DESPITE a busy schedule that sees him perform all over the world, comedian Craig Hill still remembers his last visit to Cumbernauld.
The Edinburgh-based funnyman - well known for his camp demeanour and trademark shaven head and kilt – keeps a detailed blog on his website, mrcraighill.com, with his thoughts on each performance. “Because every gig is different and depends so much on the interaction with the audience, I like to record a few notes on the way home and write them up,” said Craig.
Craig’s notes for the February 2012 show at Cumbernauld refer to “A loud woman called Sandy, who was definitely not going to be left stranded at the drive-in, and her friend who managed to sound like the campest person I’ve ever heard in my life with just one word,” among many others.
He also vividly remembers the venue itself. “It’s a really unusual theatre,” said Craig, referring to Cumbernauld’s distinctive ‘sunken horsehoe’ layout, which leaves the performer almost surrounded. “It’s unlike any other I’ve performed in as I typically play venues with a proscenium arch. It feels a bit like being thrown to the lions, but it helps give a gig real balls.”
Craig has had a busy year since that debut in Cumbernauld. The highlight for him was making his first trip to the Adelaide Fringe in March. “I’ve done the Melbourne Comedy Festival before but this time I decided to give Adelaide a try – and it was fantastic. It all takes place in this huge garden changed into something like ten tented venues. It was then I realised the Spiegel Garden, which is such a key part of the Edinburgh Festival, and one of my favourite venues, is actually based on Adelaide. So what we had was like ten Spiegel Gardens and in better weather.”
Craig’s show – dubbed Jock’s Trap – features a large amount of improvised comedy. Craig said: “Bizarrely it does take a lot of preparation to do an improvised show. You can’t have a hangover and you need to become the best version of yourself. I trained as an actor and spend a lot of time doing articulation drills to keep my delivery sharp.”
Craig Hill takes to the stage at Cumbernauld Theatre on Saturday, February 2. Tickets are £12/£10 and the show is for over 16s only due to adult content. Contact the theatre on 01236 732887 or buy tickets online at www. cumbernauldtheatre.co.uk