Beth Vyse on meeting Mandela, beating cancer, and living with Weirdos

Edinburgh intros #7: She’s crammed a lot in, has Beth Vyse, so she’s ditching the characters this year and keeping it real 

Beth Vyse comedian1. Tell us a bit about the show.
Well it’s a trip into my insane mind as all my shows have been before, but it perhaps explains why this time (well, a little bit). It’s a completely true story of parts of my life so far. You hear the tale of my Stoke-on-Trent family “The Waltons on Alcohol”, my time with Nelson Mandela, acting and thieving at the Royal Shakespeare Company, settling down with Michael Jackson and finding cancer. Not to mention me producing two football teams from my womb. And all before the age of 30! Booyakasha!

2. What’s your favourite bit of it?
Oooh I don’t which bits will stay in it yet, but the part when the audience play Michael Jackson is goodie. Bring your white glove, people, bring your white glove.

3. Being a performer when you were going through this difficult period – was that in any way helpful? A hindrance at any point?
Well I reckon having CANCER is a bit of hindrance, don’t you????!!! (Sorry, sarc-y me again). But on a positive note, when you’ve been through something like cancer there’s nothing that really scares you anymore. Obviously I get nervous before a show, but I mean really really scares you – it’s definitely made me into a braver performer.

4. At what point did the comedian’s brain kick in and you thought “there could be a show in this”?!
When I finally got the five-year all-clear at the end of last year. It feels like my life has been on hold for the past five years, always scared it will comes back, finding it difficult to form real relationships with people and hiding the fact I had it, wanting to be normal I guess but knowing I’m not, there was something missing (a tit). It took something away from me and now I want to show what it’s given me.

5, What was it like performing material on the subject of cancer for the first time?
Horrible! Cancer’s such a sensitive subject and so, so upsetting for many people, but 1 in 3 of us will get it in our lifetime, so something needs to be said and we don’t need to scared of the word, but more perhaps what it’s mean to us and the funny things that happen if you ever, god forbid, if you get it. Hey if we don’t laugh we’ll cry! And don’t want no blubbin’ in my show. I don’t just want to rant about cancer, this is a personal story told in my unique way, about how I handled it.

6. You have become known for some quite out-there shows, does this one have a different tone?
Nope. (Except it’s me this time, not a character)

7. What’s your walk-on music going to be and why?
Not sure yet, toying between Dolly Parton 9 to 5, Bright Eyes sung to the words “Beth Vyse”.

8. Who will you be living with and how do you expect that to go?
The Weirdos. Ali Brice, Mark Stephenson and Gareth Morinan. Oh and Joz Norris. So I imagine it will be pretty smelly.

9. What will your Edinburgh daily routine be?
Stress.

10. Do you enjoy the Fringe?
Of course, it a wonderful, creative place, it’s great to see other peoples imaginations jump out on to a stage.

11. Are you well and recovered now?
Well obviously I’m not well, it’s my sixth year doing Edinburgh. But if you are talking about cancer then yes, thank you.

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