Interview by Bridget Fahey
Leigh Qurban started on the stage of Adelaide’s Rhino Room back in 20011 and has been working hard ever since. From performing in shows such as Worst Side Story and The Sound of Nazis to winning Adelaide Comedy’s Adelaide Comedian of the year 2015, Qurban is now working on his second solo show I’m drinking about travelling.
How is your festival prep going? Are performing anywhere else besides Adelaide?
Yeah it's going well (eye's dart around the room looking for an exit whilst sweat rolls down his forehead). I’m spending a lot of time reading through my old travel journals for inspiration which has been a perfect blend of "oh yeah" and "ohhhh no" moments. It’s been fun writing.
What’s your show about?
It's a travel show, but don't worry, it's not just some wanker on stage for 50 minutes saying "This one time when I was in Africa"… no one likes that person. The show is about ALL aspects of travel.
There’s a heavy emphasis on the boozy gap year that seems so common amongst us kids. Looking back at my own travel experiences and reflections on life I try to figure out whether it was money well spent or whether you should be a responsible adult and invest that money into some thing wise like a …business…shop…that sells business.
Is there anyone or anything that has helped shape your humour?
I'd have to say that would have to be my mates from high school. During those years, our favourite thing to do would be to sit around with a carton of beer and do some serious shit talking. Those people are still my best mates and we still talk the exact same crap and laugh just as hard.
How do you think your jokes have developed since you started?
When I started out, and I think most comics will attest to this, I would try and mimic the style of some of my favourite comedians. It's only natural that we want to be like the ones we look up to, but it's just one of those things where the more you do it the more you become comfortable with what your own style is.
You recently moved to Melbourne, how has the change been?
There's no West End Draught over here. Besides that, it’s been great! I was lucky enough to perform in The Sound of Nazis in the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, so it's been awesome to gig with all the local Melbourne comics I met during that time. The comedy scene is really strong over here, which is only a good thing when it comes to honing your skills.
What's your most memorable gig?
My most memorably bad gig was when I performed to three cult members. At one point I ended up just sitting on stage like a small child as "the leader" yelled at me about Inner Dragon Power. At the end of the show, he gave me his business card, which for years was stuck to our fridge.
As for the best gig, that would have to be Demi Lardner's 21 Birthday Roast at the Rhino Room. If you don't know Demi, she's a hilarious comedian with one of the most bizarre senses of humour. It was no holds barred, and every comic on the panel killed it.
What shows would you recommend to Adelaide Fringe punters?
Besides a cheeky plug of a sketch show I'm doing with comedian Kel Balnaves called The Grotesque Arts Revue there is also Brandon J Mannarino’s Depression and Shoelaces, Aunty Donna’s New Show, Georgie Carroll’s Gauze and Affect and Angus Hodge’s show Guy Alone.
I’m drinking about travelling by Leigh Qurban
Adelaide Fringe, Rhino Room
11th February – 27th February at 8:45pm
Tickets available here