts at the Fringe that you would recommend audiences see?

There’s so many brilliant shows on and I could honestly recommend 100’s to you, but one that I saw at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival that was just brilliant was Alison Spittle’s new show. I think she’s doing a work in progress at the Fringe this year and I can’t wait to see what it becomes – it’ll have you in stitches! Would highly recommend.

Square Peg‘ is at Just the Tonic at The Mash House – Just the Bottle Room from Thu 1 Aug to Sun 25 Aug 2024 (except Mon 12)