UK comedian Andrew Silverwood has been busy since last Perth Fringe World.
He's used his WA base – which became his home during the pandemic – to play shows in Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney, Edinburgh and Berlin. . . And 2024's Fringe World will be his ninth in a row.
His career has seen him play to hundreds of thousands of people across the UK, Europe, and Australia. You may have seen him at stand-up clubs around the place, comedy festivals like our own Melbourne International Comedy Festival, as MC for the award-winning '80s Mixtape', or as the warm-up act for 'Adults Only Magic Show' at Adelaide Fringe.
In Andrew's solo show 'Alive! On Stage In A Dead Man's Shirt' at Fringe World, Andrew will show off the sharp wit and talent for crowd interactions which have given him the fanbase he plays to today. Here, we speak to Andrew to learn more about this curiously-titled new show.
You’re back at Fringe World! What do you love about this festival in particular?
Is commute an answer? After moving to WA during a pandemic, it's nice to do shows that are 15 minutes away from my cat and bed. But Fringe in Perth has always been magical. Stand-up at a festival is different to a comedy club, it's deeper and personal, and the Pleasure Garden is a gorgeous space to play.
Interesting title for your show. . . What can you tell us about that title without giving too much away?
Nah, I'll just tell you. . . Last year in Melbourne at the comedy festival, my friend's granddad died. Granddad was our landlord, which meant free rent, but only if I attended the funeral. I didn't pack for comedy festival with funeral clothes so his mum let me raid Grandpa's wardrobe but didn't mention that G-dawg bulk bought his shirts and was going to be dripped in the same threads.
How about the show as a whole?
Oh yeah, the entire show is about how my life is one series of misfortunate events held together with elastic bands and poor choices. This year we'll chat practical jokes for German people, reasons to lock your front door at night, and the worst date I ever went on.
What’s your process like? When crafting a new show, where do you begin?
Every time something happens and I think "this could only happen to me" I open up a note on my phone called 'oops he did it again'. In June, I open that up and work out which of the stupid things I've done fit a theme and have a point I want to share with a room of strangers. Then I put on my mate's granddad's shirt and call a photographer. . .
You’ve been around Aus and across the world since last Fringe World. What has been your biggest career highlight of the last year?
A lady in Sydney last year heckled me with "I saw you in Edinburgh last week and you were great", which isn't how heckling is supposed to work, by the way.
You’ve got lots of good things to say about Perth audiences. Why do you think they’re so good?
This past year I've done shows in Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney, Boddington, Germany and Scotland. When you've seen the alternative, the answer is obvious.
Where did your love for comedy come from? Is there one particular thing/comedian that really got you into it?
Kate Valk of New York's The Wooster Group once told me that she "knew I was going to make it because [I] couldn't do anything else". Which is a back-handed compliment that I think about at least once a week a decade later.
What would you say has been your most enduring source of inspiration throughout your time as a comedian, and why?
I just want to be better at one thing than my little brother is. Hopefully it's comedy. Jury's still out.
Andrew Silverwood plays The Little Palais at The Pleasure Garden (Fringe World Perth) 19-28 January.