I’ve been doing comedy long enough to know that very often the most interesting person in the room at a comedy show isn’t the comedian. Often the comedian isn’t even the funniest person in the room.. I love stand up comedy because I love entering the different worlds of each comedian. In a comedy room full of hundreds of people, or in my case on the Edinburgh fringe just under 50, you usually only get to enter the world of one person.
To only hear one voice out of 50 felt to me like a wasted opportunity especially when that person’s voice was mine. Here were all these people with their own worlds, perspectives and idiosyncrasies and it was only mine that was being heard. So I began creating collaborative shows in which the audience members participate, not merely as props or punchlines to a preconceived set~up but, as co-creators in a communal experience. I’ve toured these shows on three continents, in two languages and made countless friends and four people who met during my shows have even ended up getting married to each other.
My new show explores the highly subjective concept of who is most interesting person in the room. Interesting to who? In what context? And for how long? At a party for some people the most interesting person in the room is the one with the cocaine. Not to be confused with the person who is ON cocaine, who merely thinks they’re the most interesting. When I was growing up it was always the same people my house but the most interesting person in the room was always changing. Sometimes the most interesting person in the room was my mum because she was the person feeding me and sometimes the most interesting person was my Dad because he was the person talking to me in the voice of our dog. Or was it meant to be the dog talking to me in the voice of my Dad….? A 45 year old man channeling the soul of a Jack Russell? Or little Bessie possessing my father so she can tell me she wants her tummy tickled and that my clothes smell of marijuana? My Dad was talking to me through the dog or the dog through my Dad to me and yet I’m the one that’s on drugs? Either way, I think what was going on there would have been the most interesting thing in a lot of rooms.
Of course the most interesting person in the room says as much about the room as it is the person. Jesus, the son of God, is one of the most interesting people in history but what about arguably the most famous room he was ever in? The room that held the last supper? The room in which he reveals he will be betrayed by one of the disciples. Is it not.. er… interesting that Jesus was not the most interesting person in that room? The most interesting person in that room was the waiter who laid the table with all the places down only one side.
Albert Einstein is one of the most interesting people of the 20th century however he would not be the most interesting person in the room when the room in question is the changing room of the Brazilian football team at the 1970 World Cup Final in Mexico. The most interesting person in the room in that room was Pele. To be honest I’m not sure what Einstein was even doing there. Or what about another famous 20th century changing room, the changing room of the 1970 miss world competition at The Royal Albert Hall in London. Again, what is Einstein doing there? How did he get in? The pervert. Einstein’s still not the most interesting person in the room, the most interesting person was of course the eventual winner Miss Grenada, Jennifer Horsten, the first black Miss World. Perhaps the most interesting person at a Miss World competition is a trick question because there are no interesting people at Miss World competitions – that’s the point of them, they’re just beauty contests. But of course beauty is interesting and like beauty, “interesting” is in the eye of the beholder.
By Trevor Lock
The Most Interesting Person in the Room, 14.45, Bannerman’s Bar, 212 Cowgate, Until August 28 (not in Fringe programme)