Interview: Andrew Maxwell on skiing, swimming and lying about his age

Interview: Andrew Maxwell on skiing, swimming and lying about his age

How are the plans going for the fringe show?
Great, the show [Yo Contraire!] has already been written so I’m just transferring the venue to the Soho theatre — a very similar audience to those who go to the Edinburgh Fringe festival. People who like theatre and comedy. It’s great to be right in the middle of the town you live in.

The first time you did stand up at 18 in the Comedy Cellar in Dublin, how did it go?
Well, I was actually 17 when I did that…I lied about my age at the time.
It went really well. Ardal O’Hanlon and Barry Murphy who opened the Comedy Cellar were really supportive. When it’s packed it holds no more than 80 people, no need for a microphone. Nearly every Irish comedian, doing alternative comedy started in the Comedy Cellar.

What’s your favourite thing to do on your day off?
I love swimming outdoors. I swim in the ponds in Hampstead Heath and when I am in Dublin I swim in Dublin Bay.

What keeps you awake at night?
On a political level Vladimir Putin or the return of Ebola would worry me, but on a personal level my life is very tranquil.

As one of the founders of the Altitude comedy/ski festival I assume you’re keen skier?
I can’t even stand up on skies, I’m a boarder, have been for 22 years. I've had a few serious falls when I was younger and stupider but now I just potter down the mountain in Lederhosen.

Have you had any cringe factor moments on stage?
Not really, at the end of the day if you embarrass yourself on stage as a comedian you’ve won. It’s your job to be the clown in the room. You’re a fool for your living.

If your life had a soundtrack what would it be?
Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy.

Andrew Maxwell brings Yo Contraire! to the Soho Theatre from November 17-21.
Altitude Festival runs between January 11-15 in Mayrhofen, Austria. Headline acts will include John Bishop, Sean Lock and Jim Jefferies.