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Randy Ross, an erotica-writer, has come to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to put on his one-man show, The Chronic Single’s Handbook, a tale of a never-married hypochondriac, who travels around the world looking for love. Alexander Woolley caught up with Ross to hear more about his production, which is on at theSpace until 16th August.

Incidentally, my mother has seen the show several times. Her take was 'Boys will be boys.'

Tell us about the show.

My show, The Chronic Single's Handbook, is an edgy romantic comedy about a chronically single guy who takes a trip around the world looking for the woman of his dreams. It sounds pretty wholesome, but the show carries content warnings for adult situations, adult language, and more adult situations, including a visit to a body spa called The Curious Finger.

Your show is based on your own (unpublished) novel. How have you found working on the same material at the same time in two different media?

It's tricky. A novel is about twelve hours-worth of material. The show is less than one hour. To adapt the novel, I hired a director/dramaturg and we spent months cutting and rewriting. We cut out characters, plot lines, and themes. We rewrote and rewrote.

For example, in a novel, you can use complex imagery and metaphors because readers can take their time, reread, them think about them. On stage, patrons only have only a second or two to grasp an image. Also, you have to repeat key themes, especially if they're mentioned in an early scene and then again towards the end of the play.

How do people react to the “humorous erotica” aspect of your show?

In the U.S., a bit called 'Domination for Dummies' has horrified some audiences, particularly in Washington D.C.. One reviewer in D.C. must have forgotten that she was at a fringe festival and got her panties all in a bunch – parts of the U.S. are very politically-correct; if you look at someone crossed-eye you risk violating their rights.

At the Orlando Fringe, and so far at the Edinburgh Fringe, people have laughed. Some audiences don't take themselves too seriously.

Incidentally, my mother has seen the show several times. Her take was 'Boys will be boys.'

I've noticed that women in the audience usually laugh or enjoy the naughty stuff. Their husbands or boyfriends are often unsure of how to react. If they laugh, perhaps they fear they'll get a kick in the shin – or shut off from future sex.

Are you happy to be single?

I prefer to be in a relationship. I think most people prefer to be in a relationship – the right relationship. But finding the right relationship can be tough for some people, especially if you're a little quirky or outside the mainstream.

My show offers two messages for single people: 1) There are worse things in life than being single: disease, death, divorce. 2) As a single person, if you ever give up hope of meeting someone, you're done for.

Incidentally, I was in a long-term relationship that went bust the week before I left for Edinburgh. Being a performer can be tough on your love life!

http://www.broadwaybaby.com/shows/the-chronic-sing...

Twitter: @ChronicSingle


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