Interview by Olivia De Zilva
Simon Taylor returns to the Adelaide Fringe with his show ‘Right Now’, an amalgamation of all his worries for the future.
“This past year, I’ve been worrying about the future a lot more. Will I be able to afford afford a house? Will I find love? Will there be anything good left on Netflix? I’ve turned these worries into comedy routines, games and magic tricks so that we can all have a laugh at them and focus on living in the moment. Hence the title “Right Now!”
This new show, now incorporating elements of magic, still doesn’t detract from Taylor’s roots as a stand-up comedian, with Taylor claiming that magic has always been part of his calibre.
“I’ve had magic in my shows before. I just noticed reviewers kept bringing it up so I’ve added it to my description. Any magic I do though is always focused on being funny, so I’d say I’m still just a lowly comedian with an occasional trick up my sleeve.”
Since his first show at the Fringe nine years ago, Taylor has seen his career skyrocket from the small stage to stand-up specials on The ABC and now, a role on Netflix’s new show Magic for Humans. Of his television experience, Taylor says that he uses these platforms as ways to “show off the comedy style [he’d] been developing at festivals” and that television comedy is set at a slower pace.
“…I kind of missed the pace of doing shows every night at Fringe. Then again, I think I just have to get better accepting delayed gratification of making TV instead of needing the instant laughs every day…”
Taylor has fond memories of his time at The Adelaide Fringe, with one of his fondest moments being when the Garden of Unearthly Delights had its power-supply cut off midway through one of his shows.
“…I did the rest of the show by holding a torch to my face and just yelling. It ended up being the funniest one I did. I was tempted to pretend it happened every show by secretly cutting the power…”
Of the nine years he’s been performing at the Fringe, Taylor says he’s seen a big change in the way the festival operates, commenting that it has “become a little too focused on the big names” and reluctant to take risks as it had in previous years. Reflecting on his own Fringe evolution, however, Taylor claims that his comedy has “certainly become more accessible to find a bigger market”, but that he, unlike the Fringe, aims to take “risks in the form”.
When thinking about the year ahead, Taylor seems optimistic, commenting that he has two TV shows in development and whatever the cost, plans to return to Adelaide for the Fringe in 2020.
“Hopefully the calendar gods will smile upon me and give me a perfect schedule where I can fit everything in!”
When I ask Taylor if he has any other recommendations for this year’s Fringe besides his own show, he is willing to take that extra risk:
“I actually love coming across acts I’ve never heard before and just taking a gamble on seeing them. So, I don’t know who that is yet but I’ll go stand in front of the chalkboards one night and pick something random”
Simon Taylor presents his new show “Right Now” at The Garden of Unearthly Delights from the 25th of February to the 11th of March.