Lawrence Leung will be performing at the Perth International Comedy Festival Gala Launch Party on Friday, March 22 and as part of the festival from Wednesday, May 8 to Saturday, May 11. Go to perthcomedyfest.com.au for more.
When X-Press gives Lawrence Leung a call, he’s about to head out and get some groceries. “It’s pretty exciting stuff,” he chuckles. Leung has made quite a name for himself both at home and overseas for his particular comedy styling, which involve everything from ghosts, to adventures and jet packs.
Leung will be heading over here for the Perth International Comedy Festival, and when asked what he has planned for the Gala Launch, he laughs and says that he wants to ‘raise the roof’ – possibly quite literally.
“Last time I played at the Astor Theatre there was a car crash out on the street and the power went off. The audience had to wait in the foyer for like an hour because there was no power. And we were like, you know, everyone go up the street and get yourself an ice cream. It was terrible! And then just as the producers were thinking about cancelling the show, all the lights came back on and I had one of the best shows of my life!”
Leung will be offering up the Perth debut of Beginning Middle End, a more personal show than usual. The idea was sparked by a slightly dodgy Google search.
“It came about because my housemate found some really disturbing erotic fan fiction about me. You know, like 50 Shades of Grey,” he says, explaining his initial shock. “You know, I’m an ABC guy, I’m not an A-list celebrity – if anything I’m quite obscure, so this must be the most obscure of obscure fan fiction.”
Writing the show began with kinky prose, and continued on when Leung began to think about how people view themselves – and in turn, how others see them.
“I explore that from many different angles. I might see myself as the hero of a story but someone else who was there at the time, I’ll find out later thinks that I was just a bit of a dickhead,” he laughs.
Leung’s research involved a lot of awkward conversations with friends, discussing how they had perceived him in different situations.
“There’s one story where a friend and I got into a fight with these tough guys in a park, and she thought I was a bit of a hero because I stood up to them. But from my point of view I was completely terrified!” he says.
Leung has already taken the show to London to great success. When asked if he feels like he needs to change his material in other countries, he laughs and says: “No, but sometimes I feel like I need to change my accent [laughs],” explaining that Australian audiences instantly warm to performers from places like Scotland and Ireland due to their accents. “But when Aussies go to London, it’s like [puts on harsh accent] ‘G’day!’ And they’re like, ‘Ah no, another colonial – I can already hear your voice at the bar pulling beers, and now I have to hear this.’ It’s not particularly exotic, performing in London with an Australian accent.”