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EDINBURGH 2022: Luke Rollason Q&A

EDINBURGH 2022: Luke Rollason Q&A

EDINBURGH 2022: Luke Rollason Q&A

BWW catches up with Luke Rollason to chat about bringing Bowerbird to the 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Tell us a bit about Bowerbird.

Bowerbirds build a nest out of objects that they find, to attract mates and raise little baby birds. In Bowerbird, I build a comedy show about nesting out of everyday objects that I found, mostly in shops, in exchange for money. I'm not trying to attract a mate, though. Just an audience. I am under no illusions that this show will get me laid.

The show is a totally absurd ode to the great indoors. If you're an agoraphobic, this is the dream comedy show for you. Unfortunately, I am performing in a comedy venue and not your house.

What is the inspiration behind it?

I realised that performing prop-based comedy has essentially made me a professional hoarder. You end up having all sorts of sentimental attachments to objects which make them impossible to clear out, and as a result you accumulate all sorts of emotional cobwebs. Tidying up becomes a gruelling psychological trial. This show sees me try and break free of the prison that I've built around myself, whilst ensuring I do absolutely nothing to change my lifestyle.

As this is your third solo show do you feel you know what to expect from the Fringe?

Absolutely not. I didn't even expect that question. I think the whole sickening unpredictability of the thing is the most joyful and the most cursed thing about the Fringe. Last year's limited-run Fringe was a total breeze - everyone sold out overnight. Will anyone show up this year? It's questions like this that keep A) the Fringe fun and B) me up at night, grinding my teeth in manic expectation.

Who would you like to come and see Bowerbird?

Something I love about my customary early afternoon time slot is that I get truly eclectic audiences - diehard comedy fans, families, pensioners and masochistic hungover stag dos. It means right before the lights go down, everyone is looking at each other thinking "I think I'm in the wrong venue." I love that. It's going to be especially pronounced this year as I'm performing in the emo room of a nightclub.

Most comics dream of creating a shared atmosphere in the room, but I get one for free. An atmosphere of uncertainty.

So my dream audience member for Bowerbird is someone who thinks they are in the wrong room but is too polite to leave. Or anyone who has ever visited IKEA and thought "I reckon I could live in here."

Where else might we know you from?

I was in a Channel 4 sketch that went massively viral as a man who believed he was 7 foot tall. A lot of people mistook it for a documentary about a real person who walked everywhere on stilts. People thought it was this hidden part of my past that had just come to light, and that I'd only recently come to accept my real height. I was teaching in a school at the time and it did not help me maintain authority.

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