Performer: Damien Warren-Smith Photograph by: Joseph Till Show: Garry Starr Performs Everything Venue: Underbelly Cowgate – Iron Belly Promoter: Pietagogetter, in association with Stamptown and PLAGUE OF iDiOTS
Tell me about your Edinburgh show.
It’s about a disgraced, unemployable actor (no, of course it’s not autobiographical) who takes it upon himself to perform every single genre of theatre in order to save the performing arts from inevitable extinction.
Tell me about your first gig.
My first gig was at Marcel Lucont’s Cabaret Fantastique in Berlin and I had no idea if I was going to be funny or not. Thankfully I was. Unless they were just being supportive.
Do you have any rituals before going on stage?
I thoroughly wipe my arse (this will make sense when you see my show).
Tell me about your best and worst review.
My best review quote was from the Herald Sun in Melbourne which said “He has a butt you could send to rehab and it still wouldn’t quit”. My worst was from a Sydney blog for my first play out of drama school in which I played a gay hairdresser and they said, “Warren-Smith’s 80’s fag performance is all pout and no punch.”
During this Edinburgh run, do you plan to read reviews of your show?
No. But that doesn’t mean I won’t.
How do you feel about reviewers generally?
I’m very fond of the ones who write nice things about me. Seriously though, I think they’re great but I find the whole star rating system whack.
In April 2018, YouTube comedian, Markus Meechan (aka Count Dankula) was fined £800 for training his girlfriend’s pug dog to do a Nazi salute with its paw, in response to the phrase ‘Gas the Jews’. Do you believe Meechan committed a criminal offence, and why?
I’m not really up to scratch with my criminal law but it definitely sounds like the guy is a bit of a douche. Personally I would rather see the people who over breed brachycephalic dogs such as pugs sent to prison. Although I do find them hilarious (the dogs not the breeders).
Are there any subjects that are not suitable for comedy?
No. It’s all about the way it’s handled. As long as you’re using these touchy subjects to highlight people’s ignorances then I’m down with it. Punch up.
Have you ever gone too far?
Making fun of Princess Di went down much better in Australia than it did in the UK. Though maybe if I’d pushed it a bit further it would have become funny again. I shall try.
Looking back over your time as a comedian, tell me about the best gig of your career.
I’m relatively new to comedy so my best gig was fairly recent. I have a bit where I choose an audience member to play Juliet in a scene from Romeo and Juliet and the woman I chose was called Juliet. I made her get her license out and everything. The whole room lost their shit for about ten minutes.