As part of the Buzzcuts training, we had to interview someone involved with the Fringe, but who wasn’t a performer. I’ve kept in touch with Craig, and may use him as a contact to find comedians for Radio Adelaide Breakfast.
With the Fringe about to hit full stride, Craig Egan is a hard man to track down. As the person in charge of Adelaide Comedy, the next month will be full of late nights but lots of laughs.
Craig has been running Adelaide Comedy for almost nine years now, after he was handed the reins by local legends Lehmo and Justin Hamilton.
“The boys really just turned it into something that was getting national attention, and then in 2002 they handed it over to me, and I’ve been trying to live up to that and run it under my own way since then.”
He’s watched the local comedy scene go from strength to strength, from having to “yell and scream from the streets to come and see some local comedy gigs”, to a wealth of local comics now performing throughout the year.
“In the early times it was pretty much a crew of about ten to fifteen, whereas these days I’ve got a list of about 150 comics that want to do spots just locally, let alone everybody else from around the country.”
Craig was part of this small crew of comedians at the start of last decade, although he gave it up to focus on working behind the scenes.
“Admittedly I’ve done a spot here and there, but about three years ago I decided that I was trying to be a comic and I was trying to be a producer, and I wasn’t doing either one as well as I wanted to do them so I decided that I’d just concentrate on running the gigs.”
“I always tell people that I’ll retire into being a stand-up comedian and once I’ve got the gigs where they should be and everybody’s happy, creative and paid then I’ll get back into doing some stand-up comedy.”
As the promoter and general database of comedy in Adelaide, Craig is certainly the man to ask about any secret shows we should know about.
“There is one actually – Michael Chamberlain, who has done a lot of work with Charlie Pickering over the years.”
“He’s filling in a Friday night spot next week (Feb 25th) and it hasn’t really been announced on the Fringe Guide or anything like that.”
“I’m actually looking forward to finding some hidden gems myself this year and getting out there to see what else is out there, so that we can bring those people back to Adelaide throughout the year.”
According to Craig, Adelaide audiences have a great reputation worldwide of being great fun and open to experimental material, but he never knows who will be in the audience on any given night.
“I think Fringe will bring out every man and his dog, so you can’t really tell who’s going to rock up a lot of the time.”
“One time I came out to Rhino with sixty motorbikes parked across the other side of the road and was like ‘what’s going on here?’, and there was a bunch of bikers up at The Late Show.”
“They had an absolute ball, but we’d never really seen sixty bikes lined up out the front of Rhino Room before.”
“What the Fringe does is just open it up to the rest of Adelaide, and in that time we really have to get out to those people and say comedy doesn’t finish when the Fringe does.”