Dan Antopolski – 'I've become a guru for people in moribund relationships'
- Claire Sawers
- 24 July 2017
The three-time Perrier Award nominee makes a long-awaited return to the Edinburgh Fringe
'I feel unsatisfied these days with comedy that deals in mere playfulness,' says Dan Antopolski, bringing a solo show to the Fringe for the first time in seven years. 'I want to feel punched in the gut; for me, that's the Big Mac as opposed to the cheeseburger.' Putting aside the actual satisfaction factor of a Big Mac just for a second, it's clear Antopolski's comedy has undergone some big changes since his last visit.
For those fans who used to enjoy three-time Perrier Award nominee Antopolski's knob gags and the way he lovingly slagged off his daughters during his set, he insists that's all still in there. This time, however, Antopolski wants to mix up his trademark scientific and silly brand of humour with something more honest.
'Previously, sincerity would have repelled me. It's so cloying! But I'm in my mid-40s now; I've been through a separation and lost my mum. I noticed that even in very dark moments, things strike you as funny. I've never wanted to be open with an audience before (frankly it was none of their business) but now it feels quietly exciting to change how I approach my job.'
He's hoping audiences will find his material 'unusual enough to be noteworthy, and common enough to be relatable'. Any couples on the rocks should probably take heed though: his show might encourage a few breaks for freedom. 'Since my break-up, I've become like The Terminator, a guru for people in moribund relationships. I see it in others, I watch the bad blood growing, and I want to tell them to just make that leap. Some things feel violently counterintuitive at the time, but they're what you need to do.' He promises the life advice will come with laughs too. 'I'm sometimes Tiggerish, sometimes cynical. There's a fun tension somewhere between the two.'
Dan Antopolski: Return of the Dan Antopolski is at Assembly George Square Studios, Edinburgh, 4–27 Aug, 9.15pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11). Previews 2 & 3 Aug, £6.