Caro Meets Comedy Interview

Phil Wang: Philth

By | Published on Thursday 21 April 2016


Up and coming comedy talent Phil Wang heads over to Soho Theatre this week for a reprise of his 2015 Edinburgh Fringe success ‘Philth’. He’s won no small amount of acclaim for this and other solo shows, as well as for the work he does with his sketch troupe Daphne.
Since he started winning comedy contests back in 2010, I’ve been keeping an eye out for him, so, given that it’s now 2016, I thought it was about time we had a quick chat… about Philth, Edinburgh, Daphne and more.

CM: Tell us about ‘Philth’. Does it have a particular theme? What kind of show can we expect?
PW: ‘Philth’ is a stand-up show about love and meditation, essentially. There are also a couple of bits set in Australia. I like to think you can expect a funny show with nice bits.

CM: I’ve heard that it’s not actually that philthy. So why did you choose to call this show ‘Philth’?
PW: Who the fuck told you that? Tell them to fuck off. The shit-covered twats. I’ll call my show whatever I like.

CM: This is the show you did in Edinburgh last year, isn’t it? Have you made any changes to it since then? Do you think it’s got stronger with time?
PW: Yeah I originally did this show at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe. It has changed a bit. I have some newer jokes in there now which I prefer. Everything gets stronger with time. Bread, for example.

CM: You also had a highly successful run last summer with your sketch group Daphne – can you tell us a bit more about that – who is involved?
PW: Daphne is a sketch trio comprising of George Fouracres, Jason Forbes and me. The other two are comic actors, which is nice, because it means I have no reason to feel threatened by them professionally. Last year was our debut hour, and we’re currently working on our second show as well as a Radio 4 series that will air sometime in July.

CM: You seem to be doing quite a lot of TV and radio stuff lately – is it more or less fun than live performance?
PW: The boring, but unfortunately true, answer is that they’re just different. Nothing beats the raw exhilaration of a live gig, but then again TV shows have a snack table so it’s a tough call as to which is the better experience.

CM: What made you decide you were going to pursue a career in comedy? Was performance something you were always attracted to?
PW: I won a student stand-up competition in 2010, which made the whole thing feel possible. I’ve always performed in one way or another. It used to be music, but then I discovered stand-up which doesn’t have practice or scales so I went with that instead.

CM: How did you get your start in comedy?
PW: My first ever gig was at my school’s improv night in 2008. I did a set of mostly stolen material because I didn’t know how it worked. I thought comedy could be like karaoke.

CM: Can you see yourself sticking to comedy forever? What unrealised ambitions do you have?
PW: I sure hope so. I’d still like to do a musical. I’ve always wanted to be Tony in West Side Story. Maybe that will happen as part of some positive discrimination policy in the West End in 2028. Here’s hoping.

CM: What’s coming up in the near future? What new projects do you have planned?
PW: I’ doing a little tour of East Asia in July. So if you have any readers in Hong Kong, Malaysia, or Singapore, there tell them to look that up. There’s the aforementioned Daphne stuff too. I’m also making my first guest appearance on Have I Got News For You in May, which I’m excited about. I’ve subscribed to the World Service podcast so I don’t look like a fucking idiot on the day.

Phil Wang performs ‘Philth’ at Soho Theatre from 25-28 Apr. See the venue website here for more info and to book tickets.

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