Susan Riddell is a rising star of the Scottish Comedy scene and is part of a phenomenal line up at the Monkey Barrel this August with her first full-length Fringe show, Duvet Day. We asked her about the show and why laziness isn’t necessary a negative trait.
Can you tell us about Duvet Day?
It’s just me marvelling at people who can be arsed doing anything. I mean, I do stuff but I’m not happy about it. I just want to lie down and watch the telly. Mind that Choose Life speech in Trainspotting? – I was like, that sounds pretty good. What’s this guy got against tellies and game shows? Maybe it’s because Tipping Point wasn’t out yet.
Your show’s a ‘celebration of laziness’ – do you consider yourself a lazy person?
Yes. Folk always talk about laziness as if it’s a bad thing but what if we’d all been a bit lazier? When I watch these serial killer programmes I’m like GOD how could they be arsed planning it all and cleaning up the mess. Also, what if Hitler was still evil but just too lazy to do anything about it?
This is your first full hour at the Fringe. How do you prepare for a full length show?
I’ve been gigging as much as I can and some previews. Even though my show is about embracing your lazy side I do still kid myself on. I have this image of myself having a tee-total, healthy Fringe. I always do. I joined Pure Gym last year and went once. I’ll probably do the same this year.
You’re part of an incredible line-up at the Monkey Barrel. Are you looking forward to being part of that?
I am! It’s such a good comedy club and last year I gigged there regularly. I’m part of the new venue across the road. I’m in Monkey Barrel 5 with people I gig with all the time so that’s nice! It’s in a really busy part of Edinburgh. My friend and fellow comic Helen Jenkins is flyering for me. She can speak fluent Japanese – it’s part of her act. So I’m looking forward to having 50 Japanese tourists in every day. Maybe this time next year I’ll be huge in Japan.
What are the best and worst things about the Fringe?
The best thing is finding something by chance that you end up loving. I saw the Birthday Girls sketch group this way. My friend cancelled on me for a drink at the last minute and they were playing, so I popped in alone like a right weirdo. I’m sure they thought I was a reviewer. The worst thing about the Fringe is the last week when you’re knackered and no well. Just make it a week shorter man. I might start a petition.
Have you had any really memorable Fringe experiences, good or bad, either as performer or as an audience member?
Yes. Last year I did a show with my friend Steff Todd at the Free Fringe and the comedian at the show directly before ours had a temper tantrum when the audience didn’t laugh and smashed the mic off the floor. So when we got in, we didn’t have a mic! It was really busy so we had to just go ahead and project! I’m a pure fishwife anyway so it was all fine. I really enjoyed it actually. And the poor guy who smashed the mic was so upset and apologetic and went out and bought a new one. He’d just been having a bad day. Everyone has at least one meltdown at the Fringe.
Do you have any Fringe recommendations, particularly any acts you feel deserve more coverage or attention than they would normally get?
Yes! My friend Rachel Jackson has just found out she’s doing a short run with her show Slutty Little Goldfish at Sneaky Pete’s. Rachel is just a naturally funny person, even when she’s trying to be deadly serious. My friend Steff Todd is doing her first hour long show Reality Check at Just the Tonic. She’s a brilliant reality TV star impressionist and I’ll definitely be going to see it. Also just anyone at the Monkey Barrel – they have brilliant comedians on new and seasoned. Shout out to Monkey Barrel 5 lassies (all about the lassies) Amy Matthews and Krystal Evans.