NewsRevue is a show with a very special place in the heart of Fringe fans. Edinburgh is the birthplace of the world’s longest running live comedy show, and this year the Guinness World Record breaking show will celebrate its 40th anniversary! Here we talk to the show’s producer Emma Taylor on what we can expect from NewsRevue this year, and on the magic formula that keeps audiences flocking back to see the show year after year.
Can you introduce yourself and your show?
Hello, I’m Emma Taylor, producer of NewsRevue since 2001.
What is the top reason people should see the show?
It’s our 40th anniversary and, without bias, it will be hands down one of the best shows you see at the Fringe this year.
What does a ‘successful Fringe run’ mean to you?
Sell out shows with the audience laughing out loud, listening intently and spreading word of mouth and a happy, inspired cast and company. Shameless plug alert: my new book: The Pocket Producer explains how!
What 3 top tips have you got for Edinburgh Fringe first timers?
Flyer till you drop, don’t perform drunk (unless it’s part of your act), watch as many shows as you can.
In 2004 NewsRevue gained the Guinness World Record for being the World’s Longest Running Live Comedy Show. Will the winning formula ever grow old?
So far so good. As long as there’s News there will be NewsRevue. That doesn’t mean we can ever rest on our laurels, we never take anything for granted. We may make it look easy but there’s a huge amount of joyful effort that goes into making it work so well on a weekly basis in London and every August in Edinburgh.
Former NewsRevuers include Rory Bremner, Alistair McGowan, Bill Bailey, Michelle Collins, and Sara Pascoe. How do you audition future NewsRevuers and any future stars we should look out for in the current cast?
The NewsRevue audition is legendary. To be cast in London is already a great achievement to be cast for Edinburgh is a benchmark of extraordinary talent. If they’ve made it this far, they’re all ones to watch: Althea Burey, Maya-Nika Bewley, Brett Sinclair and Christian James.
With news becoming more absurd, and the politics of the UK changing so fast, how often do you have to update the show?
We update as much content as possible on a weekly basis in London. In recent years we’ve noticed that old news becomes old sooner so when we compile a ‘best of the year show’ for Edinburgh, material that used to work from several months prior no longer makes the grade so we have to be much more current. The exception to this are generic songs such as our social media song to Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You. We could reprise that in this year’s show and it would still be a massive crowd pleaser but we always put 100% new material in each year which is another reason for our longevity.
If you could pair any 2 politicians from anywhere in the world and have them sing any song, which song would it be and which duo?
Haha! We do this quite often actually in the show. Currently we have Putin and Kim Jong Un in a duet to the Rolling Stones Paint it Black but now it’s Paint it Red with lyrics by Gary Jerry such as:
See South Korea and I want to take it back
We’re making brand new deals, we’re ready to attack
I see my former states are talking to the West
It makes me so angry I want to bear my chest! …..
We want to see it painted, painted, painted, painted red! Communist red! From Kamachtka to the Med. Da!
How are you promoting your show in the run up to the Fringe?
We’re doing 8 London previews at the Canal Cafe Theatre from 11th July every Thursday to Sunday. Find us on Twitter @newsrevue.
Lastly do you want to tell us where and when we can see the show?
We’re back at the Underbelly – in the Purple Cow at 6.10pm from 1st to 26th August. Book a ticket for the 18th if you can which is our actual anniversary as we hope to have a little surprise in store!
NewsRevue will be shown daily at 18:10 at the Underbelly George Square (Venue 30/ Underbelly) from August 1st – 12th, and from August 14th – 26th. Tickets available from the Fringe Box Office.