Show: Blue Badge Bunch Host: Benny Shakes, with co-hosts Kate Lovelock and Mark Nicholas Venue: Pleasance Courtyard, Baby Grand Time: 11.30am Dates: 3rd-15th August 2022 Photographer: Liam Keown Links: Instagram Twitter Facebook Website
Hi Benny Shakes! Please tell me about the show that you’re hosting, Blue Badge Bunch.
My show is all about disability awareness, showing families about how disabled people cope in the real world. There is a serious side to it and a funny side to it; all my life I have struggled to get people to respect me for me, not my disability, which is why this show is a learning tool for young people to understand disabled people and how amazing a person can be with the right tools.
What is the attraction of performing at the Edinburgh Fringe? What do you think of Edinburgh?
For me it’s new working relationships, learning from others, experiencing the buzz of the festival and to come away from it with a polished show that I can tour around the UK.
Who inspires you?
Lost Voice Guy and Rosie Jones. Watching them grow as comedians and people makes me stronger and a better writer. Some disabled people might say, well it’s been done, why should I do comedy now? I say don’t look at it like that, think of it like, “right, they are doing that, what can I do? What will make people go, ‘wow, I want them in my show or on TV'”?
Are there other shows you want to check out during the Fringe? What are they?
There probably are loads of shows I want to go to, but with me being disabled I will have to limit myself in what I do, so the main thing I will be going to is Lost Voice Guy‘s show. I was looking forward to seeing Rosie Jones but she’s not there this year, which is a shame. As my show is a children’s game show I will be going to several children’s shows and game shows to watch and learn, such as The Dark Room with John Robertson. The way he mostly improvises the show – the craft is amazing. I went to see his show in Mansfield and came away with a lot of good knowledge and it made me think about how I could use improv in my own show.
Finally, ask and answer a question of your own
What would you do if you were Prime Minister?
I would make sure every disabled person had the right to the care and support they need to live an independent life. No one would suffer and I would give money to employers who employed more than one disabled person in the company to get more disabled people into work.