Interview with Jack Barry

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

Interview with Jack Barry

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hello! My name is Jack Barry. I have two first names and I am a comedian.

How would you describe your show?

Drugs! It's all about drugs, but not about taking them. It's about the laws we have and the attitudes we have towards drugs. I think they're a bit antiquated and don't work, so I wrote a show about it.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

That's a good question. I've never really thought about why, I just do! This will be my 8th year in a row. I supposed I could just not go, but it's part of my routine now. Like brushing my teeth. I may as well carry on doing it.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

It's huge! The population of Edinburgh trebles when the festival's on. No other festival makes an entire city swell. Plus, at no other festival can you see someone do an entire show about legalising drugs. How exciting!

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

I'm sure it has, but I wasn't going in the 80s and 90s so can't say for sure. People say it's a lot more corporate and money-driven now, but they also say that the quality of the shows is much higher. So, I guess you get what you pay for?

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

When I was a kid my Granddad and uncle used to sit me in front of comedy and make me watch it constantly. I was obsessed with Rik Mayall and Harry Enfield and wanted to be like them. I never had much interest in stand up, I sort of ended up doing that by accident, because I found it easier.

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

Before I quit to do comedy, I ran all the Facebook and Twitter for KFC. If you wrote to them online, I was the guy who wrote back. If I wasn't doing comedy I don't think I would have carried on with that though. Marketing made me sad. If I'm completely honest, and I'm not just saying this to promote the show, my missus and I have always really wanted to be marijuana farmers. I think there's a quiet nobility in that job, plus loads of great songs reference ganja farmers. We'd move somewhere it's legal, like Uruguay, and set up a farm.

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

See above. Or possibly spy. I applied to be a spy when I graduated university, I got an email saying they needed people like me because my degree was Chinese. Turns out, they don't need people like me, apparently, I'd taken too many drugs for 'the service.' Snobs.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

When I was at nursery we made these fish out of cardboard and hung them on wooden sticks and sang a song about fish. I can't remember who to, I guess our parents? I don't think that show would have drawn a paying audience. I got a splinter from my stick and it was really upsetting and I haven't thought about that for about 24 years, thanks a lot!

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

Oh yeah, big time. Everyone is constantly on Twitter now. There seems to be this feeling that you always have to be 'on.' Even if you're not performing on stage you have to be churning material out, even at home watching TV. I hate it. I wish I'd been born 15 years earlier and been a 90s comic. I was stoned watching Love Island the other week and tried to get on the Twitter train, but my thoughts on everything were a bit mad and rambling and no one seemed to enjoy them.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

People seem to like Corbyn

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

Jackie Chan. Always Jackie Chan. I love him. He's a martial arts super human because he got trained in a Chinese circus, there will never be another like him. I could chat to him and practice my Chinese and then we'd make a sick buddy movie like Rush Hour or Shanghai Noon, but it would be me and Jackie. Forever.

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?

Both are wonderful. I think the quality of free shows is pretty much the same as ticketed ones now. People should stop thinking about them as 'free', because the idea is that you give a generous donation at the end. The only difference is if you pay at the end or the beginning.

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

Write a really good show. You can waste a lot of time getting a nice poster and a nice venue and paying for PR, but it's all a waste of time if you don't have a really good show.

When and where can people see your show?

Everyday at 7.40 at Just the Tonic at the Mash House.

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

I'm pon de Twitter @JBazzler

Or check out my website, My sister's boyfriend made it and it's really nice.

Jack Barry: High Treason is performing at The Mash House every day at 19:40. For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is a Politics graduate, and holds a Masters in Journalism. He serves as Editor for Voice, and has an almost unhealthy obsession with Batman. His hobbies include gaming and reading graphic novels - his current go to series is Bill Willingham's Fables.

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