Greg Byron is back in Edinburgh this August with his new Fringe show, Stand-Up Poet. Sardonic, comic, whimsical, sometimes just poignant or cathartic, delivering verses on life, the universe and everything, there is much to get from his show. The Fountain caught up with Greg about his show and his plans post-Fringe.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Yes – third time in a row – Exciting for me as a performer. The direct contact with an audience, the mostly shared common worldview laid bare. I guess my job as a Poet is to condense my own thoughts and offer some kind of release – it means we don’t all have to vent on Twitter! I’m also the writer and producer…the writer in me loves it – the producer in me has to look at finances and tell the poet to quit worrying!
TF: Stand-Up Poet certainly sounds obvious, is it what it says on the tin?
It’s the nearest description of what I’m doing… it’s not all comic, but often sardonic or wry. Some poems are thoughtful, or poignant and on a whole range of subjects just like Stand-Up can be. It’s definitely not “daffodils and misty mountains” at all! Some of the material is just plain silly. A balance of laughs and observations.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
I just got (and still am, increasingly) angry at the lies in politics, and rise of the right-wing here and in the USA. The early stuff was political – now it’s social along with some banter and pure silliness. I think I’d be kind of the illegitimate half-brother of John Hegley and John Cooper Clarke…
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 if you’re a first timer here, just see stuff that maybe you feel is close to your own material – it’s useful to see others. You learn a lot by watching. Personally I want to see Loud Poets – they run a monthly poetry night all year round in Edinburgh and it’s usually packed. Like me they don’t do wistful sentimentality either!
TF: And what are your future plans beyond Stand-Up Poet?
I’m taking the show to Adelaide, Australia in March 2020 – and I’d love UK venues to take a chance on it too, to get over the “oh it’s poetry, no-one will come” mentality. It’s a brilliant intimate experience – it’ll make you smile and send you out feeling more positive!
You can see Stand-Up Poet at the Imagination Workshop, Princes Suite from 2nd – 25th August (Not 7th, 12th or 19th) at 19:00. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com