Camden Fringe Festival 2022

Camden Fringe 2022 – INTERVIEW – Reckless Topiary Enthusiast

It is August which only means one thing – it is Camden Fringe time! Over the next few weeks we are chatting to acts that are performing at the festival and finding all about their show and what they would call this years iconic Camden Fringe Pigeon! Today we speak to Rufus about Reckless Topiary Enthusiast

Date: 24th and 25th August
Price: £13 Concession £11
: 2Northdown
Ticket Link:

Hello! Tell us about yourself?  

Hi! I’m Rufus, I’m 26, and I’m looking for love! I’ll be performing Reckless Topiary Enthusiast in August, which is an unusual, somewhat alternative comedy show. Versions of it have been performed before in Cambridge and Leicester, and now I’m very excited to bring the final, perfect version to Camden. 

How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the Camden fringe? 

Well, I saw a funny looking hedge, and it made me think that topiary (quirky hedge-cutting) was a bit like a comedy show – you’ve got to spend lots of time curating it and trimming it, all just to make some people chuckle briefly. And then the ‘Reckless’ and ‘Enthusiast’ parts of the title are to make it clear that there will be NO knowledge-informed reference to topiary. I know nothing about topiary. I cannot emphasise that enough. 

Tell us a little bit about your style of show? 

It’s a solo sketch show with an unhinged narrative line running through it. Lots of silly home-made props, mime, characters, and a fun alternative vibe. It’s not a traditional stand-up show, but if you come with a bit of imagination and get on board, then it will be like a warm hug that also makes you laugh throughout. 

What will your set be about? 

Well, it follows someone who accidentally gets involved with a topiary-based cult, all while strange things are going on in his life. There are lots of cutaway sketches and moments of strange logic, but if you like an absurd narrative with lots of plot-holes, this is just the show for you. 

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe? 

I never look forward to seeing anything else, as I’m instantly reminded that life is an endless and relentless competition that I’m simply not cut out for. That said, I’m sure John and James’ Tantric Night Out will be excellent, as they’re two very funny sausages.


It is your first time doing the Fringe – how do you feel about it? 

It’s very exciting to do the Camden Fringe for the first time. Now that I live in north London, it’s also so convenient. The convenience is honestly exhilarating. 

What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year? 

Live fast, die young baby! I’ll have something sensible to say once I’ve done the Fringe. 

What are your favourite things about London? 

The parks, myriad of activities and cultural events are great, but it would be remiss not to mention the state of the art sewage system our great capital pioneered.


What are your three favourite things about Camden? 

I like that there’s lots of great music and comedy going on at any time in the Camden area, also quite a few absolutely lush takeaways. I also love walking through it in summer to get to Regent’s Park, but “going through it” is probably a bit of a damning reason to like a place. 

Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why? 

My show isn’t really one-liner stand-up – ticket-holders PLEASE NOTE this. But I used to do a gag I liked which went something like “I don’t believe in segregation based on colour – my girlfriend doesn’t let me do the laundry anymore.” I liked it at the time, but with advances in laundry capsules you can mix loads these days without any real risk of cross-staining. 

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member? 

Hmm. Someone with good vocal reach (for loud laughter) but also a warm presence (for audience ease). So, Will Young? Dido?  

The iconic image of the Camden Fringe is the Pigeon – if you could call this years pigeon a name to represent its style what would it be and why? 

I wouldn’t want to name it. Naming it would humanise it, and make it much harder to ‘deal with’ if it becomes ill and shits everywhere.


If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media? 

Twitter is probably best – @mcalister_rufus 

And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?  

God will judge. 

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