Performing at the Fringe for the rst time can be a daunting prospect. If only someone was on hand to offer the comedy newbies some advice. Fear not, our Agony Uncle, Richard Herring, is here to ease their pain

PAUL F TAYLOR Do I have to draw a penis on all my show posters myself or will someone do that for me? Agony Uncle Richard Herring: This year in Edinburgh, thanks to the puritanical Fringe programme and City Council, implication or representation of male genitalia must be censored. Next year anyone found even concealing a penis will be imprisoned. The year after that, Edinburgh will be declared a new Amazon-style state, where only women are allowed. Although I abhor censorship, I think the Fringe will be better without men, so the ends justify the means. But if you value your life, keep your penis hidden at all times and pretend to be a lady. all mention,

GARETH MORINAN This year I am performing my i rst solo show, which is a change from my normal routine of performing as part of a line-up of comedians. On

such nights I would normally ‘open’ my ‘set’ with a ‘call-back’ to the previous comedian’s joke mocking short-statured people (this often goes down a treat, as I myself am noticeably short). Later, I would ‘close’ my ‘set’ using an hilarious joke about how tall the compere is. Now that I am performing on my own, I cannot use any of my usual obvious hack jokes about height as there is no one else for the audience to compare me to. Given this, what is the best way to ‘open’ and ‘close’ my show? AURH: It’s a pain having to write new jokes or think of original jokes which don’t revolve around your personal appearance or resemblance to the offspring of two celebrities. I’d suggest you can avoid this problem by just getting them to set the mic stand much too high at the start: thus you can address your stature. Remove the mic from the stand and put it to one side, then at the end of the set when replacing the mic, the stand will still be too high and you can use your usual jokes. Good luck. 2–9 Aug 2012 THE LIST 37