Interview with comedian and actor Ali Brice

"It’s silly, sincere and heartfelt... My show is for the Ali from 2018 that didn’t know how to cope. I’d like to think if I had seen this show back then, I would have made some different decisions."

Interview with comedian and actor Ali Brice

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hi, I’m Ali Brice. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I’m a comedian and actor. What have I been in? You may recognise me from some adverts. I’ve also popped up very briefly on the BBC and Channel 4. 

But mostly I do stand-up comedy. Performing live is my favourite thing!

How would you describe your show?

It’s silly, sincere and heartfelt. A few years ago, I was in a very bad place and tried to end it all. I’m now in a much better place thanks, mostly, to two years of therapy. 

My show is for the Ali from 2018 that didn’t know how to cope. I’d like to think if I had seen this show back then, I would have made some different decisions.

I have had a few tweets, emails and messages from people that saw the show in previews and said they related to it. I’ve been told it is cathartic, uplifting, beautiful, silly and, most importantly, funny.

I set out with the hope the hope that it might help one person. I believe I have achieved that, so the fringe is just a lovely fun bonus!

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

I love the Fringe. I love performing. I love hanging out with performers. 

Performing can, at times, be quite lonely. But at the Fringe, you are surrounded by performers day in, day out for three weeks. It’s awesome. And on top of that, I get to do my favourite thing every day. Double awesome!

What differentiates it from other festivals?

It’s massive. Absolutely huge. And goes on for ages. 

It’s Edinburgh. There’s nothing else like it.

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

I fell in love with stand-up comedy at an early age. Some people find music, or football, or painting…whatever their ‘thing’ is. I saw Ken Dodd on the TV and was transfixed.  I found it mesmerising.

It wasn’t a conscious choice to ‘enter the industry’. I just started doing the thing I love.

My comedy is comedy created from devotion - not ambition, not for fame.

How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career? 

I found comedy via my dad who loved The Goons, Monty Python, Pete and Dud and listens to all the comedy on Radio 4. My family are also really funny – so there was always laughter when I was growing up.

I guess I had a lot of opportunities at school and would always get parts in the plays. I was also funny at school and would see how far I could push it – cocky without ever getting in trouble.

I’m not sure that my education has had an impact. I guess it instilled a confidence in me that I can do whatever I put my mind to – my school just hoped that would be getting into Oxbridge and making loads of money. A career in the arts wasn’t presented as a realistic option.

However, there has never been any barrier to me doing comedy. I just started doing it. Well, I met Adam Larter at University in Kingston where we were both studying creative writing. We both had a shared love of weird comedy and started doing open mic nights together.

Adam is probably the biggest impact on my comedy career – without him, I don’t think I would have got on stage.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

I remember my Dad holding me in his arms while someone took a photo. It was in my childhood home at a party my parents were hosting. We were in the dining room.

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

Applying for jobs, I suppose.

Did Covid-19 change the way you create work? Do you approach shows with a different mentality now? 

No. I didn’t do anything creative in lockdown and enjoyed having the time off. It meant when I came back to it, I had a fresh head and new energy!

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Boring. Scary. Fun. Random. Uplifting.

Do you subscribe to the idea that art should be exempt from ‘cancel culture’? 

No. But it’s also more complicated than that and not something I can really answer fully in an interview like this.

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

I would work with my younger self and tell him to not worry so much, that confidence is essentially an illusion and that he should do what he wants more often and follow his dreams.

I’d also love to work Spike Milligan. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

Do it. Just do it. And have fun. Enjoy yourself – anything else is a bonus!

When and where can people see your show?

4.50pm. 

6th – 28th August every day.

Chamber Room, The Banhsee Labyrinth (Venue 156), 29-35 Niddry Street, EH1 1LG 

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

I am @TwiceBriceBrice on all social media – please say hello!

www.alibrice.com

Header Image Credit: Miranda Holms

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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