The Edinburgh Fringe Show

Hosted ByEwan Spence

Explore the world-renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Ewan Spence through a mix of reviews, news, and interviews.

The Edinburgh Fringe Archive – Adam Kay (Bum Notes, 2012)

I’ve talked before about the podcast archive giving us a window into the past when the recognisable names of today were still figuring their artistic life out. That’s very much the case with Adam Kay. With ‘The London Underground’ song becoming the breakout viral hit of 2005 (or at least as viral as you could manage in 2005) he started his appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe.

[Kay is] a comedy veteran whose awkwardly hilarious stage presence makes for excellent x-rated stand-up, but the real highlights of the show are his songs. His dark parodies are unfailingly funny: you’ll never be able to listen to the classics in the same way again. Seamlessly switching from mic to music, Kay performs a mixture of new tunes and old favourite hits and even manages to get the audience singing along.

ThreeWeeks / * * * * *

We join his story in 2012, where his mix of songs and storytelling settled into the ‘Fringe Favourite’ list, with multiple years of sell-out shows in Edinburgh and across the United Kingdom.

It was his first book, ‘This Is Going To Hurt‘, that started this new period in his career. It was a Sunday times bestseller, sold over one million copies, and won numerous Book of the Year’ awards. Kay adapted the book for the recent seven-part BBC Series, with Ben Whishaw taking on the now fictional role of Dr Adam Kay. His third book, ‘The Story of a Medic Who Ran Out Of Patients’, was published this year, following on from 2019’s ‘Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas‘.

Back in 2012, much of this was ahead of Kay. It’s August and his job is to get through the Fringe. In this interview we talk a bit about his life as a Doctor in the NHS and the move into performing, when going with a ‘big four’ venue was the right choice for him, and how the Fringe can benefit him for the whole year.

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