Interview: Seymour Mace
Giggle Beats favourite Seymour Mace returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year with new show Happypotamus. We caught up with him to talk about this year’s Fringe…and flying monkeys with lasers shooting out of their eyes.
AD: It’s a bit of a clichéd question but how did you get into the industry and what motivates you to continue performing stand-up?
SM: My earliest ambition was to be a clown, which I achieved sometime in the mid nineties. I also spent a lot of my twenties performing street theatre. Eventually I became tired of travelling the world making an idiot of myself and decided to return home to do it. After performing in a local sketch show with Lee Fenwick and Jason Cook among others and attending a workshop run by Vladimir McTavish I entered the Newcastle Comedy Festival’s new act competition on November 6th 2000 and I won (hooray!). The rest, as they say, happened after that. What motivates me to continue is a little goblin that lives in my bin who I sold my soul to in 1989.
AD: How would you describe your act for those who haven’t seen you before?
SM: Funny…is that enough?
AD: You’re a regular at the Fringe – what’s special about Edinburgh for you?
SM: It’s brilliant to keep bumping into friends that I’ve not seen for a while and there’s a certain freedom there to be flamboyant that you don’t normally find in many cities. For example, I couldn’t walk around Manchester dressed as a cowboy without attracting some negative attention; at the Festival nobody would give me a second look. This doesn’t mean I’ll be dressing as a cowboy this year, but don’t rule it out.
AD: Why do you do children’s comedy shows? It’s not something too many stand-ups attempt…
SM: Children deserve to laugh too and children don’t think that silliness is a bad thing. It’s easy to entertain them you just have to be stupider than they are.
AD: What do you think the North East needs to do for its comedy scene to match Manchester and London? (Does it need to do anything? It’s grown a huge amount over the past few years).
SM: It’s not a competition – all the North East needs to do is go watch comedy. There’s loads of great gigs in the area run by Grinning Idiot, Hilarity Bites and Ten Feet Tall not to mention the Stand heading to Newcastle in the near future.
AD: Why do you think there have been so many good comedians – like Jason Cook, Chris Ramsey and yourself – coming out of South Tyneside? Is it something in the water?
SM: I’m afraid it’s pure coincidence. I don’t buy into the idea that people are funnier in some places, more wistful in others and downright angry in one small hamlet near Cheem, it seems ridiculous. I think funny people are everywhere.
AD: You’ve done quite a lot of acting in recent years – do you have anything lined up post-Edinburgh or just a holiday?
SM: Nothing so far, but in my dreams I’m a flying monkey with lasers shooting out of my eyes so that keeps me going.
AD: Finally, where and when can we see you this August and what can we expect?
SM: You can see me at Stand Two at 2.20 in the afternoon until the 28th August and you can expect fireworks! (Not really, the fire regulations won’t allow it.)
You can find out more about Seymour Mace’s show here.