UK comedy’s controversialist, Andrew Lawrence takes a break from all the outrage this year to present an all new show, an hour of good, clean fun at Edinburgh Fringe this year. Titled CLEAN, apparently we can expect it to be precisely that.
Andrew spoke with The Fountain about the premise and influences behind the show as well as how he plans to spend the Fringe.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting? CLEAN certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
I called the show CLEAN because I set myself very specific rules while developing it – No politics, no religion, no swearing, no smut.
There were two reasons behind this. Firstly, the stand-up scene internationally is very politicised at the moment, and consequently there is a lot of acrimony. I wanted to detached myself from all of that, by having nothing remotely political in my show. I guess it’s my message to the industry to say ‘I’m not part of this debate, don’t involve me in it, I’m just here to tell jokes and entertain audiences’.
Secondly the no swearing, no smut thing was about the fact that I’m in my late thirties now, I’m a dad, my life is very family orientated, and so I’d like what I do on stage to be family friendly. I think conventionally, many young men in their twenties often gravitate towards edgy humour, but that’s not me anymore, I’m getting old now!
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
I think the show is a reaction to a changing industry and my place in it. In terms of influences, I just draw from my own life experience and try to make myself laugh when I’m coming up with material. I think you have to be careful spending too much time watching other comedians. I’ve seen it happen so many times, a comedian will start getting a lot of TV work and critical recognition, and then suddenly you’ll see a load of new acts springing up on the club circuit who are just doing an imitation of that guy.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, have you been before?
In one way or another I’ve been performing at the Edinburgh Fringe every single year since 2001. My plan is always to look after myself physically, try not to lose my voice, keep in a good state of mind, focus on the show because Edinburgh can cost you a lot of money and a lot of work, and it can hinder your career as well as help it, if you’re not at the top of your game when you arrive and for the duration.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond CLEAN?
I’ll be touring the show all over the UK from September 2018 for at least a year. After that, we’ll see. My experience is you don’t get to make many plans as a comedian, the industry makes a plan for you one way or another, and you either go along with it, or you don’t!
CLEAN, The Assembly at George Square STUDIO 3, 8.10pm (60 minutes), 1st -26th August 2018