Alex Kealy is set to tour his latest show across the UK this Spring. In honour of this, Alex fills MoodyComedy in on the rationale behind Rationale.
Hi Alex, how has the first month of the new decade been for you?
I managed to maintain a dry-ish January, went for some runs, gigged a lot, recorded my show for the comedy streaming service NextUp and saw a number of great dogs, so a pretty good month.
What initial thoughts sparked the origin of your show Rationale?
Lofty answer: I’ve always been interested in the non-rational motivators that compel us to think and do certain things. I thought a show focusing on that would be a nice antidote to political shows written explicitly on a Brexit axis. The best book I read in preparation was William Davies’ fantastic Nervous States.
Cynical answer: Topical shows are an absolute ball-ache because a) they can divide audiences and b) you spend six months writing them, lose thousands of pounds going to the Fringe and then they’re immediately redundant come September and impossible to tour (‘What’s the deal with Theresa May, amirite?’ etc.).
So I was keen to write something that would be like a fine/moderate communion wine (ages well, everyone’s happy) and not a banana (ages in 72 hours, reminds people of contentious reasons to leave the European Union).
How did the show develop during last year’s Edinburgh Fringe?
I had a break-up two days before the Fringe so that, er, influenced things a bit. I quite quickly wrote a chunk of material about that and it ended up making a lot of sense to put that in the middle of the show marking a Side A/Side B break in the hour.
How has your writing style developed since writing your first comedy hour?
A bit less wordplay and more jokes that are based on concepts and emotions. I think my use of analogies has gotten really strong but also hopefully I use them slightly less, as once I had a tendency to over-rely on them as my primary comedic tool. I guess what I’m trying to say is that my presence on stage inspires an overpowering mixture of fear and love in all who feast their eyes upon me.
What is your favourite comedy project that you have been involved in?
I’m proud of my comedy night The Comedy Grotto. It’s been going for approaching seven years and we’ve had some of the best comedians in the country trying out new material to fun audiences in a dank basement in North London.
What are you most excited about and what are you most afraid of as you embark on this UK tour?
I’m excited to perform the show another ten times! I’m terrified that nobody will come!
Why should people buy a ticket to see Rationale on tour?
To soothe my fear expressed in the last question should be enough for your wonderful, empathetic readers, but if you need to, I don’t know, make a decision based on more than just assuaging my insecurities, it’s a really good show with a very high gag count. I also got in The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph’s Top 10 Jokes of the Fringe so clearly my gag-writing has the capacity to unite this politically fractured nation.
Rationale starts on 15th February at the Vault festival and runs until 1 April – more details here