Performer: Barry Ferns Photograph by: Veronika Marx Show: Barry Loves You Venue: Just the Tonic at The Tron Promoter: Indie Online: Box Office Facebook Website
Tell me about your Edinburgh show.
It is a personal show (what show isn’t) about communication, family, love, trying to stay alive and confusion in the modern world. It is a genuine attempt to share my own life with people within 55 minutes and briefly also touches on the beauty of connection and the darkness of abuse.
Tell me about your first gig.
My first gig was when I was 15 at a pub in Bournemouth run by a comedian called “Mr Jug” and another comedian called “Eric Shunn” (Geddit? Well I didn’t until I was 26 because I’m an idiot). It was to about 100 labouers, farmers and fishermen. For the first 30 seconds they were silent in confusion as to who I was and why there was a 15 year old on stage. Then it exploded and we amazing. I didn’t touch the ground for days
Do you have any rituals before going on stage?
Get myself into the same headspace as I would be if I was hanging out with my favourite person in the entire world. Playful, light, fun.
Tell me about your best and worst review.
My worst review called the show “Unecessarily sadistic” (which was how I would actually call the review, actually.) My best review reflected back everything I hoped that people were enjoying about the show – and was from the Scotsman in 2014 “A marvelous, personal, beautifully constructed laughter-packed hour”. I was humbled to receive it.
During this Edinburgh run, do you plan to read reviews of your show?
I shall 100% not read reviews of my show during the festival. There be dragons. There be madness. There be a distraction from my own intentions and focus for my show.
How do you feel about reviewers generally?
They are no different from comedians – they want an audience for their creative output. Some comedians are warm, generous and care about the audience and other performers on the bill and would have constructive criticism if asked. Some… are “unnecessarily sadistic”
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 am not a lawyer, so I have no idea whether he committed a criminal offence. I think we can all agree that he is a dick, though. If the phrase/ stimulus to raise his paw had been “Rock, Paper, Scissors” it would have been a genius move though.
Are there any subjects that are not suitable for comedy?
There are no unsuitable subjects, just unsuitable angles. As Bridget Christie said: “You want me to do a rape joke? Of course. How about this: “The criminal legislation and punishment for rapists… that the biggest rape joke there is”
Have you ever gone too far?
I once carried a drunk heckler who was verbally assaulting a new act physically out of the room over my shoulder. That might have been too far. Perhaps I should have been more polite. Or perhaps it wasn’t far enough. I could have also kicked them in the bollocks.
Looking back over your time as a comedian, tell me about the best gig of your career.
I have it Scheduled – it’s tonight, at the Tron at 9pm. There’s a ticket for you on the door.