'Going up to Fringe, it’s the most fun' - 2 Mouthed Men Interview
With the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe less than a month away, performers from all over are preparing to bring their shows to festival goers and entertain the masses.
I spoke to a pair of such performers, Daniel Stanger-Cornwall, and James Hawley, who form the double act ‘2 Mouthed Men’ all about their show and about bringing it up to Edinburgh as the organisers prepare for a return to pre-pandemic Fringe festivities.
So, what is 2 Mouthed Men? Could you please tell us about the show?
I would say currently in its entirety, let’s say its beatboxing and sketch comedy, with a lot of music involved as well. So, I think recently, we’ve been working on a new show to make it as fresh as possible, and something that we are really excited about delivering. We’ve introduced some new kinds of plays that we’ve both been really enjoying, which is actually a bit more of a push on sketch comedy, which has been really exciting.
What we want to introduce is, both of us are beat boxers, but I would really say, its music, its sketch comedy, and ultimately, it’s fun. What we really want to do is make people laugh and have fun, that really is our aim. And we do it through the most ridiculous means possible. I think, when describing our sense of humour, I would honestly describe it as off the wall in places, but ultimately, doing all the fun things.
How do you feel about taking the show back to the Edinburgh Fringe after the last couple of years?
It’s exciting. We’re in a great venue. Underbelly has a big reputation, it’s quite a coup, well, I’m going to call it coup, it’s quite a big thing for us to get that venue for the days that we are there as well. Honesty, we don’t really worry about the financial side of things, mainly because we don’t have to deal with it. People for that. So, we just focus on making sure that the show is as good as possible. And going up to Fringe, it’s the most fun. I am very, very excited more than anything else.
With the show being a two hander, I assume it’s a lot of teamwork and bouncing ideas off of each other
Absolutely, all the time, and I think that I can speak for Daniel on this one as well. What we’ve really enjoyed recently is sitting down and really writing a lot of new material. I think it’s something that we’ve both really missed. And this show was a real opportunity to write, and we’ve had a couple of shows recently where we’ve been testing this out and it’s been going down well, and it’s been such a pleasure to have that kind of experimental phase as well. I’m not going to sit here and say that everything we’ve tested out has gone well, but it’s been a real pleasure to do it again, and I’m absolutely buzzing to go back to the fringe, and I think it will be a real pleasure to perform the show
On a general, let’s call it creation of things, essentially one of us will approach the other with a concept, an idea, or even a fully formed song or sketch and then the other person will immediately give their feedback, and typically its maybe, or there’s always something, we never want to shut it down immediately.
I’ve hilariously got my book, my ultimate ideas book that comes with everywhere. So, there’s always a lot of strange thoughts, maybe one day I’ll do a rehearsed reading.
What would you like the audience to get out of your shows?
We pride ourselves on being a show that is accessible for everyone, we don’t really have a target demographic. We’re in a mid 20’s, so, you know, the type of humour that we grew up with is going to be more in line with people of our age. But we’ve got all sorts of things in our show that are musically quite good. James is a very, very talented musician, and I can beat box and sing and rap, and then we’ve got some very fun sketch comedy stuff. We’ve got that combination, and then we’ve got original songs as well. So, I really do think that there’s something in our show for everyone.
Joy, I think that is what we want it to be. Just come out and have a good time,
maybe be a little bit weirded out, maybe broaden your horizons,
Do you think that events such as the fringe are important for bringing small shows and new work to audiences?
Absolutely. It’s overwhelming from our perspective. The Fringe has been an opportunity for us to go up and feel part of something quite big. Fringe is this behemoth. Every single venue, maybe every single room in Edinburgh is changed into a venue.
We started on the seventh floor of a hotel, we’ve gone to a church, and now we are in Bristo Square. So, I think that it is a huge opportunity for anyone.
And also, it is such a pleasure to do, in all honesty, it’s one of those things I’ve tried to explain to people who aren’t in and around the arts but there’s no real way to describe what the buzz is like around the city and it’s such a pleasure to be a part of that. You meet so many people, and when I think about it, I’m really excited to go up this year, with us having done a couple more circuit bits getting to know more musical comedians out there and running into people and all of this business.
Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s such a great thing to do, and it does give shows such as ourselves the chance to go up and the chance to really kind of push a show and push a long run of shows as well. It’s not something that you really have the opportunity to do when you’re normally doing your job. It’s a really good opportunity. I think, obviously, we are coming to it from the side of comedy and musical comedy and sketch, but there is so much variety there. I mean, comedy kind of takes the lead there, that is what it originally was, but there are so many plays there as well. There’s so much stuff on, live music as well. Genuinely, anything you are remotely interested in, you’ll probably find 50 plus shows on it. If you’re going, save some space because of the number of times there will be a whisper of some rumours of a fantastic show. It’s bonkers, you can fill a day in five minutes.
So, to finish, why should fringe goers choose your show?
Well, as I said before, we do have a little bit of everything in terms of what we sell ourselves on. And I think that we always have such a fun time doing our show. That’s what people tell us afterwards, and all the reviews, it’s like they look like they’re having a great time. And that makes the audience have a great time as well.
And, also, I’m going to be honest, beatboxing is pretty cool, James and the instruments are amazing, we’re both very accomplished vocalists now in different ways, including beatboxing in that. I think we’ve got something for everyone. We are quite unique as well, and we’re nice people so yeah, come and see.
I totally agree. It’s like, come and escape for 55 minutes. I would say come and join us and have a laugh and just come away with a smile on your face and then go and grab a pint, tell your friends.
And we are on a great time, 5.20, you could have a pint before and after if you wanted. I’d say come along for something a little bit different. We’re really trying to mix it up with things that you wouldn’t see in an everyday sketch show, which is why its’ such a fun thing.
We can whip out a little drum loop or bang out the guitar or things like that, Daniel’s lyrics are great, and we can put all things like that together. We are just aimed at making people have a good time with us, we want the audience to be a part of show. It’s a celebration, it’s just a fun time for everyone.
I would like to thank Daniel and James for taking time out of their busy schedule to talk to us and wish them the very best for their run at the Edinburgh Fringe and in the future.
2 Mouthed Men runs at Underbelly, Bristo Square from 3-11 August. You can book tickets here https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/2-mouthed-men