Elis James: Speaking as a Mother...
So then, tell us about your show?
It's my fourth stand up show and is the sum total of every funny thought I've had since September 2011.
How have your previews been going?
They're OK, but previews aren't as indicative of how a show will work in Edinburgh as you'd think. Occasionally an audience won't know that 'preview' in this sense means 'try stuff out,' and they'll say things to you like "I don't care about Edinburgh. Because I live in Colchester. Now put that notebook away and make me laugh."
How are you going to keep it fresh for the full three weeks?
I've written this show much quicker than in previous years so I have no worries about keeping it fresh. The only thing I worry about in Edinburgh is the weather. The almost biblical rain of August 2008 will stay with me forever. And that's coming from someone who was brought up in South Wales.
Is it ultimately worth coming to the Fringe?
As a performer, if you have a good enough show, people notice. And if you don't spend your time drinking and take the opportunity to go and watch lots of shows, you'll see some of the most inspiring stuff on the planet.
Do you have a guaranteed, surefire flyering technique?
Intriguing people by getting them to work out whether it's tears or rain on my face.
What's your health regime for the Fringe?
I have taken running shoes to Edinburgh every year since 2009. Number of runs I have taken: zero. And yet I'll still pack them this year, as pointlessly as ever.
What's the worst mistake people make at the Fringe?
A taxi driver once told me "I was born on South Bridge in 1947, same year as the Fringe. I have lived in Edinburgh all my life. I am as old as the Fringe. And I have never seen a single show."
Last year's Fringe was all about the London riots. What major news event do you think will force you to hurriedly rewrite your 2012 show?
The Edinburgh riots.
What was your favourite joke when you were a kid?
Seeing people fall in rhubarb, which is more slippery than it looks
Who else are you hoping to see while you're in Edinburgh?
John Robins, David Trent and Josh Widdicombe. And I'd like to use those trainers that will inevitably be in my suitcase
As a Welshman, what is your view on Scotland's bid for independence?
Welsh nationalists hope it happens, and it becomes a spur for Welsh independence. Welsh people loyal to the British crown obviously don't want it to happen. The rest of Wales is slightly intrigued, like when you watch someone go back to a lit firework that hasn't gone off.
You're starring in theatre production The Committee Meeting as well as your solo stand-up shows. Can you tell us a bit about it?
It's a show Chris Corcoran and I have been performing since 2009 in Wales which led to a spin off sitcom on Radio Wales. The basic premise is that the show is a committee meeting of a workingmen's club; Chris is the chairman, I am the 100-year-old caretaker, and the audience are the club members. There's lots of sketches, videos, audience interaction and a choir. We had guests at the Welsh shows; Lee Mack did the Christmas special and Greg Davies did the St David's Day show. It's probably the most fun I can have on stage – I love doing it.
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
Whenever I spill anything she always seems to say 'just sponge it' and then it magically becomes fine. I wonder how far I could push 'just sponging it.'