Caro Meets Comedy Interview

Beasts: Live DVD

By | Published on Thursday 21 January 2016


We’ve long been aware, here at TW Towers, of the existence of Owen Roberts, James McNicholas and Ciarán Dowd, aka comedy sketch trio Beasts. Their latest show prompted a more than glowing review from one of our discerning writers when she saw it in the summer, so I was pleased to hear it’s headed for a short run at the Soho Theatre.
I put some questions to the troupe, to find out a bit more about Beasts in general, and a bit more information about the show.

CM: Can you explain the premise behind the show? It sounds a bit different from your average sketch show?
BEASTS: The idea behind the show is that we’re attempting to film a DVD of our best ever sketch show to send to Hollywood and make us stars. It’s not giving away too much to say it doesn’t quite go to plan.

CM: This is the show you did in Edinburgh last summer – and our reviewer loved it. Have you made any changes since then?
BEASTS: Not really – the show went through a lot of changes in the months running up to Edinburgh, but once we got it there it was the final settled version. With any luck, that’s what we’ll be recreating at the Soho Theatre. If it’s half as fun as Edinburgh we’ll have a blast.

CM: Is this the swan song for this particular show? Will you be moving onto something else soon?
BEASTS: This will probably be the last time we perform this show. We’re beginning to develop a brand new live hour that will hopefully start previewing in the Spring. If we say this now, we probably have to actually do it.

CM: Can we go back to basics a bit, now? How did you meet, and what made you decide to start making sketch comedy together?
BEASTS: Owen and Ciaran met in Cardiff at Drama School. When they left, they started a proper theatre company together. Several years later, James joined the group and convinced them that sketch comedy was a more worthy pursuit. They remain furious with him to this day.

CM: Do you do everything as a team, or do you all have other creative stuff going on?
BEASTS: As much as we enjoy collaborating, it’s probably important for our sanity that we have other stuff going on. We all work as actors and writers independently, and hopefully that makes the group stronger as a whole.

CM: Did you all want to follow this kind of career? What drew you into comedy and performance?
BEASTS: We were lured by promises of fame, fortune and riders packed full of fizzy sweets. Also we really didn’t want jobs that involved getting on the tube at rush hour.

CM: Your website biog claims you are developing ideas for TV and radio. How is that going?
BEASTS: You sound suspicious. It’s true, we promise – we’re as surprised as you. It’s really fun writing for a different platform, so hopefully some of that comes to light sooner rather than later.

CM: Where do you see yourself going over the next, say, decade? What’s your ten year plan?
BEASTS: We’ve all begun training with the intention to enter a bobsleigh team in the 2026 Winter Olympics.

CM: What’s happening in your immediate futures? Anything imminent for us to look out for?
BEASTS: A run at the Soho Theatre from 25-30 January, of course! Also James has to see a doctor about his weird eye.

As they just pointed out, Beasts are on at Soho Theatre from 25-30 Jan. For more information, and to book your ticket, see this page here.

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Photo: Ben Carpenter