Performer: Chris Grace Photograph by: Greg Crowder Show: Voldemort and the Teenage Hogwarts Musical Parody Venue: Assembly George Square Studios – Studio One Promoter: Otters Holding Hands Online: Box Office Website
Tell me about your Edinburgh show.
Voldemort and the Teenage Hogwarts Musical Parody is a loving tribute to the world of Harry Potter and his greatest enemy’s origin story. It tells the story of Tom Riddle, and his journeys through adolescent love, friendly and unfriendly competition, and the struggle to understand and control his growing power.
Tell me about your first gig.
My first paid comedy gig was performing short form improvisation in a wine bar in North Carolina. For some reason I ended up doing a Dolly Parton impersonation, which did much better than I thought it would.
Do you have any rituals before going on stage?
Whenever I’m nervous, I tell myself, “Well, at the very least, this will be over in an hour.” Other than that, coming from improv comedy, the cast always tells each other “I got your back”.
Tell me about your best and worst review.
I was in 50 Shades! The Musical which was clearly a parody. I played Christian Grey, a part I’m clearly not right for, but it was part of the comedy. The best review I got raved about how charismatic and compelling I was, especially given the intentional miscasting. The worst was one that simply railed on about how preposterous it was that I would ever be considered sexy or attractive, and it bordered on saying that an Asian man couldn’t ever play a leading handsome role… AND it was written by an Asian reviewer. So not only did he miss the joke, he also showed how much he hated himself!
During this Edinburgh run, do you plan to read reviews of your show?
Yes, unfortunately I’m unable to refrain from reading reviews. I mean, I can’t stop checking my Facebook page likes, what hope I have of resisting arts critics?
How do you feel about reviewers generally?
I’ve been treated well by them, and I love them, and I’m sure those two statements are not connected AT ALL.
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 don’t know, but I think the US now if a monkey takes a photo with a camera, the monkey owns the copyright, so maybe the dog is the one that should be paying the fine. And not in dead birds and lizards like the last time you paid your fine, Pugsy!
Are there any subjects that are not suitable for comedy?
No. But the corollary of that is that no comedians are entitled to laughter, in any subject.
Have you ever gone too far?
In improv I have definitely overestimated a particular audience’s desire to explore the darkness of a topic like death, or Westlife.
Looking back over your time as a comedian, tell me about the best gig of your career.
The best gig I have ever had was when I was flown to the Seychelles to perform comedy, and I was given a beautiful hotel with an immaculate pool and wondrous beach, and I stayed there for three days before the show, and all expenses were paid, and then on the day of the show was informed that the gig was cancelled, and I didn’t have to perform at all.