Rory O’Keefe asks the 37th question at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Rory O’Keeffe
Name of Edinburgh show: Rory O’Keeffe: The 37th Question
Venue: Banshee Labyrinth (Cinema Room)
Performance time: 13:20
Show length: 1 hour
Ticket price: FREE

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I played ‘Villager 3’ in a local theatre production aged 14 and I haven’t looked back since. But that’s the short way of saying I started acting and stand-up at school, did mostly sketch comedy at university (with ‘Rory & Tim’ which was actually 3 people. Poor Iain). Since then I’ve been doing stand-up for 5 years and am now turning my hand to storytelling.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
It’s a comic storytelling show about a couple in their early 30s who met doing ‘The 36 Questions’, a psychological experiment designed to make strangers become intimate. It’s about choices, jealousy, miscommunication. It’s also slightly interactive as the audience can choose which way the narrative goes at certain points, including the ending.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I first previewed it in February at Vault Festival so roughly six months. I actually tried to write it as a short story around 5 years ago but I reading that back is painfully embarrassing. In terms of relevance, it’s partly inspired by Love Island: The Game which is #onbrand for 2018. That’s made by a company I write for, coming up with interactive narratives. I liked the idea of letting the audience choose the path of the story. In 2018, we have more choice than ever #Netflix.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Try to remember that none of it matters and we’re all going to die. (I have been thinking a lot about the end of the world for my podcast ‘Apocalypse How?!’ – SHAMELESS PLUG –so I am more morbid than normal)

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I forgot my lines as ‘Villager 3’, which was pretty impressive as I only had four.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Daniel Kitson and Sarah Kendall write excellent storytelling shows so they are big inspirations. But that’s like saying Roger Federer is a real inspiration for my terrible backhand.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I stay up all night learning the show.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Christopher Bliss, Kieran Hodgson, and then whatever is the surprise word-of-mouth hit. (Hopefully that won’t be another white man or this list will make me look like a monster).

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
It’s the only storytelling show at the Fringe which has an alternative ending (citation needed). Depending on the audience’s decision, you could be reviewing a ‘happy ending’ or a ‘sad ending’. Also the only show partly inspired by interactive fiction app ‘Love Island: The Game’ (almost definitely no citation needed).


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