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EDINBURGH 2017: BWW Q&A- John Porter

EDINBURGH 2017: BWW Q&A- John Porter

Tell us a bit about Five Years Time.

Five Years Time is a show about how ridiculous the interview question 'where do you see yourself in 5 years?' is. I don't think anyone knows the answer, although I did have a sarcastic one (one of my favourite jokes in the show). I had to answer it at the time to try and get the jobs I wanted, but the whole show is about having no idea how wrong I would be at the time. In hindsight, looking back on June, July and August 2012, I had little idea where I would be in 5 months, let alone years. The show is about comparing expectations to reality - comparing me then to me now, the person I was and who I am now, and whether I am where I expected to be. Spoiler alert: the answer is no. The reasons why are in the show!

Why bring it to Edinburgh?

Well, like a new signing in football, it "had always been my dream" to play the Fringe. I first arrived in 2015 as part of a group show called the 'Northern Ar-Souls'. Great name, and a few great ideas, but unfortunately, no audience, and thus, cancelled shows.

Fortunately, I was up with my best friend, Alex Hamer, and we met with someone who would become a huge source of inspiration to me, Lorna Newman. I mention these people, because A) I want them to read it, and B) without them, none of this would be happening. They got me back up last year to do 'Lunatic (Of The) Fringe', which while never likely to change the world or break box-office records, stands out to me as a huge happy, proud moment in my life. I will be forever grateful to them for that and I love them both more than they can imagine.

That's part of the show too - they made me get it to Edinburgh because they knew it was a dream of mine. How can anyone not want to bring a show to the biggest arts festival there is?

Now it's time for this year's attempt, and frankly, Five Years Time is the show I'm most enthusiastic about and most hopeful for. It's also in the best venue I've had yet, at the best Fringe festival in the world. Bringing any show you truly love and want to succeed with to Edinburgh is a no-brainer.

What sets it apart from other shows at the festival?

One of the things I always say about my comedic style is that I made it anecdotal purely so no one else could be me, and in this question's case, that answer applies. It's my story. It's fun in parts, sad in others, and surprising in many. But one thing I am sure of is that it's totally unique. Even at a Fringe festival, I am 100% certain there will be no one who has my story in quite the same way. To battle a disability, while growing up, working for the first time, doing stand up comedy across the UK, then falling in love (I will spoil that that bit didn't end well - but the story is quite funny - at least nowadays), and somehow still going on and changing your entire life in five years? That's a unique story, and only my show has it.

What are the benefits of performing at the Free Fringe?

Obviously one is cost, but frankly I find that the Free Fringe has some of the better venues in Edinburgh. I've lost count of the number of venues I've gone to and thought 'Christ, I'd love to play here' and then found out later it's Free Fringe controlled. There's an element of punk to it, which I like, also. It's my show, I am wholly responsible for what happens, but I'm also not being restricted in any way, or shelling out tons of money for the privilege. It's almost pop-up, and I think that's the best way to do it.

Who would you recommend comes to see Five Years Time?
Single women aged 23-30.

Just kidding. Well, I'm not, I'm painfully single, and my story seems to skew better with women. But on a serious note, anyone who feels like they want to hear some good stories about one idiot's quest for happiness and his life to be what he wanted it to be. I hope most people will walk away uplifted by my show, so if you're hungover from the night before, and you need to feel good about yourself for the rest of your Fringe day, call in to the Counting House at 11am, August 14-19th, and hear what I've got to say.
Timings for Five Years Time can be found on the edfringe website.

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