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Fringe Q&As: Mark Dolan

Mark Dolan talks to HeraldScotland about fun-sized Mars bars, Caledonian 80 and avoiding blood on his hands.

Tell us about your Fringe show

It's called Mark Dolan Changes The World. It's my manifesto for a better world. It includes a ban on supermarket self-service checkouts and a custodial sentence for anyone sharing kitten videos on Facebook.

Best thing about the Fringe?

It's an incredible platform for a performer. You can arrive a nobody and go home a star.

Worst thing about the Fringe?

The flyering teams. Except for my flyering team, who are lovely.

How many years have you been coming to the Fringe?

My first Fringe was in 1993, when I was at Edinburgh University. I was in a late night improv show at the Bedlam Theatre called The Improverts. And it's still running today! This will be my seventh year, and I'm more excited than ever.

Favourite Fringe venue?

Gilded Balloon, obviously. I love performing in Teviot Row House (the GB venue), because it was one of my University haunts when I was a student, and the bars haven't changed a bit! It's spooky coming back to work in a building where I first learnt how to drink and be rejected by girls.

Best Fringe memory?

A spontaneous stand-up performance at the legendary (and thankfully gone now) Bear Pit Cabaret in Teviot Row House. A guy was on stage and dying a terrible death. I had a rush of blood to the head and just jumped on stage and did an improvised set. By some miracle it worked and I had an amazing night. I should add that trick has never worked for me since...

Best heckle?

ME: Guys, where should I go after this gig? AUDIENCE MEMBER: home.

Craziest on stage experience?

A lovely audience member joined me on stage in my 2013 Fringe show. Unfortunately he hadn't eaten all day and was rather hot. After standing for about a minute on stage, he just collapsed in a heap on the floor. Luckily he was unharmed. I don't want blood on my hands! After that I bought stools for my on-stage guests!

What's on your rider?

Just the usual - a few grams of ketamine, some miaow miaow and two fun-size Mars Bars.

How do you wind down after a show?

What do you love about Scotland?

The history, the landscape, the people and Caledonian 80.

What do you like about Edinburgh?

It's ridiculously beautiful. But also highly cultural and it's a party town. And having lived there for four years, it's always like coming home. The pubs are epic, Arthur's Seat always enchants me and I don't know a better city for a late night walk.

What's the most Scottish thing you've done?

I'm regularly irritated by the English.

What kind of jokes do a Scottish crowd seem to respond to?

Funny ones. And Scots are amazing at laughing at themselves, so they are very responsive to a little gentle teasing, as long as it comes from the right place.

Favourite joke?

Woody Allen cracks a great line in Manhattan, which is my favourite movie. He's in a taxi with his girlfriend and he says "you look so beautiful I can hardly keep my eyes on the meter".

Mark Dolan's new stand up show 'Changes The World' will be at the Gilded Balloon from 30th July - 24th August for tickets go to www.edfringe.com

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