Interview with comedian Lew Fitz

"It made me focus on the gigs I was doing. It became more out the quality rather than the quantity and how every set or show was building towards creating something, in this case my show Soft Lad"

Interview with comedian Lew Fitz

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

I’m Lew Fitz, a comedian from Manchester.

How would you describe your show?

It’s a storytelling show about a lad running away from home, trying to find out what he’s supposed to be and what happens when you spend over a decade looking for the answers.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

It is the biggest arts festival in the world! This will be my 5th Edinburgh but 1st time debuting or in other words performing a solo hour of stand up. It is full of life and vibrancy, people from all over the world gathering for a love of comedy, theatre, dance and general merriment – I’ve missed it!

What differentiates it from other festivals?

The scale and the history behind it. I don’t know of any other festivals that cater for so many people and have such a wide variety on show. It’s one of a kind and always on my calendar.

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

At first, impulse, coupled with always being a bit of a show off and wanting my voice to be heard. Stand up and comedy in general is one of the only things that has been a constant love in my life. My first inspirations were your pretty standard ones: Peter Kay, Victoria Wood and Billy Connolly. 

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

I’m not from money. I’m from a council estate in one of the roughest parts of Manchester. In comedy, working class voices are becoming few and far between. As a result, I’d say my comedy is ‘rooted in real’ so to speak. I like the things that I talk about from my own life selling meat from a van, my Mum using M&S shopping bags but shopping at Lidl – real things that people do interest me.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

My brother and I got a cat and we took it out for walks, I was only a toddler, the cat overpowered me and ran off – we thought we’d lost her forever and I was hysterical. She came back 20 minutes later looking for food.

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

I really don’t know. Maybe pulling cable on a ship somewhere or working behind a bar. I was supposed to be a lawyer but that didn’t quite work out.

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

Yes, absolutely. It made me focus on the gigs I was doing. It became more out the quality rather than the quantity and how every set or show was building towards creating something, in this case my show Soft Lad. Using time more wisely I think is my biggest mentality shift.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Graft, patience, too many outgoings, anticipation and joy.

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

No. People should be accountable for their actions and the things they say and do.

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

I’m a huge fan of travel shows, I’d have absolutely loved to ride shotgun on the back Billy Connolly’s motorbike just tearing it through Australia or down Route 66.

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

Don’t do a full hour first, I’d suggest splitting an hour with other people first and build up to it. Get an understanding of how the festival works, the costs involved and have a show that you’re 100% confident in and proud of.

When and where can people see your show?

Gilded Balloon, Tevoit – The Turret @ 7pm (3rd-29th) Not 15th

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

@lew.fitz - Instagram

@ThatLewFitz – Twitter

www.lewfitz.com

Header Image Credit: Matt Stronge

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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