‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ veteran Mike McShane is feeling distinctly “tropical” at this year’s Edinburgh Festival.
The sun shone high above George Square Gardens but the ‘Whose Line?’ cast are busy basking in the early success of their live improv Fringe show, based on the hit TV show of the same name.
For the uninitiated, host Clive Anderson is joined by a whole roster of talented comedians to put them through their paces with spontaneous skits.
“We just rattle through it,” explains the show’s distinguished host.
“Greg puts his hair in front of my head just to draw attention to my baldness every once in a while… but every seat has been filled so far.”
Josie Lawrence, former Eastender and a regular on the TV comedy circuit, says “it’s been a wonderful week of sellout shows.”
“There’s some amazing people,” she says, “not only Greg, Mike and Clive but Pippa Evans, Phil Jupitus, Tony Slattery, David Johns, Richard Branch… the ‘older fellow’ Colin Mochrie… you see, a plethora of them.”
The unmistakable Greg Proops chips in with a second recommendation for “newcomer Phil Jupitus”.
Greg has been coming to the Edinburgh Festival since 1993, and the beauty of the nation’s capital isn’t lost on him.
“This is probably my 20th or so,” he says.
“ It’s fantastic here, the weather is beautiful and we always go up to the castle.
“I’m always impressed by Edinburgh, that’s the thing.
“We had dinner last night and the fireworks went off and we could see them from where we were sitting at dinner so I’m kind of easy to entertain… I’m like a child.”
Mike McShane would need to repurpose a few dozen Douglas Firs to print out his resume.
Not only has he been in the Whose Line mix since the 90s, he’s voice acted in ‘A Bug’s Life’, starred as Friar Tuck in ‘Robin Hood Prince of Thieves’, voiced Cid in ‘Final Fantasy X’ and ‘X-2’ and enjoyed cameo appearances on US sitcoms Frasier and Seinfeld.
For Mike, having a castle on top of a dormant volcano is too good to be true.
“This is a walking city,” he says, adding “it’s the home of geology.
“A huge inactive volcano with a castle sitting on top of it - it’s quite thrilling.”
It’s a busy Fringe for the troupe - Greg has a podcast recording and glutton for punishment Mike has another improv show involving hypnosis and a lunchtime play - all of which are plugged shamelessly in the video above.
If you’re still holding out for a surefire hit in Edinburgh this August, you’re looking at one of the safest bets in town. With such a broad, all-star “roster” of comedians, each highly acclaimed in their own right, ‘Who’s Line Is It Anyway?’ brings them together under one roof for your laughing pleasure.
• Join Clive Anderson and his rolling roster of Improv comics at ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’ at the Assembly Rooms @ The Music Hall on George Street (“near the Starbucks”) every night at 8.10pm