Interview with Sunil Patel

Sunil Patel takes some time to talk to Voice about the show, inspirations, and to give advice to young people.

Interview with Sunil Patel

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hello. I am Sunil Patel. You may have seen me in an online advert for nasal spray.

How would you describe your show?

I'm going to be answering all the important questions about human existence and the deeper meaning(s?) of life, and how I have recently developed a pretty solid badminton game.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Do you ask an eagle why it flies? Do you ask a dolphin why it swims? Or a bird how it also flies (similar query to the eagle)? No, but in the spirit of this questionnaire I will answer:

1. I like the weather here. It's too hot in London.

2. I got jokes to sell and you're buying them.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

The only other festival I have been to is Glastonbury. Edinburgh is much better because one doesn't have to pay a man to cut a hole in the fence to let you in with your bag of ciders and a pillow.

Do you think the Fringe has changed over the years? If so, how? Are these changes positive or negative?

I try not to label things as positive or negative. They simply are, and it's my job to navigate them. The closing of the Waverley Bar is an absolute shitter though.

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

Mainly the fact I was very bored. Inspirations? Mainly Kanye.

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

I've always liked the idea of being a quantity surveyor.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

There's a chap in the car park of my local Homebase who sells homemade ice cream. He says his brother makes the ice cream and won't let him have anything to do with the making of it. I would like to be the brother in this dream scenario.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

The first time I listened to "Enter the 36 Chambers" by The Wu-Tang Clan was genuinely life-changing. It was lent to me by another boy at school who had contacts in 'London' who would teach him about music. One day he brought in a pack of 12 tapes with some pretty aggressive techno on them and we had to pretend to be impressed but nobody wanted to borrow 18 hours of techno.

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?

Yes, hugely. A constant feeling of "can I really talk about tortoises for 15 minutes when Guantanamo is still open?". But how I feel doesn't matter, please see answer below...

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

No, I think most people just want to laugh, so I'll just keep trying to do that.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Weird, but we'll be ok.

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

I'd make Napoleon sell my ice cream in Homebase car park. I'd like to see how he reacts under pressure and in isolation.

Why would a performer opt to do either a ticketed event or participate in the free fringe? What are the benefits and limitations of both?

For many, many reasons too myriad to go into here. This year I am on the Free Fringe, so it is important to note that performers on the ticketed fringe are evil capitalist pigs for insisting on payment for their work before consumption in the form of a 'ticket'. I personally believe the healing power of my art should be available to all for a cash payment into a bucket after the show has finished.

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

Yeah why not? Just bear in mind no one cares about you or your show, which at first glance sounds pessimistic, but mainly it's liberating. Go and do it.

When and where can people see your show?

Counting House 3.35pm every day except 14th August.

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

Sunil Patel: Titan is performing at Laughing Horse @ The Counting House at 15:35 on 3rd – 27th (not 14th). For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.


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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