Bedfringe 2021 Interview: Chelsea Birkby: No More Mr Nice Chelsea

“As a comic, I love a fringe where you can feel that something is in town when you arrive!”

WHO: Chelsea Birkby

ROLE IN THE PRODUCTION: Star 😉

HAT: “Chelsea Birkby: No More Mr Nice Chelsea is the debut hour from “rising star” Ox in a Box, “one to watch” Funny Women and multi-competition finalist, Chelsea Birkby.

It’s about accepting the things about ourselves that aren’t so lovely, and includes the perks of having a breakdown in your early 20s.”

WHERE: Quarry Theatre

WHEN: 22 July 2022 @ 19:30 (55mins)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Bedfringe?

It’s my first time at Bedfringe. I’m excited as my sister and her family live in Bedfordshire and I’d visit all the time from Milton Keynes as a teen (fond memories of Bedford Nandos and Primark, huge to me at that age). The one-way system was overwhelming for me and my P plates after MK’s roundabouts. A great festival is one with a selection of acts from TV stars to up-and-comers, where you can see stand-up and sketch and clown and anything else. As a comic, I love a fringe where you can feel that something is in town when you arrive! And although the shows might be in studios and tucked away, you can feel something special is happening.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2021 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

I don’t know if it’s the pandemic, being older or years of therapy but I’ve felt a real change in 2022. I care a little less what people think and I feel something new is blossoming: I feel more present, more resilient. And it’s changed the show, I previously wanted to do a show about sexual shame and philosophy but after the lockdowns (and a trip to clown school in Paris), this one is sillier and more honest. Also, I’ve really got into iced buns. That’s not part of the show but just, why are they so good, it’s so simple!

Tell us about your show.

No More Mr Nice Chelsea is an hour of stand-up where we’ll explore what it is to be ‘nice’ and when it’s time to stop. Looking at where being lovely comes from and the things polite people don’t talk about like sex, drugs and rock n roll (well, Nickelback). It’s a show for anyone who’s ever been afraid of their wild side and what happens when we hold it in…and let it out. Come if you say sorry too much, love philosophy and pop culture, and like your comedy playful and thoughtful. My first preview got this review from Oxford’s DailyInfo “Chelsea’s show crackled with energy and ambition…what was most admirable was the performer’s willingness to skirt easy laughs and handle more challenging subjects. It may just be April but it felt like we witnessed a potentially big hit when this show reaches its final destination…Brimming with talent, sure to go far.”

What should your audience see at Bedfringe after they’ve seen your show?

Bedfringe is teeming with incredible shows from brilliant artists. My advice is to go and see things you’ve never heard of as well as your faves. Personally, I can recommend Phil Green’s show (we’ve both been developing our shows with support from Soho Theatre), Shelf are fantastic and always have been, Louise Atkinson is one to watch, Katie Pritchard is one of the most joyful performers, I’ve seen every show Jacob Hawley has done and look up to him, Michael Akadiri’s debut is very exciting and my top recommendation is Eric Rushton’s first hour, there’s no one like him on the circuit, he’s brilliant.


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