“I decided to base my entire show this year around it,” he says, “and look into deciding if the critic was right. In it, I examine what depravity actually is; and if it applies to me. It’s certainly pushed me into depraved areas!”
“I ended up doing a lot darker research than I was planning. I’ve read books on the Marquis De Sade, the Vatican, a book about ‘how to train your human dog’ …my Amazon recommendations are ridiculous!”
Andrew likes to think of his style of comedy as acerbic, rather than depraved – but he’s showing an open mind in his new show, which is directed by acclaimed comedian Scott Capurro.
“It’s ideal,” laughs Andrew, “as Scott actually is depraved!”
“It’s actually been really helpful having Scott as a director – he watched the show’s previews, restructured it and has given it an overall arc. His outside eye has been very useful.”
In addition to his comedy, Andrew is also an acclaimed playwright, having produced works for Radio 4 and Scottish theatre company 7:84.
“My plays have always tended towards comedy, even when dealing with things like the Troubles in Northern Ireland,” he says. “I seem to be instinctively drawn towards it.”
Andrew’s first time in Edinburgh was in 2003, where he wrote the well-received farce Shamlet; and co-wrote for sketch group Pop Tarts. He’s returned regularly since, and in 2009 he appeared in his first standup performance as part of a group show featuring two other comedians.
“Stand-up is exhilarating,” he says. “Frightening and exciting at the same time. Sometimes, you forget how dangerous it can actually be, playing small venues with no bouncers where you can end up effectively slagging off the audience – particularly when there are 10 huge drunk guys from Sunderland hurling abuse at you.”
Needless to say, Andrew gave as good as he got in that particular instance. “I laid into them,” he says.
You will get the chance to decide for yourself if that – and many other things – make Andrew Doyle depraved or not when he appears at Just The Tonic at The Store from 4-28 Aug (not 16) at 18:20. More details are available on the Fringe website.