Ipswich/Edinburgh: Neal aims for fame at the Fringe

STEVE Coogan, Al Murray, Stephen Fry, and Rory Bremner are just some of the names that have launched their careers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

And this summer Neal Goldsmith, a former IT manager from Ipswich, hopes to follow in their footsteps as he prepares to take to the stage for the first time.

Mr Goldsmith, 35, of Warwick Road, is part of a group of six performers who are putting on a circus-themed show – entitled The Beast of the East – at the Phoenix pub in Edinburgh from Monday, August 13 to Friday, August 17.

He said: “I’d done comedy poetry at weddings before and it went down quite well.

“I’m a frustrated performer – it’s always been there. I thought I’d take it to a wider audience.”

The former Kesgrave and Farlingaye High student is currently doing a masters degree in culture and modernity at the University of East Anglia (UEA) after leaving his job as an IT manager to return to his studies.

The group of performers are all from the university’s Headlights Comedy Society and are at various stages of their degrees.

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Mr Goldsmith said: “I was in work for 12 years. It was a complete about turn. I always wanted to do a masters degree and a certain point comes when you just want to switch.”

The show will feature a variety of comedy and sketches with each member of the group performing their own piece during the hour-long show.

Mr Goldsmith’s own comedy style involves a “very frenetic style of poetry.”

“It’s basically really bad poetry done ironically,” he said.

With the deadline for his dissertation approaching in September and the Fringe in August, the next few months will be a busy time and Mr Goldsmith expects the Fringe to be “a big learning curve.”

“It’s a very busy period but I wouldn’t swap it,” he said.