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Ready for a Marathon Fringe

David Cox

Aug 3, 2022

Dan Kelly once finished 3rd in The North Korean Marathon. We find out how.

As we are coming to see the show on Thursday 11th August I don't want to go into too much detail ( and interfere with our enjoyment). So, firstly a marathon! Are you fit? Fitness is of course a fickle beast! But, at the moment I’d say I’m fairly fit yeah.

What got you into this activity? A combination of mates who were into it and curiosity. I then didn’t quite hate the first one enough to completely rule out doing it again.

Assuming you have run a few where are you favourite and least favourite courses? I’ve attempted a few mountain races (Snowdon/Madeira), which were quickly filed under ‘least favourite’. I’ve had some nice times in Spain (they seem to get the post race food right) I did London last year too which was cool. Oh and, North Korea will obviously live long in the memory...

Have you done many previews and how have they gone? I’ve probably done about ten now. How have they gone? Good, bad, and very Ug…No I’d say overall they’ve been good. Slow and steady will hopefully do moderately well in this race.

I don't know your background so what led you into the world of performing? Probably much the same as running actually…a combination of mates who did it, and curiosity. I have a friend called Joseph (Morpurgo) who did improv way back, and he helped me conduct my first experiments into it all.

When did you get the idea that this could be an Edinburgh show? We were given a souvenir film of our North Korea trip, which was all grainy footage and weird kitsch soundtrack. Seeing people’s reactions to the footage made me think it could be cobbled into something resembling a show.

How easy/ hard has it been putting it together? The ideas came quite easily, I guess cos it’s all a true story. Putting them together into something coherent/fun/worthwhile has obviously been a bit more of a challenge.

As an occasional amateur dramatics actor I am always amazed and impressed at the stamina and memory recall involved in a one person show. Do you have a good memory for learning lines? Not bad, but using footage/imagery is a bit of a cheat in that sense, you constantly have a cue card.

Are you exhausted at the end of a show? Depends how hard I’ve been made to work…

Your show is at 16.10pm. Do you have to be regimented to perform at that time? You know I don’t think I’ve ever performed a show at that specific time before so I couldn’t say.

How do you plan to spend the rest of your day? Run, perform, recover.

Having represented DARKCHAT since 2007 we have really missed not coming up the last two years? As a performer how hard has lockdown been for you? I’m lucky in that it’s not my main living, so I wasn’t hit too hard.

My first Edinburgh show was back in 1986 with a Midnight Rowan Atkinson show at the Playhouse Theatre. What are your first Edinburgh festival memories? I went to uni in Edinburgh, and would spend every summer working on a coffee van in Bristo Square. So early memories are just a blur of mochas. I remember talking to Henning Wehn about where we sourced our flapjacks at one point. High times.

Do you remember your expectations at your first festival and how they differed from reality? I remember early on convincing myself that I could see every single show. Obviously a few simple calculations and that dream was done but the initial ambition was real.

Have you a particular performer or show that you have enjoyed over the years? I saw Hans Teeuwen at one of my early festivals. That’s still a pretty vivid memory. In a good way.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this festival? Ah jeez, a lot of things. If it doesn’t sound too cheesy then I guess the whole thing in action, still feels a bit surreal that it’s gonna happen even a few weeks out.

Finally, what is your one tip for surviving this August madness? . Easy on the mochas. "

Thanks to Dan for answering our questions, and good luck to him for the marathon that is August in Edinburgh. Dan Kelly: How I Came Third in the North Korean Marathon is daily (not 15th) at Just the Tonic at The Caves at 16.10.

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