This year, alternative stand-up comedian Alexander Bennett is bringing his new show, Follow Me, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Martin Walker asks Alexander about the show, about his alternative comedy night, and about going too far…
“The show is, in a roundabout way, about young people having not having their own culture and voice anymore. There are songs and silliness, I talk about issues relevant to my generation and some suggestions to make the world better that would definitely work, and are not ‘stupid’ or ‘mental’, despite what anyone else might say. It is not purely to flatter my own ego and won’t end in chaos and me clambering over the audience.”
Why did you choose to perform as part of Freestival?
“The enthusiastic and professional manner in which the Freestival team conduct themselves, and the promise of a decent venue set up. Plus, being part of a new and exciting thing is good, I feel.”
Tell us about your popular Alternative Comedy night This Is Not A Cult.
“TINAC is a night where I book exciting and/or new alternative comics to do exciting and/or new things. It definitely is not an attempt to set myself up as the leader of some kind of cult, whom people should follow unconditionally. It’s a lot of fun, we’ve had live carpentry and all sorts. Usually I try to get the audience to work out the end of the show, I’ve eaten half a tub of butter, tied up a guy, drank water someone bathed in, fulfilled peoples wildest dreams on stage and once the apocalypse happened a bit.”
Have you ever gone too far on stage? Is there a line or can a comedian say anything?
“You can say anything on stage if you say it in the right way. Anything. There’s no ‘too far’. However, have I got that wrong? Oh yeah. Do not suddenly start discussing compulsory sterilisation with a 70% Swedish audience.”
If you were curating a stand up show for television, who would be your guests?
“What, anybody? Tim Key, Andrew O’Neill, Daniel Kitson, Adam Larter, Bridget Christie, Lewis Schaffer, Carey Marx, Nick Doody, Cariad Lloyd, Claudia O’Doherty, Colin Hoult; there’s good people out there….”