Comedian performs Edinburgh Fringe show to lone man after no one else shows up

Comedian Robin Grainger (L) and lone audience member Mike Cass
Comedian Robin Grainger (L) and lone audience member Mike Cass. (Robin Grainger)

A comedian performed his Edinburgh Fringe show to a single audience member after no one else showed up.

Robin Grainger, 33, decided to soldier on with his slot at the Stand Comedy Club despite the solitary ticket sale – and afterwards said it was one of his best ever shows.

Grainger said he’d been “optimistic” about the event on Friday so was surprised by the turnout.

He added he went forward with the one-hour show because audience member Mike Cass had paid his money to watch.

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EMBARGOED TO 1100 SUNDAY AUGUST 7 File photo dated 6/8/2021 of signage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Performing arts and entertainment trade union Equity has launched a Comedian's Charter in an effort to ensure good working practices and the safety of comedians. Developed by the union's Comedians' Network, the charter was launched at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on Monday at The Stand comedy club's New Town Theatre. Issue date: Saturday August 7, 2021.
The Edinburgh Fringe arts festival began on Friday and runs until 29 August. (PA) (PA)

Grainger, from Aberdeenshire, told BBC Scotland: "My lovely tech operator Eric came to give me my two-minute warning. I asked how it was looking and he winced.

"He said 'There's one'."

The comedian said he switched up the show for Cass and did a lot off the cuff material, trying to tailor the performance to him.

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Cass later tweeted: “I saw @RobinGrainger on Friday night, the only person in the audience. He made me laugh so hard, I loved it.

Cass said he then went to another show, and was surprised that the comedian was one of the guests.

He tweeted: "I go and see @des_clarke today and one of his guests was Robin telling the story of his only audience member. I feel I should start the #RobibGraingerAppreciationSociety.”

Since the event, Grainger's popularity has risen and ticket sales have improved.

His show the next night was a near sellout after he posted what happened on social media.

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His performance was also heard by The Scotsman's comedy critic Kate Copstick, who was waiting outside to review the next act Ryan Cullen .

She wrote on social media: “Robin Grainger. Who was, as we say in Scotland, giving it laldy.

“It sounded great. The FOH crew told me he had only one person in. Total respect and liking for a comic that can do that.

“And I spoke to the one person when he came out. Said he had been handed a flyer and had a spare hour so came along.”

The Edinburgh Fringe arts festival began on Friday and runs until 29 August.

It is returning in full-scale form this year following the pandemic.