An hour of non-stop nonsense, original music and uncomfortable crowd work at this years Fringe. The Valentine Boys deliver a unique style, with a uniquer band of characters – family favourites such as The Straightest Man You Know, Cool Boss, and The Man Who Likes to F*** Coffee. Julie Duffy, manager of the Boys spoke with The Fountain about the Agatha Christie influence and plans post-Fringe.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
We are so excited to be performing at the Fringe this year! There’s really nothing else like the Edinburgh Fringe out there, especially for people like us. We love to perform and to see all of the craziest, weirdest shows out there and Edinburgh is definitely the best place to find them. It can be tough to find a place in the world doing absurdist, musical comedy but at the Fringe there’s no judgement. You can be whatever you want out there and you’ll find an audience and we think that’s pretty special.
TF: Because The Rent Is Due certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
We’re three young people who live together and the bloody old landlord keeps raising the prices – it’s a tale as old as time. So the premise is that we’re putting on a sketch show to raise money to pay said rent (because as we all know, everyone at the Edinburgh Fringe turns a huge profit). There’s an overarching narrative but we’re not here to tell a story. The sketches are bizarre and unconnected. We go from a man who’s anxious because he has no daughter to bring to Bring Your Daughter to Work Day to a doctor giving the Grim Reaper a check up – you know, everyday things to which everyone can relate. And who knows, the Landlord may just show up to make sure we have his rent paid on time.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
We have a lot of influences both in and outside the world of comedy. Growing up I had a pretty rigid idea of what comedy was until I saw Monty Python and saw that these adults were allowed be really silly as their job! It was nothing like any comedy I had seen before and they showed me that there weren’t any rules in comedy, it can be as ridiculous as you want it to be. More recently we are all very inspired by the Australian Sketch group Aunty Donna who have become very popular in the last few years. We saw them at the Edinburgh Fringe two years ago and it was probably the best thing we saw that year. Those boys really know how to put on a ridiculous show. A strange influence to mention here for me is Agatha Christie, the murder mystery novelist. We write interactive comedy murder mysteries as well but even in our sketch comedy I think we often feel it’s best to have a crazy twist that takes the skit to somewhere you never thought it would go. I think an interest in the mystery genre is certainly a factor in this reasoning. Some of her plot twists are insane.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
This will be our third year performing at the Fringe, though we’ve never been on for the entire month before so that’s very exciting for us. For the past two years we’ve been in Edinburgh with Trinity College Dublin’s Improv group Improv, She Wrote but never for more than a week. I think the best advice for new performers are to go and see the shows that interest you. You’ll never be in a more friendly atmosphere of other performers and we’ve been so inspired by the shows we’ve seen in previous years at the Fringe. If Improv is your jam there’s tons of it to be found. If you’re considering a career in stand up you’ll find some of the world’s best comics here. If you’re into having the best hour of your life we’d recommended Because the Rent is Due at 11:20pm every night in The Charteris Centre.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond Because the Rent Is Due?
We’re gonna keep writing and performing together, we have lots of ideas for future shows and other ventures. We’ve been kicking around the idea of a Gilbert and Sullivan style musical about Lord Lucan for a while that we can’t wait to get working on properly. We’ll keep performing sketch shows in Dublin and abroad and we really want to grow Club Valentine into a household name on the comedy scene. We love performing as a trio but we also love when we get the opportunity to bring a bunch of our very talented friends together and make something truly special.
You can see Because The Rent Is Due at Just The Tonic @ The Charteris Centre from 1st – 25th August (Not 12th) at 23:20. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com