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Brief Encounter With ... Phil Mann

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In his show Phil Mann's Full Mind, comedian Phil Mann asks audiences to challenge him to become an expert on a topic of their choice. Preparing 24 lectures for 24 shows, this show will answer questions and address topics you might not have known anything about otherwise.

So how does the show work?

My show's for those looking for a laugh and jaw-dropping feats of cerebal acrobatics. I get 24 hours to cram as much knowledge into my mind as I can, and then come back to tell you the findings. You'll get the facts - and of course all the jokes I can muster on the subject as well as the opportunity to ask questions and get answers - which is where you really put me to the test. At the end of each show the audience will vote for the next day’s topic. And nothing is off-limits. Michael Keane is sharing the bill with me and providing plenty of laughs with his own biting style to finish off the set.

How do you do your research?

It's not all Wikipedia - promise! The show probably wouldn't be possible without the internet, but hitting the libraries helps, as does making a few phone calls. I try to test out anything I can in front of the audience. For example, anyone who came to the one on Creme Eggs left incredibly satisfied and on a sugar high.

What's been your favourite topic to research?

Aliens and Area 51. A 7-year old kid suggested that one and the audience loved it. His mum brought him to the next show. I convinced myself, and everyone that came, that we may have been contacted by aliens already. There's some very compelling evidence and not all of it blurry photographs.

Is there anything you haven't been able to do?

The hardest has been Rolf Harris - when I started I couldn't work out how in God's name you could do a half hour set on one guy. But once you start digging... Apparently he was instructed to become a cheekily cheerful painting presenter from beyond the grave.

What's the first topic for Edinburgh?

My first one, as suggested by the editor of a local magazine in Windsor is the history and significance of Facial Hair. And I'll buy the best mustache in the room a drink. I'll be updating my blog and twitter every day so you can read about what I'm getting up to if you have to miss a topic that you really wanted to know about.

Phil Mann's Full Mind will show from the 4-28 August at 16.50 at the Laughing Horse Free Fringe at The Three Sisters together with Michael Keane: Intelligent Shuffle.


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