After a challenging couple of years it can be difficult to process how we as human beings have adapted to such obscure societal shifts during the pandemic that quickly became considered as norms.
Josh Pugh didn’t escape the drama, from having to take his mother-in-law to A&E on the first day of lockdown to be met by ‘people in giant beekeeper suits’ (not sure how the PPE supply chain was doing at this point) to joining the Royal Mail as a key worker and welcoming a new son into the world with his wife following IVF treatment.
His new show, ‘Sausage, Egg, Josh Pugh, Chips and Beans’ has ‘no real sense behind it’ – “I’ve already had messages from people asking if they can swap Josh Pugh for another sausage” says Josh “and the show’s name is also causing a few problems when getting printed in programmes as it’s too long.”
On his signature style making its way into a brand new 60 minutes for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Josh says: “This show is my corner of light relief without being topical or political. Comedy shows can get quite heavy, and while I really enjoy watching that type of stuff during the fringe, my style has always been about just having a laugh with family and friends. You can only do what you do naturally. I’ve always been a stand-up first comedian.”
Like many comedians Josh had a string of bookings cancelled at the onset of March 2020 and with a baby on its way, he applied for a job at a local sorting office with the Royal Mail, where he was tasked to sort hundreds of parcels by post code.
Despite postal bosses thinking Josh was extremely efficient with time, Josh admits varying degrees of delivery success thanks to having only 15% vision in one eye. He is also pretty sure he is responsible for misplacing some of Captain Sir Tom Moore’s centenary birthday gifts. “I managed to keep the job going for six months without anyone noticing which gives you an idea of what it was like to work there. It was strange but also fun at the same time, I just put my headphones in and put a podcast on and got on with it. You could tell by the shape of the parcels that people were buying loads of random stuff during lockdown like tennis rackets and Etsy jewellery.”
On becoming a parent in December 2021 Josh is very clear he is sharing his family’s individual experiences of IVF in the show and that everyone’s experiences are different. “I’m not a spokesperson for it, however parents of all people need a night out and I hope they come to see the show for its quirks which are universal and unique.”
“It’s going to be my fourth time at the fringe and there are always a few difficult months financially afterwards as you don’t make any money doing it, however I love Edinburgh and having the opportunity to test and develop your stand-up is an investment you choose to make.”
Audiences may also differ this year, with rising costs and reduced availability of accommodation shared on social media “Without being across exactly why the costs are rising, there is a worry that the trend means audiences aren’t representative of the population which in turn effects what tastemakers think” said Josh.
Thankfully Josh has emerged to help us all see the funny side through updating us on his life from the last two years, which could help reinvigorate audiences from all walks of life and encourage us to apply the same thinking to our own lives (here’s hoping).
“I should be ready to reel off what the show is all about, it’s a fun way to look at the last two years of my life and trying to have a baby. It’s really good stand-up – if I’m allowed to say that.”
Josh Pugh is performing his brand-new show ‘Sausage, Egg, Josh Pugh, Chips and Beans’ at Monkey Barrel 4 at 14.10 throughout the festival. Buy tickets here.