Fringe Q&A: Rory O’Keeffe

Stuart and Zoe meet for their first date and do ‘The 36 Questions’, a psychological experiment designed to make strangers fall in love. It works. Now, after four years as a couple, is it time for the next question? Thirty Six Questions. One couple. One interactive Choose Your Own Adventure-style story.

How has your Fringe been so far?

Good, thanks.

Tell us about the show you’re in…

It’s a comic storytelling show about a fictional couple called Stuart and Zoe, who met doing The 36 Questions, a psychological experiment. It picks up the story four years later and asks is it time for the next question? It’s also slightly interactive so at certain points the audience chooses what happens to Stuart and Zoe, including voting for a happy or sad ending.

What’s the audience reaction been like?

They’ve been lovely, apart from a couple of drunks (always a few) who probably thought they were just coming to see stand-up and didn’t feel like following the story too much. Everyone else has been wonderful, but most people are voting for the happy ending so if anyone out there is sad and lonely and spiteful…please come along.

When did you realise you were funny?

I emerged from the womb with a tight five minute stand-up routine about crying.

Were you the class clown?

Only when my Dad taught me (he was an English teacher at my school). All bets were off then and I would call him ‘Mr Fatso’ instead of ‘sir’ and younger pupils would copy me and get promptly disciplined. He also had fun with it, though; he played many jokes including an entire end-of-term report where he made as many father-son Hamlet jokes as possible and a parents’ evening where he sat across the table from me Mum and went back and forth between his roles as ‘Dad’ and ‘teacher’.

Can comedians get away with saying things no one else can?

They can try.

Was there a comedian who inspired you?

My Mum.

Are there any other shows on this year’s you’d recommend?

Kieran Hodgson. He also kindly tweeted a recommendation for me and today someone came to the show purely because of that. I feel it’s only right for me to send my hoards of followers his way in return.

What’s on your hit-list to see?

Christopher Bliss, Jordan Brookes, Olga Koch, Rose Matafeo, Wolf, Beard, Owen Roberts: I Let A Six Year Old Write My Show, Moon, Natalie Palamides, Ahir Shah, Alison Thea-Skot, and a show I found in the Free Fringe programme called “50 Ways To Walk Through A Door”.

What do you like to do in Edinburgh on your day off?

I haven’t got a day off this year, which is a decision I already regret. Instead I am doing ‘The Bucket Speech’, a show where I try to do the bucket speech for an hour. 14th August, 6.15pm, Voodoo Rooms.

Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

Pizza Posto on Nicolson Street is amazing. I said it last year and sent everyone there and  now I have noticed they have won many awards since then. What I’m saying is I basically won Scottish Pizza Award 2017 for them.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen this year?

A man furiously kicking a water bottle at a bus stop. Not for a show. Just an angry guy.

Sell your show in no more than ten words….

36 questions. 1 couple. 1 love story. You choose…

Rory O’Keeffe: The 37th Question, Banshee Labyrinth – Cinema Room, 4-26 August, 1.20pm, www.edfringe.com

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