John Conway is a wacky comedian all the way from Australia. His show John Conway Tonight, is accompanied by the vocal styling of the equally hilarious and very talented Benjamin Russell - (wait till you hear his genius Michael Caine) - who also co-wrote the material and directed it. The show has had an up and down run at the fringe this year with shows being packed some nights and very quiet on others.
The fringe is a fantasy world full of joy, laughter, broken dreams and faux celebrity.
Broadway Baby’s Dave House has been to see John Conway Tonight twice now, firstly to review it and then to go again just for fun. He found it hilarious and unforgettable each time. He will probably go again before the end of the festival. It’s that enjoyable and he urges you to go before the festival ends. But each time Dave has seen Conway, the show has hardly ran smoothly. In the first show, which was the pair’s debut at the fringe this year, Conway’s bizarre humour prompted three people to walk out. The second time Dave went was in the middle of last week and he was accompanied by a troupe of Conway’s loyal fans who’d already been to see the show and loved it so much they all came to watch it again. The problem was that these were almost the only people in the whole audience. Conway, well aware of this and already knowing a fair few of the audience by name created an alternative version of the show which was a self-deprecating night of hilarity, at once completely fresh and cringe worthily familiar. Both funny and mad, it was like being treated to a personalised comedy show, and it’s not surprising that people who’ve already seenThe John Conway Tonight Show, come to watch it two or three times.
Conway and Russell have a dedicated following and seem to have become the cult underdogs of the Pleasance Dome at the Fringe. Broadway Baby reviewer and self-confessed Conway and Russell fan, Dave House had to catch up with John Conway to ask him about his 2014 Edinburgh experience.
How are you John?
"I can give you three different answers to that on any day during the fringe. It's pretty manic here. At the moment I am focused, like matrix level which is rare for me."
What’s been your best night at the fringe so far?
"It's changed these days, in the past it would have been some night I had a killer show and then got wasted. Now that I don't really drink (not true) best nights are hard to pinpoint. I have better mornings, next time ask me about mornings."
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
"Durries and my fans."
What is your biggest fear?
"Doing the fringe for ten more years. Seriously."
What’s been your weirdest experience in the fringe so far?
"Finding all of our fantastic set (it's good seriously) in various skips and rubbish bins. It was amazing really, perfect sized red carpet found on a walk home. Room next to our venue: full of Tonight show furniture."
Why do you think the show is not selling as well as you hoped and do you think you might have benefited from performing in the free fringe?
"Ah well, it's not going that badly thank you very much. Well y’know, midnight slot, relatively unknown . . . but the people are coming which is awesome. I have the loveliest fan base in show biz history, I know you're not meant to know you fans by name but they are there and dedicated, supportive and getting the word out. Without them the run would have been a disaster.
On the free fringe well, I think everyone knows the answer here if you are honest. Both big venues and free have pros and cons. You know what they are. Should I list them, nah who cares? Really it doesn't matter, comedians who are involved in the politics of the fringe are never funny, it's troo. It should be about being funny, there are no 'forces' holding anyone back. Just be funny and talk the talk man. The fringe is a fantasy world full of joy, laughter, broken dreams and faux celebrity. I do these things to get out of here man, I don't want to do these anymore."