The Kagools are UK silent comedy act Nicola Wilkinson and Claire Ford, and they are back at Edinburgh with their physical comedy double act this year. You should definitely check them out.
We pinged some questions their way to find out what they make of the bedlam that is the Fringe, how they survive a gruelling month of physical comedy, and what they make of the Scottish breakfast.
Catch their show at Just the Tonic at The Caves, Aug 4th-28th (not 15) at 5:15pm. Tickets are available here.
Describe what the Edinburgh Festival means to you in no more than three sentences.
It’s a month of good times and unbelievable stress in equal measures, tears, booze and battered foods, meeting new people, discovering new favourites and stumbling upon ridiculously brilliant shows.
It’s a month of emotional roller coasters and asking yourself and everyone around you, ‘why did we do this?’. It’s a month of potentially life-changing moments, friendships made for an evening or a lifetime. It’s a month. Sorry, how many sentences is that?
How many fringes have you done?
This will be our 5th year.
What’s your top tip for surviving Edinburgh?
Know why you’re doing it and remember to have fun. For us it’s about just that – having fun and hoping as many people as possible see and enjoy our show and then tell a friend or two. If you enjoy it, the audience will too.
Do you think comedy acts feel they “have” to do Edinburgh or they won’t be taken seriously? Can the pressure take the fun out of it?
Erm, some people might see it like that but we don’t. Who wants to be taken seriously anyway? We’re in comedy!
Why did you get into comedy and how long have you been doing it?
We met at drama school in 2005. Zip forward to 2011 and we discovered we were both doing comedy separately so we decided to start doing it together.
Is silent comedy harder to sell to people? You’re doing more than 20 physical comedy shows in a month – how will this not destroy you physically?
To be honest the more we do the show, the more physically fit we are so it’s better for us to do a full run, rather than ad-hoc shows and besides, a lot of it is subtle facial expression, so we don’t have to be running marathons for that, we just wake up and yawn. Maybe an eye stretch.
It’s a little harder to sell as people hear the words ‘silent comedy’ and assume it’s old fashioned and they won’t like it, but then they come along and they’re really positively surprised. Often the biggest sceptics beforehand become the biggest advocates for the show, which is really lovely.
We take it you’ll be avoiding the greasy Edinburgh diet of chips and sauce / Scottish breakfasts?
Avoiding a Scottish breakfast? Hell no! We wouldn’t get through the month without it.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
Wilkinson used to play football for Hull City Girls and Ford is a champion ski jumper and liar.
Your show. What’s it about, and why should we come along?
‘What is your show about?’ is the hardest question we are asked. As we’ve said, it’s more of an experience and you should come and see it for that very reason. Look, just come! If you hate it we’ll buy you a Scottish breakfast. If you love it, you can buy us one. Deal?
What’s been your biggest success and your biggest challenge in the world of comedy?
Biggest success would have to be the moment when someone in the audience gets the giggles so hard they can’t stop and then it spreads through to everyone else. Then it feels like there’s a shared special moment only inside that room. That moment, that feels like success.
Our biggest challenge is when, two minutes before the show, the technical equipment has decided to go on a mini-break to Dusseldorf for absolutely no reason and we have a nervous breakdown and wail into our kagools until somebody notices that a cable was plugged into the wrong socket.
You heard them, people – just go and see their show! Experience it, love it, and tell your friends. It’s family friendly too.