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Edward Tripp - No Man Is An Ireland - Edinburgh Fringe Interview

The Edinburgh Fringe 2024 is fast approaching with this year’s festival officially running from 2nd until 26th August.

In a series of interviews we’ll be talking to artists and creatives from a whole host of people involved with Fringe shows.

In this interview we speak with Edward Tripp about his show No Man is an Ireland

Where did your arts career begin?
It began at University. I studied Fine Art, but I almost studied English. I always kept up with writing stories, sketches and poems. I actually did a stint of Stand Up after Uni and then got back into performing just before Covid. It’s a bit of a cliché I know, but Covid did really force me to reflect on how I should be focusing my time creatively. 

Edward Tripp. Photo by Jim Wileman

What can you tell me about your show?
‘No Man is an Ireland’ is a genre-bending comedy/poetry show, combining comedy, poetry, music and occasional theatrical stunts. It is surreal, silly and vaguely autobiographical. People who like poetry should like the show, but people who despise poetry should also like the show.

How would you describe the style of the show?
The show takes the form of a rather intense, ‘high-concept’ poetry reading. There will be props, music, slapstick and more than one unexpected theatrical effect. A comedian friend recently described the show as ‘Alan Bennett meets The Blair Witch Project’, which I think is about the right balance.

How have you approached developing the piece?
I spend my time doing lots of conventional comedy gigs, but also lots of open-minded spoken word poetry gigs. The spoken-word poetry scene fascinates me and I have always been more interested in the types of audience members who get ‘brought’ to those gigs by well-meaning friends. I genuinely wanted to create a show that appealed to that kind of reluctant audience member. 

How do/will you prepare yourself for a run at the Fringe?
Work In Progress shows! And lots of them – not a very unique answer, but it’s very true. Testing out the show in new locations, with new audiences, is so important.  

Other than the show, what’s something you’re looking forward to doing in Edinburgh this year?
I have lots of performer-friends coming to Edinburgh this 
year, so I’m mainly looking forward to spending some time with them between shows, so we can compare notes! 

In terms of other shows, I’m very excited to see ‘Lynn Faces’, a play by my friend Laura Horton. It’s a play about a punk band inspired by Lynn from Alan Partridge. I’m working with Laura on a pantomime for adults this Christmas at the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth.
Edward Tripp. Photo by Jim Wileman

What keeps you inspired?

My family. I have a very large, extended Irish Catholic family and I’ve spent most of my life steeped in their stories, mannerisms and turns of phrase. I make reference to two very specific family members in the show. One is a massive Michael Jackson fan, but I can’t say any more than that…

What do you hope an audience takes away from seeing the show?
A copy of my debut poetry collection!  - also called ‘No Man is an Ireland’. It will contain all of the poems performed in the show, and many more.

Where can audiences see the show?
I will be ‘Just up the stairs’ at Just the Tonic, 11.45am – 12.30pm every day for the whole Edinburgh run (Aug 1-25)

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