101 sketches in 50 minutes… it can’t be possible, can it?
Hello lads, so first things first, where are you both from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Ziggy: I’m from London, mostly. But did some hard time in a garrison town in the West country from 0-6. Troy hail’s from the black country, and you can still see it underneath his finger nail’s. But right now… we’re both shacked up on the Caledonian sleeper, wedged between a slender man tribute act and a ploughmans with no mayo.
How did you get into comedy?
Troy: When I was very young my dad used to sit me in front of the TV for hours watching Bottom… I’m pretty sure Rik Mayall hacked into my unconscious somehow because ever since I’ve been utterly obsessed with making people laugh. I pride myself on being a “student of comedy” and I always do my best to keep up with new stage acts or TV shows.
I love performing, yet equally, I love being a fan, so Edinburgh Festival makes me like Admiral Adam Adelson at an alliteration and articulation academy’s afternoon tea.
When did you first realise you could make people laugh?
Ziggy: When I was about 4 years old, I bet a mate that I could squeeze down a gap between his mum’s anachronistic curiosity shop and a decrepit shed. The fool I was found himself, wedged between the two, struggling for air, whilst the neighbours and fire brigade tried to lift me out. I almost suffocated – but he was in hysterics.
What are the secrets to a good sketch?
Troy: Locate what you think is funny and overtake it… Often, we find that the REALLY hilarious stuff lies beyond where instinct initially takes us. So, we have to motivate ourselves to keep moving, even when we find something that makes us both laugh. Our show, “Fat blast and Crackers” has been very useful with regards to this, because the sheer quantity of sketches has forced us to get to the funny stuff incredibly quickly!
What is it about being funny in front of other people that makes you tick?
Ziggy: I don’t know, nervousness. I’ve worked so hard to cover that up. Years of therapy. And now you’ve exposed my weakness to your readers, who – if they come to see the show – won’t be able focus on anything other than my unsightly spasms. Cheers.
What does your mum think of all this performing malarkey?
Troy: She is a former club dancer-cum-Posh Spice impersonator, so naturally, she wishes I had been an accountant.
How did the The Scribbling Ape first get together?
Ziggy: We met on the first day of university, he started imitating my London accent, I started ripping him about his polka dot jumper. Wasn’t long before we were performing ‘Waiting for Godot’ to live sheep, hiking into the hills in character as Van Gogh and Gauguin, and penning our first play together. I think we both agree, that our friendship has been the best training any writer or actor could ask for.
You describe yourselves as two sides of the same cosmic coin? Can you elaborate?
Troy: OK um- I’ve never actually been asked to break it down before, I usually just use it as a pithy marketing slogan but lets give it a go. I suppose it doesn’t matter if an idea comes from my side or his side, its overall value remains the same. Like, is heads worth more than tails? No it isn’t. And as for the “cosmic” bit, well I guess the cosmos is eternal like… our comedy?
You’re performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe; what are you bringing to the table?
Troy: Sukceso! vi pasis la teston. nun venu kaj rigardu la spektaklon pro mi.
So, that’s 2 sketches a minute (plus one) then – how do you think/hope the audience will react?
Ziggy: Well, it has been a huge challenge. Particularly as one of the things we have found difficult in the past is keeping our sketches short. It was important that we maintained a balance between quality and brevity, and we think we’ve achieved that. So the audience should leave having experienced something unique and hilarious.
How did Libby Rodliffe and Talullah Bond get on board?
Troy: We already knew Libby from our days studying at the finest ex-polytechnic Arts University in Northern Somerset (Bath Spa Uni) – We fished Talullah out of the Thames, she was tangled up in dental floss and industrial waste paraphernalia.
So what is in the offing for next year, how do you top a world record?
Ziggy: As well as a stack of long form sketches, we have a couple of half written sitcoms that we would like to get off the ground. We will also be focusing on online content much more, because we’ve been shit with it, yet are evermore aware of its importance. Plus of course, we’ll be back in Edinburgh next year for a full run. So watch out for that.
You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the streets…
Troy: We would love to wax lyrical about artistic integrity and our penetrating creative process but ultimately, if you come to watch our show- you will witness 50 minutes of superfast, bold and original sketch comedy…at the very least we can guarantee, you will not be f**kin bored… Also, at approximately 7.9 pence per sketch, you can’t go wrong.
Just The Tonic, The Caves,
Aug 2-11 (23:20)