For one night only: how Edinburgh’s standups spend their day off | Stage



‘A sexy dinner, then cocktails’ – London Hughes

I love my show and when you have a day off, the next day is a bit lacklustre. But I do need it because I am a queen and I deserve a rest. I’m of the “living your best life” mantra and I don’t just talk it, I walk it. I’ll have a long spa day – massage, mani, pedi, eyebrows – go for the sexiest dinner in this nice hotel on the bridge with all my girls, then get cocktails. I’m single, but I’m like Lady Gaga – she doesn’t sleep with guys when she’s writing her album because men steal her creative energy. But on my day off, I’m allowed.

‘Watching YouTube and making soup’ – Alison Spittle

I’m doing an extra gig for Sarah Millican’s podcast, Standard Issue Stands Up, on my day off. I’m excited but it means this is the first year I won’t have a full duvet day, watching programmes with no artistic merit. In Edinburgh, I’ve found what helps my mental health is being able to cook for myself. I love making soup, so I’ll make a big pot. There’s this old recipe my mum used – grating a carrot, opening a tin of tomatoes and a stock cube, using whatever veg is decomposing at the bottom of the fridge, and throwing some salt and pepper on it. My version of mindfulness is watching YouTube and making soup.

‘We’ll be hanging out at the kids’ shows’ – Ed Byrne

Previously I’ve taken the night off and gone into the Highlands. I love hill-walking and have committed to bagging all of Scotland’s 282 Monros. I’ve done 105 so far and always try and knock off a few more during the fringe. But my kids are going to be here this year, so I think it would be really bad form if I went: “Well, I’m pissing off to the Highlands!” We’ll be hanging out during the day seeing various kids’ shows, then I’ll be getting a babysitter and me and my wife will go out for a fancy-schmancy dinner.

Ed Byrne: If I’m Honest is at the Assembly Rooms until 25 August (not 12)

‘I want to watch fireworks’ – Yuriko Kotani

I’m going to enjoy the day off in an organic way. In Edinburgh there are so many people – maybe you bump into them and say: “Let’s have a coffee.” But I don’t know what kind of state I’ll be in, so I’ll listen to my body. I’m doing my show in my second language and,a few years ago my brain was so exhausted that I couldn’t speak in English properly! Two years ago, I did a show around 9:40pm and towards the end I started to hear fireworks. I was curious, so I might go watch the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

‘A serarate, solitary experience’ – Jordan Brookes

I look at the day off like a carrot dangling in front of me. Some people prefer not to break that momentum, but I need to. I’ll listen to something repetitive and minimalist and look at nice things. In past years I’ve gone round the art galleries. I would love to get out of the city but I might settle for sitting in the park and reading. As long as I can’t see any posters. I’ve always had Tuesday off as opposed to Monday, which most people choose. It means it feels like a separate, solitary experience. I feel justified in putting on some Philip Glass and going for a wander.

‘It’s your only chance to have a hangover’ – Heidi Regan

The main reason for the day off – or what would’ve been my reason – is to have a big night the night before. You can have a hangover and it won’t affect the show. I technically have the last day of the festival off, but I’m using it to go home earlier. A lot of people feel pressure on their day off to see the shows they clash with. You make promises to friends, but it’s horrific because you’re probably choosing between five shows. This year, I’m like: ‘Oh no, unfortunately I’ll never be able to see you!’