Richard Di Gregorio appears at the Metropolitan Hotel in Grote Street, Adelaide as part of the Fringe Festival, opening on 28th February. I interviewed him the day before his opening, and was struck by the fact that here is an intelligent comedian who takes stand-up comedy beyond the superficial joke fest to some more philosophical considerations. First I asked him, Why Time?
I've always been fascinated with it – how people use it: even as a child I remember being at a funeral and wondering are we using it well enough in our lives, analysing how I use it, and what it means for us. Are you always on time?
No! sometimes I am running late, especially since I had a child a few years ago! I seemed to have some space before then, but now I never know what might happen next. But what a way to go! You have recently appeared for the first time in the Melbourne Fringe. Melbourne can be a pretty hard scene for a comedian, what with the Comedy Festival as well as the Fringe: how did you fare with the discerning Melbourne audiences?
I had a fantastic response. Mine is not just comedy, but also is a bit reflective, and I wondered how the late teens, early 20's might cope. They responded to the immediate humour, and some of the personal stories and rude bits about struggles we had with IVF. But the over 30's and older people seemed to relate more to the reflective parts, about how we use time, and the serious bits. Richard explained that there are quite a few personal anecdotes in his presentation, but he does not write them himself, so that they don't appear self-indulgent. He tells them to playwright Keith Dow, who writes the script for him. You have recently had a success with a film screenplay (Don't Just Stand There) you have written with Chris Broadstock: what's it about and what's happening with that?
It's a whimsical romantic comedy we started writing in 2008, and it's now at the funding stage. We are very excited that Alethea Jones (2012 Tropfest winner) will direct it, and Trevor Blainey (Noise
) will produce it. I am confident the timing is right. So where do you imagine you will be in 5 years' time - Stand-up? Acting? Writing? Directing? Producing?
I imagine I will be writing and acting. And in 10 years?
Ooh I don't know! I take one step at a time and enjoy the moments, so I tend not to plan too far in advance. I want to ensure the 'now' is working artistically and personally, and that I am spending time well. I like to take things as they come, get things right, and plan from that. What do expect from Adelaide audiences?
I love Adelaide, and have family here in the hills, but have no idea what to expect. I guess I will take the feel from opening night tomorrow, and take it from there. I was here 10 years ago in a show called The Wedding
but this time I'm on my own. I am quite excited to face Adelaide audiences. What is your greatest success?
Having a child! Without a doubt. Going successfully through all the business of IVF and becoming a Dad. I love being a Dad.
Artistically? It would have to be the making of a self funded documentary* with my partner, which is now having success in the USA, and is paying for itself. It was hard work but very rewarding And your greatest fear?
Leaving too early! I've got so much to do in this life, I hope I have enough time! Richard DiGregorio: On Time Venue:
Metropolitan Hotel, 46 Grote Street, Adelaide, Date/Time:
8pm Feb 28 - March 3, 2012Visit: www.adelaidefringe.com.auPart of the 2012 Adelaide Fringe Festival *
"Commedia dell'Arte: The story, The Style"