By 10th August 2016 blog No Comments

Well hand me a flyer and call me Shirley – the Edinburgh Fringe is upon us again! Like a seasonal skin condition, it’s flared up in the summer and performers and punters like you and I can’t help but scratch and pick at it incessantly until it grosses us all out and ruins our jumpers.

After being lucky enough to have been nominated for the Best Newcomer Award at last year’s Fringe, I have now returned to Scotland determined to WIN the Best Newcomer Award for 2016. Hopefully the judges will have forgotten me and won’t realise that I’m now an “Oldcomer” (gross).

I’m back in Assembly Studio 5 in George Square at exactly the same time, because the public’s demand for Ballard is steadily remaining consistent. People don’t want less Ballard, they don’t want more Ballard, they’re just generally good with the current levels of Ballard.

Here’s me “warming up” at my tech rehearsal:

Yes. I am in “the arts”.

My first couple of shows have been a joy, even the one involving the grumpiest man in the entire world:

and the one involving an audience member who openly admitted to enjoying meth:

I have been revelling in the balmy Scottish weather

and being freaked out by our neighbours, who I certainly hope are in some kind of Fringe theatre production and not the KKK:

I mean, I’ll be fine – it’s my lovely flatmate Nazeem Hussain who I’m worried about. To take his mind off the possibility of being victimised by racial violence, I’d recommend buying a ticket to his hilarious show.

Alternatively you could check out my other flatmate and fellow antipodean homosexual Nath Valvo, or perhaps my other flatmate Susie Youssef who has named her show Check Youssef Before You Wreck Youssef which is up there with the truly great titles of all time, alongside Joe Lycett’s That’s The Way A-ha A-ha Joe Lycett and this one I just found yesterday:

My other flatmate is some guy called David O’Doherty, I don’t know what kind of tosh he’s up to. Something about a small keyboard or something? Sounds awful. Anyway, to each their own.

I’ve partaken in some jolly good fun extracurricular gigs around town, such as Thom Tuck’s Thomfoolery, a line up show where everyone on the bill is in some way named “Tom”. Yep. That’s it. That’s what happened. End of premise. Real good stuff.

I also did a spot at Night At The Museum, the improvised lecture show where comedians pretend to know the history and purpose of every single item in the National Museum of Scotland. I claimed a medieval guillotine was used as a circumcision device and cruelly insulted the scientific achievement of cloning Dolly the Sheep. I think the audience was actually dumber by the time I was done.

And I made an appearance in Briefs Factory’s Sweatshop, a late-night cabaret variety work out sex-infused extravaganza in the Circus Hub that’s all about working hard and people removing clothes and working one’s guts out. Each night a guest comedian is invited onto the stage to perform their act…but on a treadmill. They’ve somehow seen through the lie that is stand up comedy and realised we’re very lazy and asked us to do some work. So this happened.


I’ve never been more ashamed of all of my life choices. I could have been a lawyer, for fuck’s sake.

Oh I also I saw this tip sign and it was nice:

Onwards into the abyss!


You can catch Tom Ballard 3 – 28 AUG 21:15, George Square Studios 5