In 2017 comedian, BAFTA award winner, Harry Potter actor and double bassist, Jim Tavaré, was involved in a near fatal head-on automobile collision in Los Angeles where he has resided since 2009. He lived to tell the tale and this he will, as he hits Edinburgh next month with his show, From Deadpan to Bedpan.
Jim spoke with The Fountain about the accident and how writing saw him through the hardships, as well as his plan for the Fringe.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Yes, it’s my first Edinburgh fringe in twenty years. From Deadpan to Bedpan is my new passion project. I’m excited because it’s quite different from any other show I’ve done. Its a hybrid: part stand-up, part storytelling.
TF: The show certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
Survival-against-the-odds (true) story how a simple trip to the shops changed my life forever after I was hit by a five ton pick-up truck. Recovery took eighteen months and in that time I had nothing else to do but reflect on my hopeless situation. At the time of the crash I remember lying on the road on a stretcher and having an out of body experience: I found myself looking down on myself and thinking ‘There’s a show in this somewhere.’ Not my first choice for an Edinburgh show but I’ll take it.
TF And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
The timeline of events and subsequent recovery have been the driving force. There were many challenges along the way. My condition had a bad prognosis at first but writing the show gave me hope and literally kept me alive during the dark times of incapacity, opioid dependency and financial hardship.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
I think you know when you are ready for Edinburgh. I often hear the phrase ‘You have to hit the ground running’ which is why previews are important. Decide on the format of the show and stick to it: I’m doing a slide show because my memory was affected by a head injury – the slides serve as a useful prompt. Get a decent director who will offer a new pair of eyes if you get stuck.
TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
I’ve been up a few times before but this is my first Free Fringe. I like the idea of the Free Fringe because people need a place to come in out of the rain and who knows maybe they will be entertained at the same time. The thing I’m most keen to see when I get there is a decent audience. Just being at the biggest fringe festival in the world is inspiring. A good place to be during these troubled times…
TF: And what are your future plans beyond The Fringe?
If the show has legs I want to tour it. I’d like to turn it into a book and film it for a special.
Jim Tavare: From Deadpan to Bedpan, Counting Room Ballroom, Laughing Horse, 4:15pm, 4th – 26th August (except 13th)