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The Fringe comic with NO experience

An aspiring comedian is to perform an hour-long stand-up show every night of the Edinburgh Fringe – despite having just five minutes stage time to his name.

Marketing manager Chris Durkin has performed just one open spot at The Stand comedy club in Glasgow, but he insists he is serious about making a successful show.

And while even experienced Fringe hands spend weeks previewing their shows, Chris has just two more five-minute spots lined up before launching his one-man show.

He said he decided to take the daunting step after turning 40 last year – and has remained true to his aim despite being warned of the pitfalls of attempting what even many seasoned professionals would be cautious about, let alone someone who has barely faced an audience before.

‘I announced at my birthday party in front of my family and friends that I intended to have my own show at Fringe 2006 as part of a clichéd "life begins . . ." programme,’ he said. ‘Needless to say nobody thought I was serious about it.

‘People generally think I'm mad to do this, since I could potentially make a complete pratt of myself.  [Fringe director] Paul Gudgin advised me to share a Fringe show with other beginners and do ten minutes or so, rather than attempt an hour on my own. 

‘However, I really feel that I have to do a full hour-long show.  It's sounds ridiculous, I know, but I have a little voice in my head pushing me to do it.

Chris, who is regional marketing manager for Nissan, said: ‘I'm both terrified and excited at the same time.  I can't wait for August,  but then another few months to prepare would be nice.

‘I've normally got a wicked sense of humour and it's as rude and crude as the next bloke's, but I'm toning it down a bit for the show.  

‘The hardest thing is not being part of the comedy scene.  I've nobody to turn to for guidance so I simply have to trust my own judgment about what's funny and what's not. I'm relying on my love of comedy to provide me with a certain amount of quality control.’

He says his girlfriend, Clem is ‘right behind me’ adding: ‘She is obviously sticking around in case I make it big.’

‘Years from now, I hope to look back and think of Fringe 2006 as the starting point of my wonderful comedy career.  I'd hate to think it could be anything but that.

‘I'm well aware that anyone can put on a show but putting on a good show is something else.  So I have to trust that little voice in my head about whether or not I can deliver a good show.

‘And if all goes well, at 11:40pm on August 27, when it's all over, I'll buy the little voice in my head a drink.  After all, he'll have deserved it.’

Chris Durkin: Easily Distracted is on at Edinburgh’s Café Royal at 10.40pm from August 4. Full-price tickets are £7.


Published: 29 Jun 2006

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