Andrew McClelland: Dionysus Performance Q&A
You’ve performed in 12 consecutive Melbourne International Comedy Festivals. Which year was your highlight?
2004. I was established enough to know what was going on and who was who, and young enough to still be in the flower of indulgent, debaucherous youth.
You’re a four-time veteran of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Is there one that stands out for you?
2002. My first ever Edinburgh. I was staying in a share house with about 25 performers, I was living off fried pizza and the Cat Empire were the house band at my venue and doing a fine job of it. I don't remmember too much, but I know my bed was an empty bath tub for a while and I know I had a hell of a time.
You’ve performed twice at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival. You really get around. Which one was a highlight?
2006 I think? I was performing 'Andrew McClelland's Somewhat Accurate History of Pirates (1550-2017.)' And all the people in the festival got together for a massive pirate party and sea shanty sing along. I do love a good wildly drunken sing-a-long. I fear it's a lost art in modern Australia.
You’re a past recipient of the Comedians Choice Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Jury Prize at the Sydney Comedy Festival. What do you think is the main difference between Sydney and Melbourne audiences? Who laughs louder?
Melbourne people come out more and are willing to give shows they've never heard of a go earlier on, but perhaps because Sydneysiders get out less, when they like something they like it hard. Either way, I've found I dig both cities. Like anywhere there's great people (the people who like my comedy) and gormless idiots (the people who don't.)
You’ve appeared on Spicks and Specks (ABC), In Siberia Tonight (SBS), Stand Up Australia (The Comedy Channel), AD/BC (SBS) and The Chaser’s War On Everything (ABC1). Which was your highlight?
Probably Spicks and Specks. I love pop music in all of it's forms. And that Alan Brough is a babe.
What was it like working with the Chasers?
It was a lot of fun, but they're very driven, very hard working guys. Getting a TV show up each week is a massive task, so they're not as wild as you may think.
Every Friday you perform on Channel 10's morning program The Circle. Do you have any off air stories you can share?
Not anything that won't endanger my getting re-hired to work there for next year's season.
How did it feel to became one of the few comedians ever invited to perform at the Perth International Arts Festival?
Wow, these questions make me look like a very fancy chap. Um, It felt great. I was on in the same theatre as legends 'The Triffids' the night after they'd been on. That alone made me decide that I'd made the right choice when I'd disappointed my family and not become an accountant.
What can we expect from your show on New Year’s Eve at Red Bennies?
Style, wit, class, elegance, charm, sophistication and the consumption of gut wrenching amounts of over-proof rum.