Meet the Sussex actors who smashed Edinburgh Fringe festival
They call themselves Kids With Beards, and they’re taking to YouTube, and then Sussex campus
Kids with Beards are a group of 6 (mostly) beardless performers, and 2 (very) bearded writers, all of whom are either current or ex Sussex students.
They’ve only been together for just over a year, but they’re fast becoming a name in the world of comedy, and are even attracting a handful of celebrity fans.
After a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe last August, the group have turned their focus towards filmed performance, with the help of Gnarled Apple Productions, and have just released their first sketch online.
The Tab caught up with one of the group’s writers and Sussex alumnus, Alex Nash.
Tell us the essentials about Kids with Beards
“We are a sketch comedy troupe from Brighton who formed early in 2014. I don’t think we really have our ‘thing’ just yet – we play around a lot. We try to make our stuff as wordy, pedantic and observational as possible at times, but I think the silly, surreal side of it comes most naturally to us. Essentially, we love doing what we do, and we want everyone else to love it too.”
Who would you say your main influences are?
“Gosh, how long have you got? Key and Peele are just frustratingly good. They tackle big topics in such unexpected ways and with a real finesse, and their chemistry is unmatched. Mitchell and Webb too – I think they’ve got the balance of simple silliness and tangential pedantic wordiness just right. I watch their ‘Cheese Argument’ sketch whenever I’m sad. On a lesser-known level, you’d be a fool not to look out for Casual Violence, Kill the Beast, LetLuce and Damien Slash. 2015 is theirs for the taking.”
What is the weirdest fan based experience you’ve had so far?
“Last year in Edinburgh we were gifted an 8 pack of super soft loo-roll from Sarah Brown. That sounds like an Alan Partridge anecdote doesn’t it? High quality stuff too, if I remember correctly. She’s a Buckinghamshire gal, like me (the Bucks part, not the gal part), so she knows what a quality loo roll should feel like.”
Your group is unusually large. What is the best and worst thing about working with 6 actors simultaneously?
“The worst part would just be the space issues. Edinburgh accommodation was like a crack den – mattresses on floors and people sleeping in bins. Mountains of crack, too. Fitting 6 people into a venue ‘dressing room’ can be quite tricky. Cosy, that’s the right word. The best thing is it gives you a few extra weapons in your comedy arsenal. We all have very different senses of humour and thought processes, so when it comes to the writing, it’s a big melting pot.”
When can we see you performing live?
“Right now we’re pouring all our efforts into our filmed projects, but we can’t wait to get back to performing live. We’re supporting Dr. Phil Hammond at a charity gig on the 8th April, on Sussex Campus, which has the potential to pul a huge crowd. We’ll then be focusing on some sketch nights in London and Brighton before starting out doing some new stuff for our Edinburgh pre-shows from May onwards. See you there, yeah?”
Facebook: Kids with Beards Comedy