My Festival: Maisie Adam

The comedian on being tall, the agony and ecstasy of competing at So You Think Your Funny, and the simple pleasure of wandering around the Fringe on your own.

Wh at are you doing at this year’s festival?

I’m doing my show Buzzed and I’m loving it! The audiences have been great so far, and I’m really enjoying it. I was so nervous to see if people would come and who would come, and it turns out that yes, they will, and they’re total legends. I’m also going to be jumping onto other gigs as and where I can, as I really love the chance to switch things up. It breaks up the monotony of doing the same show every day and helps keep me match-fit. I just used the words ‘match-fit’ to describe doing stand-up comedy, what the hell is my problem? Who do I think I am? Ughh, I would read that and go “what a prick”, so I’m just letting you, the reader, know that I’m aware of how that sounded. But yeah, I’ll be gigging in lots of other places as well as my show.

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What do you most want to see this year and why?

Maisie Adam: Buzzed
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I want to see my friends’ shows, and I also want to see things I’ve never heard of before. That’s what I love about the fringe, it has everything! You’ll see some of the best shows of your life, and you’ll also see some absolute rubbish – it’s great! I saw Colin Hoult’s The Death Of Anna Mann the other day and it was probably the best show I’ve ever seen. I’m excited to see Celya AB’s show, she’s a brilliant new act who always smashes it when I gig with her so I’m very excited to see her debut show. But I’m also going to see some stuff that I’ve just been flyered about, it’s a good way of seeing something you never normally would. Just take some flyers and pick one. I did that in 2018 with a show called Flesh & Bone and it was brilliant. A year later it won an Olivier!

What’s your favourite place in the city and why?

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Let Me Eat Too is a brilliant little café in the Grassmarket; it does these wraps that are just gorgeous. There’s a bakery in the new town called Bibi’s which does very naughty but very tasty Malteser slabs and I always get a bag of those to take home before I leave! Away from stuffing my face though, I like Dean Village for a nice little walk, I like Leith Walk for the charity shops, and I like Meadowbank Sports Centre for its lovely 3G football pitch. I’ve been playing football with a bunch of other comics every few days and it’s been such a lush way to switch off.

Who do you most like spending time with at the festival?

I genuinely like going to a lot of things on my own, it’s such a mad place that it’s quite nice to take it all at your own pace for a bit. But when I do socialise, I like hanging out with Will Duggan and his partner, as they also live in Brighton like me, so we go out together a fair bit.

What do you remember about your first ever Edinburgh festival appearance?

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I suppose my first Edinburgh appearance was competing in So You Think You’re Funny in 2017. First, it was the semi-final and I remember being very nervous and trying to see as many shows as I could in the 24 hours I was up in Edinburgh for. Then I had to come back two weeks later for the final, and that was bloody terrifying. I remember walking out on that stage and feeling my knees go wobbly. I’d never performed to a room that big before, and the lights were so bright but the room was so dark that I couldn’t see past the front row, but every time I got a laugh I could hear how far back the room was and how many people were in. Bloody terrifying.

What are the best and worst things that have happened to you in Edinburgh?

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The best thing was winning So You Think You’re Funny. I remember I was staying at my friend’s flat, and had my bike with me so I could see as many shows as possible. After winning the final, I spent the evening chatting to so many comedians that I’d admired for ages, and then cycled back to the flat with a cheque in my back pocket for more money than I’d ever had before! I was just grinning the whole way home, I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been very lucky with my Fringe experiences and haven’t had any real disasters, though the last time I was here in 2019, I was in a room where – 15 minutes into my show – a man in the room above started his show which was just him drumming the songs of The Who for an hour. It was….a lot.

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

I’m 5ft 11. I don’t think that’s particularly interesting, but people always say “oooh you’re taller than I thought!” when they meet me and I never know what to say back. So I shall use this as an opportunity to let people know, so that they can be surprised now and not in person. That way, we can have a chat about something else!

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

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I take my epilepsy meds! I have to do it first thing or else I might forget, so I literally turn my alarm off, and pop those pills, baby! Yeah it’s a pretty rock and roll lifestyle but I’m a rock and roll epileptic!

And what’s the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?

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Also take my epilepsy tablets. It’s non-stop rock and roll in my house!

Thanks for the interview! We’d like to buy you a drink. Where are we going and what are we drinking?

I will hold you to this. Don’t you be offering a free drink.

Maisie Adam: Buzzed, Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 29 August, 1pm and 5.30pm, www.gildedballoon.co.uk