Banned in the USA at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

Banned In The USA. Photo credit: Maya Fuhr

Banned In The USA. Photo credit: Maya Fuhr

Banned in the USA by Gerard Harris
Remaining shows: August 23 – 27 at Venue #24: Roots on Whyte


An interview with Gerard Harris.

Describe your show in one sentence.

The true story of an acclaimed British comedian with no experience in geopolitics, murder or birds with ‘the gift’ who gets hired by an anonymous global superpower based in Washington DC to go out and save the world.

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description of your show?

The true story of an acclaimed British comedian with no experience in geopolitics, murder or birds with ‘the gift’ who gets hired by an anonymous global superpower based in Washington DC to go out and save the world. With hilarious consequences.

OK I don’t really have one. I think the longer description of the show is the show.

You say Banned in the USA is unwritten and unrehearsed – what made you want to approach this story this way, and what does this approach add to the show?

I think I should have been more precise and said underwritten, sorry. I chose not to compose a full show written down word for word and then learned because it always feels a little artificial. I don’t have the time or space in my head to do that right now and I’m quite into being as transparent as possible so, because the show is about how life is lived (and lessons are learned) mostly through improvisation, this is one demonstrable way of attempting to show that. See my trailer for more details:

It’s also just the approach I’m going for more these days since my last show has no script at all. It’s an hour of improvised storytelling and standup and I find it is much more enjoyable when none of us knows what’s coming next.

Banned in the USA seems quite different from the shows you’ve previously brought to the Edmonton Fringe, which focused primarily on mental health. Why did you want to take this departure from that topic and what ideas can audiences expect you to touch on in this show?

I needed a break from complaining about my brain for a while and I’m sure everyone else does too, though some day I hope to return to touring with a show about some more of the mental malware I’m unfortunately running. As for the ideas in this one, we’re hopefully going to find out together what the show is really about when I do it. Probably some pseudo-philosophical and psychological nonsense as usual. I can say that at the time of not-writing, this is the only show I have without any sexual or scatological content, which is of course terribly sad. I hope I made up for it a little bit with the poster.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

My arse will not be featuring in the show except as a mouthpiece for some of the other characters in the story.

The 36th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 17 – 27. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca .

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