Tania Edwards is a much loved stand-up comedian and writer whose credits include Stand Up For The Week, Twit of the Year, Mock the Week, Après Ski, and The Unbelievable Truth. She recently supported Katherine Ryan on her sell out tour, and she’s been a finalist in the Hackney Empire, Amused Moose, Leicester Square, Latitude, and Funny Women competitions. Her last solo show Tania Edwards: Electrifying was named in James Acaster’s top comedy picks for The Guardian, Glamour magazine’s top female comedians to see at the Fringe, and The Mirror’s top five jokes of the Fringe and her latest show will no doubt garner similar acclaim. Here she talks about her new show “Don’t Mention It”, how she wishes social media wasn’t as important as it’s become, the things she likes and dislikes about Edinburgh, and how she wishes she could write all of her jokes in the Maldives.
CTW: How would you describe your comedy to someone who wasn’t previously aware of your good self?
Tania: I’m a stand up. I tell jokes about domestic bliss and sometimes I tell the truth.
CTW: And what can you tell us about your Edinburgh show?
Tania: My show is called Don’t Mention It. I’m standing against the zeitgeist for oversharing. The stiff upper lip has been swept away by a tide of trembling trout pouts. I make an emotional appeal for stoicism. My message is repress, repress, repress. Stop talking about yourselves. Talk about me.
CTW: What are your favourite things about the festival?
Tania: Everything I like about gigging generally – performing, watching other comics, catching up with friends from the circuit – I also like about the Festival. But it’s obviously much more intense because you’re gigging multiple times a day for nearly a month. And of course, everything depends on the show. None of those things are fun if you’re not killing it. If you’re happy with the show everything else is great. If you’re unhappy with the show you can only see the rain.
CTW: And are there any aspects you don’t like?
Tania: I still think the Festival might be three weeks too long.
CTW: When it comes to stand up, how do you feel you’ve evolved since your first ever gig?
Tania: When you’re new and you die on stage it is agony for everyone. When you know what you’re doing and you die on stage the agony is all yours. The audience thinks you’re shit. That’s the goal. If I die now (unlikely, of course), the audience will just hate me. Great! You don’t want anyone to ‘feel’ for you. Sympathy is for beginners.
CTW: What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you since you started performing?
Tania: In a decade? The funniest thing? It’s not printable.
CTW: If you could change any element of the stand-up scene, what would it be?
Tania: When I started social media wasn’t important – now you’re expected to have a big online presence. I’d get rid of that. I’d cancel the internet. It rewards the loudest whingers. There are a lot of them, and when they attack it’s like a tsunami. All those humourless people complaining about jokes they don’t like as if there’s one out there they might get – it’s no good for creativity. The threat of being (deliberately) misunderstood is an unlikely but effective censor.
CTW: If money were no object, what would you like to create?
Tania: I’d write my jokes in the Maldives while I decided which scripts to throw that sweet cash at. And assuming I hadn’t successfully cancelled the Internet yet I’d have a top tech guy on a 24-hour retainer until I could produce my own stand up clips without crying in frustration.
CTW: And finally, if you could interview yourself, what question would you most like to ask? And what would the answer be?
Tania: Ha. No one can stop you interviewing yourself but hopefully things will never get that bad. If they do the only question will be, “Why don’t you quit?”
Tania Edwards is taking her new show, Don’t Mention It, to Monkey Barrel 2 as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 2nd-25th August (excl 14th) at 4.00pm. More info and tickets available here or at www.taniaedwardscomedy.com
You can watch a clip of Tania performing stand up here.