Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Monsters Take Your Dramaturgy: Andy Daly @ Edfringe 2017

Andy Daly’s debut Edinburgh Fringe Comedy show - Monsters Take Your Questions will be at the Gilded Balloon Wine Bar for the month of August for tickets go to

What was the inspiration for this performance?

I’ve performed so many different characters on comedy podcasts over the years and many of them have attracted followings so I thought it would be fun to put some them in front of audiences and let comedy fans do what comedians like Scott Aukerman, Jason Mantzoukas, Patton Oswalt and Paul F. Tompkins have been doing for years, peppering my characters with ridiculous questions and watching me improvise my way out.  

As it happens, once I started assembling the characters and writing their monologues, I discovered that these weird, disturbed creations of mine actually speak to this moment in ways Edinburgh audiences might find surprising.  

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 

Absolutely it is!  Believe me, I love reading a great piece of reporting or an Op-Ed with a well laid out argument, but plays and songs and comedy shows have the potential to help people understand our times in ways that provoke more interesting thoughts and discussions.  My only mission is to make people laugh but if, on their way out to the pub later, they find I also gave them something to chew on, well okay.  Chew away.   

How did you become interested in making performance?

I’ve enjoyed getting laughs from as early as I can
remember and loved the experience of being in plays as a teenager.  But I think it was David Letterman, John Belushi and Andy Kaufman who most made me think of doing this for a living.  I wanted to make audiences feel like they did and have something like the journey they’d had.  I don’t know that I’ve accomplished either thing at all but it’s been fun trying.   

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

I write out the characters’ monologues in full.  This process basically involves a lot of speaking out loud in character and transcribing myself.  Then, in performance, I improvise a lot.  I also rewrite constantly, based on how the show felt the last time I did it, but I’ve never had the patience to record my performances and listen to them back. I don’t know how people do that.    

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

I would say so.  The only thing that’s a little different for me about this show is how interactive it is with the audience and how much it will be shaped by the people who come out and make themselves a part of it.  In that sense, it’s the most exciting and unpredictable show I’ve ever done.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I hope the show is just a rollicking good time and that the audience has a sense throughout the show that anything can happen.  I also hope that people feel inspired to come back and see it again and again, since it’ll be somewhat different every night.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

No matter what I’m working on, whether it’s a TV show or a podcast or a live performance, my favourite approach is to prepare a lot and then to be open to totally new and surprising moments.  It’s a mindset and I’ll definitely be putting it to use in this show.  I can’t wait to see what I and these audiences learn about my characters together, through their questions and the characters’ probably insane answers.  I can promise it’s going to get weird.

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