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    Interview: Colin Cloud

    Compared to a real life Sherlock Holmes, Colin Cloud has astonished and amazed audiences across the world. Sarah caught up with Colin to talk about the Edinburgh Fringe and developing his incredible show...


    Your tour is coming to Liverpool on 1st October – what can audiences expect from the show?

    My inspiration for writing the show was thinking if Sherlock Holmes was a real person, what would it be like to go along and spend an evening with him, so he can demonstrate his various skills? I mix in some of my comedy background as well and make it quite an entertaining experience that involves everyone in the room, so everyone will leave having felt part of the show.


    What sort of audience reactions have you received to the shows so far?

    They’ve been incredibly positive; from the reviewers to feedback on social media, it’s all been quite overwhelming. People say that they were sceptics before they came in, but they left converted. I’m not trying to convince anyone of any supernatural ability, only that it’s quite an entertaining show. Everything that I’m doing is a very learned and very developed skill, which I’ve been training in and perfecting for the past twenty years. There’s comedy in there, so there’s lots of laughter…a lot of astonishment as well, which is the primary response that I’m going for in the show - Just wanting to leave people quite uplifted when they leave that room, having experienced something they haven’t experienced before.


    When did you first discover that you wanted to develop this skill?

    I remember being six years old and seeing a book in my school library that had a photo of a guy on the front with a silly hat and a pipe and I thought, ‘he looks ridiculous’. When I was eight, I picked up the book for the first time and by chance opened it up to a page where this character called Sherlock Holmes was deducing things about people. I was blown away. When I was eight I thought this guy was real, but when I was ten I discovered that this guy never actually existed and I totally gutted, as you can imagine. I was totally fascinated by everything that he did and I was really into the sciences, psychology, hypnotism and really just understanding how things, especially people, actually work.


    You’ve just performed at the Edinburgh Fringe. What drew you to perform the show at the festival?

    I lived growing up about fifteen miles from Edinburgh, so I always knew about the Fringe and it’s kind of a boy hood dream to come and do a show here. I took a bit of a risk last year and put on the show myself and the show completely sold out. People were going away – word of mouth is the biggest marketing tool here – word spread really quickly and the entire run last year sold out. That led to getting a bigger venue, a production company and really making a bigger deal of it this year. Again, every single show sold out and the reviews have all been phenomenal. The response to it has just been great. From living nearby when I was younger, it’s funny to think that I’ve now performed in London, LA, New York, Vegas, all over the world. Now coming back to pretty much my home town to do the Fringe, it’s been a nice journey.


    It’s like you’ve come full circle almost, which Sherlock Holmes would definitely approve of. His deductions always seem to come full circle in the end.

    Absolutely, what a perfect metaphor; It’s great to know that I’ve developed something that is in demand. I’m incredibly excited to take it on the road and to be able to perform it in towns and cities across the UK. It’s going to be a real treat.


    Growing up did you ever think that this would be your career; performing these incredible shows to so many people?

    I went to University to study Forensic Investigation, so in my head I thought I would be doing just that, but then I realised that the people who are amazing at being real life Sherlocks are comedians. Comedians are great at observing people and then talking about it in their sets. I thought the only real way to develop that skill was to go do it, so I got into stand-up comedy and developed how to perform onstage from that. When I finished University I had the choice of, do I continue a career in labs or do I want to travel the world and have a ball onstage? Sherlock [Holmes] has never really gone out of fashion and he’s kind of always been there. The fact that his profile is so high again and people on TV have found out that I do all this stuff and they want to capture it; I’m totally honoured, thrilled and excited. In this show I didn’t just think ‘What would Sherlock do?’, but I also thought ‘What would Moriaty do?’ That pretty much led to the finale of the show. The tour that I’m doing is a combination of the best bits of last year’s show and this year’s show. Everyone coming along is going to see an evening of the biggest and best stuff that I do.


    Who do you take more influence from, Sherlock or Moriaty?

    Very much Sherlock, but I think to try and better understand where I can take the show moving forward, I kind of had to tap into that side as well to draw inspiration from that.


    Can you sum up the show in three words?

    Real life Sherlock

    Colin Cloud is at the Holiday Inn, Liverpool on Thursday 1st October 2015.


    Photograph (C) Studio Penicuik, Don Jack

      Sarah's posts By Sarah O' Hara



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