Fringe Interview Quickies: Vidya Rajan from ‘Only The Human’

Interviewed by: Luke Hickey

Q1. Describe “Todd Asked Me Out” for people who have never heard of it/Only The Human before.

Todd Asked Me Out is probably best described as a silly subversive experimental sketch show. By which we mean, it’s not sketch as you might traditionally think of it – two people talking on stage in a mini-play. Instead it feels more contemporary. A lot of it is out to the audience or acknowledges their presence. As a result themes tend to be darker, odder, more personal and hilarious.

The Fringe version of Todd Asked Me Out is bigger than ever. It’s got a large cast of lots of funny Perth performers and guests including Manfred Yon, Sonny Yang, Charlotte Otton. Also, the show is taking place at Paper Mountain and will a be accompanied by a pre-show exhibition – which is lots of comical interactive visual stuff that the audience can play with!

Q2. On that note, what are most OTH shows like? It seems like a blend of performance art, improv and other stage mediums

That’s pretty accurate! OTH members have pretty diverse artistic backgrounds – theatre, improvisers, writers, clowning, stand-up – but everyone is really into pushing what is funny and comical. The result can be blending forms in really playful unexpected ways. The exhibition for Todd Asked Me Out is a good example of this and one I’m really excited about.

Throughout the year though we mostly do regular long-form improv comedy nights (think the Upright Citizen’s Brigade) and sketch nights. Sometimes people will form mini-groups and collaborate to write stand-alone theatre shows (like Asian Ghost-ery Store or Todd Asked Me Out). Increasingly it also looks like we’re doing short films and videos.

Q3. What else does OTH have planned for 2016? Are there plans to move beyond Fringe eg taking the show on tour?

Well this Fringe we have two main shows – Todd Asked Me Out and Asian Ghost-ery Store – which is on tour to Perth after having been over East last year and will be touring again. Todd might also be remounted in a different form in melbourne or perth later this year but no firms plans yet.

2016 is going to be really cool though – a weekly long-form improv comedy night will be starting up with a chance for lots of great improv comics around Perth to join in.

We’ll also be doing more sketch and starting sketch sessions and jams and classes too. These tend to be thin on the ground at present and we’re really interested in growing that community in Perth.

Follow the fb page for announcements/how to get involved! –

Q4. How did OTH start?

A couple of the members went off to America to study improv for a while and when they came back to Perth realised there wasn’t a regular scene around that style of comedy. They gathered people they’d run into in classes or jams who were funny writers and comics and improvisers and it’s just sort of gone from there. It came from a desire to just start making your own work.

Q5. Are there any Fringe shows this year that are OTH-endorsed? Any must-see acts in your opinion?

There are so many!

These are a few though that are right in the OTH wheelhouse that we wouldn’t miss:

– We didn’t come to Hell for Croissants
– Laura Davis Ghost Machine
– Ben Russell in the Tokyo Hotel
– Sense and Spontaneity
– Grr Nights (esp the Choo Choo Troupe)
– Brendan Burns at Freo Royale