My Festival: Randy Feltface

The Alien of Extraordinary Ability on life as an endangered species, quality time with otters, and breaching Aussie biosecurity

What are you doing at this year’s festival?

I’m doing a show called Alien of Extraordinary Ability every night at 9.15pm, and the rest of the time I appear to be either walking uphill, snacking on flapjacks or politely declining bits of paper from enthusiastic strangers.

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

Randy Feltface PIC: Anneliese Nappa
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I’d like to see Scottish Dance Theatre’s show Antigone, Interrupted because I sometimes wish I had chosen dance instead of comedy as a career. I took some ballet lessons in my early 30s and realised I’d possibly left my run as a dancer a little too late when I puked mid-pirouette in the third lesson. I had to do three weeks of vestibular rehabilitation to get my balance back.

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

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Duddingston Loch because I know of at least two otters that live there.

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

The otters at Duddingston Loch.

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

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I remember stepping out of Waverley Station for the first time and seeing the Castle shrouded in fog and immediately feeling an overwhelming wave of emotion. Turns out it was the vegetarian pastie I ate on the train repeating on me but it was a powerful moment nonetheless.

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

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The worst thing was the time Pete Firman spilled his maggots backstage and I didn’t realise some of them had landed in my suitcase until I was fined by Border Force agents for breaching biosecurity regulations on my way back into Australia. And the best thing to have happened is the dramatic increase in vegan dining options in this city since 2008.

How was lockdown for you? Did it change you, and if so how?

Lockdown was two years ago! Why are we still talking about it? When dealing with global trauma, I always find it best to return to a sense of normalcy as quickly as possible without taking any practical measures to prevent the cause of the trauma from reoccurring. Therefore I have since reverted to my pre-lockdown lifestyle with such reckless abandon that any life lessons I may have learnt have been quickly forgotten in a sea of international boarding passes, petrol station hot chips and careless handshakes with sweaty strangers.

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

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I am a critically endangered species. And I can play the harmonica. But mostly the critically endangered bit.

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

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Check for earwigs and shimmy down the drainpipe.

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

I cocoon myself in a sleep nest of throw pillows and pug dogs and listen to a sleep mediation. My current go-to is the Steven King novel The Shining as narrated by Nicola Sturgeon.

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

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That would be lovely, thank you. We’re going to Morocco for a mint tea.

Randy Feltface: Alien of Extraordinary Ability, Assembly George Square, 9.15pm, until 28 August