Wednesday 24 August 2011 | By Caro Moses
Adam Riches: The Riches of character comedy
One of the Fringe’s favourite character comedians, Adam Riches has been garnering award nominations and four and five star reviews all over the place.
ThreeWeeks tracked him down to ask a few pertinent questions about his career, his brand of comedy, and why he keeps coming back to the Fringe.
CM: How and why did you get into comedy?
AR: The why is because I was never much good at anything else! The how is that I started writing comedy plays during my time at University and then took some of the characters out onto the circuit to see what would work and what wouldn’t work on the way to shaping together some full shows.
CM: You are known for your character work. Do you ever do straight stand-up? Would you like to?
AR: No, never. I’m only interested in character work.
CM: What do you think makes a good character comedian? Do you make a point of seeing other shows by character comedians?
AR: Just keeping it simple and making it funny. I think it’s important for an audience to get what it is you are and what it is that’s funny about you as quickly as possible, so that they can relax and be taken anywhere you want. I absolutely make a point of seeing other acts. There’s so much good stuff out there that it’d be ridiculous not to.
CM: How is this year’s show going? Can you tell us a bit about the characters?
AR: The show is going well, thank goodness! People seem to be responding to it and the reviews have been good, so it’s lovely to perform in that environment. There are only five characters in the show, not including lizards. A super-charged Agent, a super-damaged Swingball Champ, a super-loud Actor, a super-grizzled Monster Hunter and a super-weird MasterMind.
CM: You’ve done some TV work. How does it compare to live performance? Do you aspire to a TV career?
AR: TV is fine but doesn’t have the freedom of live performance. The more money there is involved in a project, the more people there are involved in the decision making and so seeing as I pay myself nothing for my live work I can make as many mistakes as I like! Hopefully I can find a way to develop a TV project that gives me as much freedom to bugger up as much as the Festival does, cos that’s how you get better.
CM: How many years have you been doing the Fringe? What do you like about it? What keeps you coming back?
AR: This will be my fifth solo show in a row and my sixth festival in total. I love it here. The chance to perform your own material every day to a crowd of comedy savvy audiences for a month is a hard thing to give up… even though it nearly always kills me and milks me dry!
CM: Which other shows are you planning to see/have you seen this year?
AR: I’ve only seen a few so far. Humphrey Ker, David Reed, Colin Hoult and Idiots of Ants, all very excellent for very different reasons. I’m planning to see Fraser Millward, Delete the Banjax, Tom Rosenthal and the mighty Nick Helm in the last week.
Adam Riches’ show ‘Bring Me The Head Of Adam Riches’ was performed at The Pleasance Courtyard during Fringe 2011.