Caro Meets Comedy Interview

Andrew Maxwell: Yo Contraire

By | Published on Thursday 12 November 2015


We’ve always been fans of Andrew Maxwell, here at TW Towers. In fact, back in 2006, at the Edinburgh Festival, we gave him an award for his brilliant ‘Full Mooners’. And obviously, it’s not just us lot who thinks he rocks. He’s got years worth of TV jobs and high profile appearances under his belt, and his live work always receives a great critical response.
As we’d expect, the show that he’s bringing to Soho Theatre this month won much acclaim up at the Edinburgh Fringe earlier this year, and it’s been a while since we chatted… so I put some quick questions to the veteran stand-up, ahead of his London dates.

CM: Tell us about ‘Yo Contraire’. Are there any specific themes involved? What sort of subject matter do you cover?
AM: The show starts with the big topical stories of our day to warm you up. I then warm your cockles further with stories of love, about my newly minted wife from the south side of the Mediterranean. For dessert, I take you on a tale of desert debauchery.

CM: Why that title?
AM: I always ride into battle backwards.

CM: This is the show you took to Edinburgh this summer, isn’t it? What keeps you going back?
AM: Edinburgh is a magnificent pocket rocket of a city anyway; then throw the Edinburgh Festival into the mix… 250,000 tourists daily, 30,000 performers, 3,000 shows plus… Healthy.

CM: Can we go back to the start for a moment? Did you always want to be a performer? Did you plan to become a stand-up comedian, and what attracted you to this kind of work?
AM: I was always my family, street and schools’ clown. I have never given a toss if you’re laughing with or at me, I just love the sound of laughter, end of.

CM: Does anyone or anything influence your comedy?
AM: Obviously I love great comedians, but what draws me in is the day’s events in front of me. The fairy dust of now – that’s why I’m a news junkie. A funny thing can happen on the way to the Forum you know…

CM: Do you think your style has changed or developed over the years?
AM: Of course. Some things are so much better with time, and us comedians are spirited and cheesy.

CM: How does doing solo stand up compare to the other kind of shows you’ve done – like Full Mooners? Which do you enjoy most?
AM: I thrive on working with other people, and Fullmooners and then Altitude are testament to that, I hope. But even a solo gig is only ever half you, half the crowd.

CM: You’ve done a lot of TV stuff too, obviously. Would you like to do more of that, or is live performance still very much a draw?
AM: I can imagine myself on all sorts of TV shows, but what I can’t imagine is ever not wanting to do some daft gig near you.

CM: Is there anything, career-wise, that you would like to do, and haven’t yet done?
AM: I wish my fingers were as trusty as my tongue. I’d love to write.

CM: What’s next for you?
AM: A sweet little run at The Soho Theatre, a taste of Norwegian fame, bringing a voice to the mucky antics of ‘Ex On The Beach’ series 4 then its the 10th year of our Altitude Comedy Festival in Mayrhofen in Austria in January.

Andrew Maxwell performs ‘Yo Contraire’ at Soho Theatre from 17-21 Nov, see this page here for more info and to book.

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Photo: Richard Hardcastle