We talk to the smiling assassin about The Edinburgh Fringe, coin tricks and Stan Laurel in drag. Here’s 60 seconds with Col Howarth…
Q: How did you first discover your talent?
When I was around 7 years old I’d discovered I could balance coins on my elbow and successfully achieve the elbow coin snatch. Over time I rigorously trained myself to snatch a good 12-15 coins at once. I was so excited that I demonstrated it in class as a thing to show my classmates. I’ve been able to do it ever since. Is this what you meant?
Q: Which three words best describe your act?
Energetic, quirky and fun.
Q: How many shows have you performed to date and which was your favourite?
As a stand-up I’ve performed almost 300 times in a variety of rooms, clubs, tents and fields but End to End is actually my debut full show. By the time I reach Shaftesbury I’ll have performed a lot of previews of it and will have performed the show at the Bath Comedy Festival and the Ludlow Fringe, and I will also be going on to do the Cardiff Comedy Festival and then The Edinburgh Fringe in August.
My favourite performance of the show has to be the first time I performed it in Cardiff: on home soil, in front of a big supportive audience and in a great venue. It is quite a visual show so it was amazing to bring the tech together for the first time. It couldn’t have had a better response. It has been a fun show to write and perform, and according to audiences so far, great fun to watch.
As well as this, in the first half of 2017 I have been tour-MC for a show that has been playing at small theatres and arts centres around England and Wales. To be invited to MC a tour is a great compliment and some of the theatre gigs have been amazing!
Q: Which two fictional characters from film, literature or theatre would you replace your parents with?
Stan Laurel (mum) and Les Dawson (dad)
Q: What was the best piece of advice you have been given by a fellow performer?
Write as much for yourself as for an audience, because if you enjoy performing your stuff then you will bring the audience along with you.
Q: Will you be performing at Shaftesbury Fringe 2017? What’s the plan?
Oh yes! I’ll be there alright! The plan is to perform End to End at the Grosvenor Arms on Sat 1st July at 3pm. It is a ‘pay what you like’ show – millionaires welcome. I was going to book the library (20 seats) but was steered towards the Assembly Room (70 seats) so I hope people will come and see my quirky and uplifting debut show about what happens when you look up and engage, and let the moment in. It would mean a lot!
(Looking forward to seeing the coin snatch trick!)