EdFringe Talk: Chelsea Birkby: No More Mr Nice Chelsea

“This is my first Edinburgh taking a solo show and it feels SO different, like it’s more pressure than taking a split bill with a friend.”

WHO: Chelsea Birkby

WHAT: “Highly anticipated debut from this ‘one to watch’ (FunnyWomen.com), ‘rising star’ (OxInABox.co.uk) and multi-competition finalist. She was ‘innocent’ (Oxford Mail) and ‘adorable’ (MumbleComedy.net) but in this thought-provoking and playful show, she explores the things that aren’t so lovely: sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.”

WHERE: Just the Tonic at The Caves – Just the Spare Room (Venue 88) 

WHEN: 15:40 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!

Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This is my first Edinburgh taking a solo show and it feels SO different, like it’s more pressure than taking a split bill with a friend. Stressing about a comedy show is odd. Last week I was truly spiralling thinking “wow now these Mr Blobby jokes are too close together. I might have to separate them or cut them. Especially already having two MILF jokes I’m pushing it. This is a disaster”. I don’t remember this part of The Artist’s Way.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is iconic for a reason, the biggest and best! Being in Edinburgh in August feels electric. I’m booking a batch of tickets today and I’ve got maybe 100 shows in my faves, and that’s just people I’ve heard of. I can’t wait to see what everyone’s been cooking up the last three years, laugh my socks off and visit Mosque Kitchen a truly alarming amount.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

In the pandemic, I claimed the big lesson I’d learned was to make space to enjoy things. After all that time alone, I was excited to go back to things, but I didn’t want to lose the peace of having time to be present. Anyway, that quickly went in the bin. So probs being flat out in Edi.

Taking a show specifically? Jamie D’Souza and I did a really fun split-bill and I learned: a fun title really helps draw people in, you shouldn’t say “or whatever” after a bucket speech otherwise people won’t feel the pressure to give and I’m wearing less PVC because although it’s waterproof (a plus for Edinburgh), it’s also noisy including when on stage.

Tell us about your show.

No More Mr Nice Chelsea is the stand-up show for YOU if you:
Have ever said “I just don’t get angry”
Get shy saying “sex”
When you drink you do it right, getting slizzered
Agree the Xtina, Britney, Madonna kiss at the VMAs was a defining moment of the last century.
Like to rock out (I’m talked Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Busted)
Are a silly billy
Like french post-war philosophy
Cry but like to party
Wear pleather

I wrote it! And I am thankful to every audience who helped steer it by laughing and all my friends in comedy who’ve workshopped it with me. Soho Theatre Labs have helped develop the show too.

My last preview will be in my flat with my friends and family, like when you’re 9 and you’ve written a play in your room and make everyone watch it.

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

I am very excited to see Crizards: Cowboys, having seen them do shorter spots. I loved Will Rowlands’s 2019 solo show which was off-beat and stunning and one of my faves that year, and Eddy Hare is always hilarious. They’re a low-energy double act and best friends and this time they’re cowboys and there are songs and hats!

I can’t go and see Eric Rushton: I Had a Dream and You Were All In It because we clash (time-wise, not politically as far as I know).I love his act, it’s so unusual. It’s thoughtful and yet a little laddy, he’s so sincere but playful. And I’ve seen him trying some jokes for the show in like clubs at the weekend and wow they’re about some heavy stuff sometimes but people are cracking up and they just shine! So you have to go for me and tell me what I’m missing out on.