Steve Bugeja is a young man poised to take the comedy world by storm. His stylish and original brand of stand up comedy marries relatable subject matter with a charged stage presence, winning him the title of BBC New Comedian of the Year 2013. In the last year, the Manchester based comedian has toured with Russell Kane and performed as part of the prestigious Comedy Zone at the Edinburgh Fringe. Now he’s bringing his debut solo show to the Liverpool Comedy Festival. We chatted to Steve about the show, his experiences of Edinburgh and why Liverpool holds happy memories…
How would describe your style of stand up?
I just sort of go on stage and say funny things about my life. I play a character who is a geek, very socially awkward and can’t talk to girls. Ok, it’s not that much of a character. OK, it’s me. All me.
How did you get into comedy?
I did my first gig in a staff talent contest while working on a kids camp in America. It’s true what they say, Americans literally laugh at anything. But when I came back to the UK I was keen to do it again, and about 6 months later I did. Then I never stopped. So we can blame the Americans for all of this.
Who are your comedy influences?
I always find this question difficult. I get influenced by everyone, but I always try to be myself. I certainly have comics that I love watching. Kevin Bridges is my absolute favourite. Every time I watch him I’m blown away by how effortless he makes it look.
You’ve recently finished doing The Comedy Zone in Edinburgh. How would you describe the experience of performing a show with such a strong reputation to live up to?
Yes, it was a brilliant month. It was a bit daunting at first knowing that pretty much every successful comedian had done this show on their way up. But after the first few shows we kind of forgot all of that and just enjoyed ourselves. I hosted it most nights, which was fun because I could mess around a bit more than I normally would. I did far too much drinking while I was up there. I had like three pints every night, which for me is insane!
Tell us a bit about the solo show you’ll be performing at the Comedy Festival. What’s it about?
I’m really excited. I’m doing a split show with my friend and very funny comedian Pete Otway. We’ll both be doing 45 minutes with a break in-between. In my show I will be telling the story of the time I had to pick up a convicted criminal from prison and take him to a friends wedding. It is quite a tale. Hopefully funny too.
What’s the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
I was helping my friend with his best man’s speech last night, the groom is a carpenter and we wrote a pun involving the word axe. I laughed for over a minute.
What’s your favourite thing about Liverpool?
My Grandma used to take me to the Liverpool Empire when I was growing up. I used to get so excited. I remember I once went and watched The Chuckle Brothers Live. Still to this day one of the best shows I have ever witnessed. Every time I walk past the Empire now I still get a warm fuzzy feeling from those memories, so I’d say that is probably my favourite thing about Liverpool.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @SteveBugeja.
Steve will be performing his solo show, alongside Peter Otway, at Hatters Hotel on the 1st October, 8pm. For more information and tickets, check out the Liverpool Comedy Festival website here.
For more coverage of Liverpool Comedy Festival 2014, check out our page here.