Ivor Dembina’s 5 star show ‘Old Jewish Jokes’ at the Gilded Balloon has been a surprise hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The 63 year old comic veteran has worked alongside all the greats in alternative comedy, and is seen by many as one of its fathers.
You’ve been in Edinburgh a week now, performing Old Jewish Jokes. How is it going?
“After working for a number years on the free fringe I’m still adapting to performing to audiences who buy their ticket upfront. On the first night, out of habit, I nearly passed the bucket round to an audience who’d had already paid!”
What kind of audiences are you getting?
“Exactly the same as on the free fringe! People of all ages who want to have fun but, want to hear something a bit interesting too.”
Will you catch any other shows whilst you are here?
“Yup. I try to keep things international. So far I’ve enjoyed Australian Cecilia Paquola and Israeli Yisroael and absolutely loved Englishman Chris Dangerfield (but a warning some people won’t).”
You say you enjoyed an Israeli act, but you are organising a benefit show for Palestinians?
“Just because the Israeli government’s actions have defied belief and have been beyond contempt, I have no issue with individual Israeli people.”
Daniel Kitson, Josie Long and Andy Zaltzman are joining you on the bill. How did you get them to take part?
“Two of us are Jewish and two are not. I have known all the others for years and they are all humanitarians whom I guessed would be happy to end to the kind of carnage we’ve seen in Gaza.”