As seen on Mock The Week and widely spread across the internet recently too, Alasdair Beckett-King is now bringing his comedic bouts to the Edinburgh Fringe this year, in his new show, Nevermore. Dubbed as 'faintly mystical' while guaranteed to harvest lots of laughs, it sounds like a great piece to watch.
Interested to know more about this, and Alasdair's career as a whole, keep reading to find out his answers to a few budding questions.
How would you sum up your latest show, Nevermore, and can you give us a hint of what to expect?
You know the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey, when the astronaut guy's consciousness expands beyond human kind and he sees through space and time into the inconceivable mysteries of an infinite universe? My show will be like that. Except, in the place of incomprehensible four-dimensional truths I will mostly be doing jokes. And telling a couple of stories from my childhood. And, most importantly, putting the North Sea in its place.
How is this unique in comparison to other stand up gigs available?
At other stand up gigs, the comedians make money. I'm sure someone must make money out of the Edinburgh Fringe, but you almost never hear anyone admit to it. Perhaps they shovel all the cash into a big hole? At least Edinburgh's hard-working property management companies and landlords will survive another year.
What methods do you employ to ensure your comedy reflects current events?
My main trick for staying current is being alive now. The truth is, I only really do topical jokes when current events intersect with something I'm already interested in. My cutting-edge fashion sense may be misleading here, but I'm not terribly concerned with being up-do-date. My references are often historical or deliberately anachronistic in an effort to be enchantingly timeless. Will it work? Time will tell.
What’s the funniest joke you’ve ever written or heard?
I don't think I've ever laughed at anything more than Pauline McLynn in Father Ted replying to "Have you got your contact lenses in, Mrs Doyle?" with: "No. A dog ran off with them." It's a hilarious line reading and a brilliant joke by Arthur Mathews and professional internet bully Graham Linehan.
How does it differ doing panel shows for TV, in comparison to stand-up for an audience that is only ‘in the moment’?
My experience of TV is limited, but one of the things I have noticed about panel shows is they cut out the bad bits. Sometimes they even cut out good bits as well, but the fact that the show is edited means that a duff joke or a fluffed line can be put right. You don't get that with a live show, because everyone will remember. The good thing about live shows is that you can make actionable, slanderous remarks about famous people with impunity. I say impunity. I suppose Noel Edmonds could come to one of my gigs, but it's unlikely.
What has been the highlight of your comedy career so far, and where would you like to take it next?
The comedy world is far from fair and even-handed. But one of the nice things about it is getting to work with really good comedians. A brand new comic could turn up to their first gig and, if they're lucky, gig alongside someone huge off the telly trying out new material. It may not happen often, but it's hard to imagine something like that happening at all if you wanted to be a musician or a filmmaker. So my highlight is getting to gig with people I have been a fan of since I was basically a kid. And my next goal is to crush all those established comedians, crush them into dust.
Huge thanks to Alasdair for taking the time to partake in this fantastic interview, and best of luck with the show- you will smash it!
Get your tickets here:
Additional thanks to Amee Smith for coordinating this interview.