BEASTS have been one of the Edinburgh Fringe’s most consistently absurd and fun sketch groups in recent years.
This year the members take a risk and “break free from the shackles of the group and go it alone”. With hilarious consequences? We’ll find out.
Hi guys, how are you today?
Owen is particularly hairy today, James is ill and Ciarán is hungry. But mostly we’re very well and gearing up to win Edinburgh.
The concept of the show is that you’re all attempting to go solo. What made you come up with the idea?
Well we wanted to make a bigger, faster, funnier show than we’d ever done before, and the idea of three people trying to do three shows at the same time gave us a lot of possibility for farce and a great frame to build the comedy around. Also it’s a subject matter that interests us as it’s something we have to contemplate for ourselves in the future – what becomes of the broken sketch group?
How does preparing material for a solo effort compare to working as a group?
Contrary to the shows title, this has probably been our most collaborative process. When we were writing sketches there was a lot more of one person writing a sketch and pitching it to the group, but I guess because of the shows structure and narrative and because Owen wanted to feel involved – this year it’s been the three of us sitting in various rooms, on various chairs, driving each other various degrees of insane.
If you all did have full solo shows, have you thought of any names?
Ciarán’s working on a little something called “The Penultimate Mohican”. And when I say he’s working on it – he’s got the title.
The show is directed by Tom Parry of Pappy’s. What was it like to work with him?
Tom’s been brilliant, he’s sketch royalty and he’s done everything, so whenever we have a problem or something’s not quite working he’s just this endless fount of knowledge that we can draw from and drink from and piss in. Also he’s plucky and we like that.
What else are you looking forward to in Edinburgh this year?
There’s a lot of other great sketch acts returning to the fringe or coming back after a little sabbatical so I’m looking forward to seeing their shows and the standard and profile of sketch being raised… also very excited to only eat food that’s been cooked in a van for 26 days straight. Our bowels are eager.
Jul 30 – Aug 25, 4.45pm