Richard Soames is a comedian, improviser and human. You might have seen him in critically-acclaimed sketch group The Beta Males. At this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe he and his Beta pall John Henry Falle present, The Beta Males Sessions: Richard and The Storybeast. Richard explains…
“I’m doing half an hour of warm, approachable character-y stand up that you can watch with your parents. In short, it’s about me being a nice person and the surprisingly bleak and horrible thoughts that lie beneath that exterior. In long, it’s the same but with more words. The show is half of a two-hander with The Storybeast, so it’s twice the bang for your buck.”
Why did you choose to perform as part of Laughing Horse?
“Laughing Horse was where we first started as a sketch group many summers ago and year on year it offers performers a really good, affordable opportunity to take a show to the festival.”
Why did you get into performing comedy and how did you get started?
“At university. I actually watched Spaced for the first time in my life and even though I’d watched and loved Shaun of the Dead it was only when I watched Spaced that I realised that that was what I wanted to do. So naturally my parents were devastated. I then met The Storybeast – or John Henry as he was known back then before he fell into a mystical portal that transported him through space, time and Olde English literature – and we did a show with some other people, before he introduced me to some of his friends from Jersey and I joined the Betas in 2010.”
Tell us your best and worst experiences as a comedian.
“Best: Arriving at a festival at 11pm half an hour after we were supposed to be onstage and being driven by a madman on a golf caddy with no lights through muddy fields full of people off their faces, shouting “Get out of the way!”. We felt like a really underrated royalty.
“Worst: Playing to a noisy, apathetic bar of people who did not want to watch comedy. It turns out that Friday nights, 2-4-1 cocktails, loud music playing while you’re trying to perform and no mention of a comedy night happening is not a conducive environment for getting people’s attention.”
If you were curating a stand up show for television, who would be your guests?
“Stewart Lee, Tim Minchin, Ross Noble and Victoria Wood. It would be a weird half hour.”