Interview with Mark Dolan

In the run up to Voice's latest coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we have dozens of interviews with performers like comedian and broadcaster Mark Dolan, who we'll be seeing up there.

Interview with Mark Dolan

Firstly, could you introduce yourself, and give a quick summary of your show?

I am a comedian, broadcaster and big fan of Fox's Party Rings. My show is called Life Hacks and it's a survivor's guide to life. Top tips include banishing the problem of odd socks by only have one type of sock in your life. But I don't mean just one pair.

What is your earliest arts memory?

The Mona Lisa in the Louvre, Paris. It's tiny! As a kid I devoured theatre, music, literature. Whenever I'm feeling blue, I stick on a record (well it's Spotify, but you know what I mean), read a book or watch a Woody Allen movie.

What first encouraged you to become a performer?

I loved reading out loud in English class at school. I did home made radio shows and stand-up performances and always loved to be in front of an audience.

Do you remember your first professional performance, and how did it go?

Amazing. Beginners luck! Stormed it! The next gig, died a total death. Welcome to showbiz.

What do you feel is the best thing about your job?

The flexibility, the creative freedom and the possibility that something great is just around the corner.

Conversely, what is the worst?

The flexibility, the creative freedom and the possibility that something great is just around the corner.

How do you decide whether or not a show has gone well?

That's easy. Did they laugh?

If you could work with anybody, dead or alive, who would you choose to collaborate with?

I'd like to be a guest on the David Letterman show, which sadly ended last year. Not hugely known in the UK, but he is the best entertainment broadcaster of his generation. Normally on tv you have 'presenters' or 'comedians'. Dave was both.

What made you want to come to Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

You get to perform you own stuff for an hour a day, every day, for a month! In one of Europe's most beautiful cities! What's not to like?

Is performing at EdFringe different from 'traditional' shows?

Circuit gigs are normally just 20 minutes of half an hour. The form factor of one hour is unique and brilliant for really developing some long-form ideas, that wouldn't work in a closing 20 minutes set in Waford on a Saturday night. Not that I don't love Watford. I'm all about Watford. #TeamWatford

If you could travel back in time and give 16 year-old you one piece of advice, what would it be?

Forgive yourself for not being perfect and move on.

What advice would you give to young people who want to enter the industry?

Write loads, gig loads and never quit. Woody Allen said 90% of success is showing up.

Do you have social media that our readers can follow you on?


Where can people catch your show during EdFringe?

Venue: Gilded Balloon

Dates: 3rd August to 28TH (except 16th)

Time: 8pm


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