“I’m in the bowels of country Victoria at the moment, just sowing some wild oats,” he says down the phone. “And when I say ‘sowing my wild oats’, I know that can be a euphemism for promiscuity in one’s youth, but no, I’m literally in a paddock sowing wild oats.”
It’s one of Randy’s many pastimes away from his successful comedy career, whether it be solo or with his ‘skinny comedy husband Sammy J, doing a variety of live and recorded shenaniganses’. After performing with Sammy J at last year’s Wonderland Festival at Brisbane’s Powerhouse Theatre, Randy will be travelling solo to bring one of his other passions to the stage in his show ‘Randy Writes A Novel’.
The inspiration for Randy’s novel is the personal diary of Australian explorer Alby Mangels during his 1976 trek from Albury to Wodonga.
“Now, because it only takes about probably four to eight minutes to cross the Murray River, he didn’t write a lot. He basically wrote, ‘I’m setting out now,’ and then, ‘Oh, the current is flowing reasonably, so I’m here’. That was pretty much the length of his diary. So, it’s not a lot to go off, but I really do delve into his artistic and emotional motivations, and his spiritual connection to the river.”
‘Randy Writes A Novel’ is the comedian’s fourth solo show, but will also be his first time performing any of his shows in Brisbane and meeting the townspeople is something that excites him.
“Queensland does get a bit of Randy-love, but Brisbane is sorely needing some attention. So, that’s what I’m doing; I’m bringing it to Brissie, giving it a bit of a gentle caress. I’m stroking Brisbane’s forehead and lulling it to sleep. Hopefully they don’t fall asleep during the show.”
Brisbane audiences should be excited to have Randy visit, especially with this particular show. Randy has taken the show across Australia and overseas, even garnering a nomination for Best Comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
“Doing a live show about writing a novel has done well for me, but the writing of the actual novel and making a career as an accomplished writer hasn’t been as successful,” he says.
The award nominations show how much work Randy has put into the show, but he wants Brisbane to know he’ll be working even harder to impress them.
“I’m going to be hitchhiking my way up the east coast to Brisbane. I travel with a small, portable coffee machine; like a proper barista coffee machine. The thing is, I can only make short-blacks because the milk will go off because I don’t have adequate refrigeration while I’m hitchhiking. Also, I have a little bike that I attach to the coffee machine to get the steam going to make coffees hot enough. But, I’ve realised the amount of pedalling I do on the coffee machine, I might as well just ride a bike to Brisbane. It’d take the same amount of energy and get me there slightly quicker.”
“It’s like this: I’m in a committed relationship with Brisbane and I am turning up with everything I can bring to that relationship. And if Brisbane says no, then I have to put that down to Brisbane not being comfortable with itself. Brisbane’s got some issues if it doesn’t come to see this show.”