Fresh from his delightful triumph in his Edinburgh 2017 debut, which saw him nominated for best newcomer, medical doctor Kwame Asante is back to bring the Fringe a new charming hour; Teenage Heartblob.
Kwame spoke with The Fountain about the premise of the show and the possibilities the Fringe opens up.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Yes! I fell in love with the Fringe since I first went in back in 2010. To have the entire UK comedy circuit in one place for a whole month, with countless shows and social events, with one of the most beautiful cities in the world as a backdrop- it’s no wonder I’ve been up to Edinburgh every summer ever since! Teenage Heartblob will be my second full-length stand-up comedy show, and I’m hoping to build on the success of my debut show last year, Open Arms, which earned me a nomination for Best Newcomer at the 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Awards.
TF: Your show certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
Teenage Heartblob centres around my personal experiences of weighing more than you’d like to, having been overweight in my late childhood, and overweight in my early teens. My show doesn’t trivialise weight issues, but rather acknowledges their complexity, and this allows my show to talk about a wide variety of topics. Particular highlights of the show are the impact of weight issues on my experiences as first generation British African, as well as my professional involvement in other people’s weight issues, as an NHS doctor.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
The fringe gives artists the opportunity to break away from shorter sets and perform more extended shows. With this, I believe fringe audiences expect comics to offer more of a narrative, that venture into territories that don’t necessary offer quick and easy laughs. I felt this would be the perfect environment to bring up a show like Teenage Heartblob; not only does the show allow fringe-goers who saw me last year to get to know me a lot better, but it also manages to be topical and relevant, with obesity being one of the biggest health and social challenges of our generation.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
To see as many shows as I can, uncover gems and grow as much as I can artistically! Although my special goal for this year is to locate the Udderbelly’s whiskey slush puppy as quickly as I can, and mark it as my territory (in a way that keeps other people away, but doesn’t get the machine decommissioned due to health and safety reasons…)
TF: And what are your future plans beyond your show?
To be dragged away from the warm bubble of the Edinburgh Fringe kicking and screaming, and sent crashing back down to the ‘glamorous’ reality of life as a junior doctor in Birmingham.
Photo courtesy of Mark Dawson.
Kwame Asante: Teenage Heartblob, Pleasance Courtyard – The Cellar, August 1st– 26th, 9:45pm