Actor, writer, and comedian Rich Hardisty will be performing his hilarious yet touching show Silly Boy, at the Soho Theatre, fresh from a critically acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Through captivating tales and a magnetic performance, Rich shares the highs and lows of his eventful and peculiar life, revealing how his mental illnesses affect him. Silly Boy explores themes such as anorexia, bipolar disorder, self-harm, borderline personality disorder and heroin abuse. But as dark as the subjects may be, the show is not heavy, more a celebration of the beauty and silliness of it all, and the interesting, hilarious, and sometimes shocking things his brain is capable of doing – whether he wants it to or not.
Rich does everything he can to bring you into his world with the show’s finale described as crossing over from stand-up comedy into performance art…and being one of the most electrifying endings to a comedy show you will see.
In 2017, Rich entered a manic-depressive episode that saw him trapped in his house for 2 years. In a bid to rehabilitate himself, he started performing in his studio flat where he would invite people in and talk about his issues in the only way he knew how…using humour. People would cram in his little studio and sit wherever they could, be it in the kitchen, the floor, or the bed… and the show resonated more than he could ever have anticipated. Gaining popularity and unable to perform in his studio anymore, Rich took his show to the Camden Comedy Club, where he was offered a residency. Within 16 months, alongside the pandemic, Rich had taken his show from the confines of his flat and out into the world, selling out shows in London and even New York City – as word had reached the producer of Nanette, who wanted to see it. Rich, in true fashion, hired a theatre, flew to NYC and sold it out – by hand – in 10 days.
Rich Hardisty is a force of nature, who’s message is one of self-acceptance and compassion. In Silly Boy, he breaks taboos, makes the audience feel what he feels, and tells us what he has learned from losing his mind…that might just change the way you think.
Rich’s journey has been far from conventional. He left school in Yorkshire with no GCSEs and worked as a binman and a cleaner, a stand-up comedian, and even became an internet entrepreneur, raising (and losing) a million dollars for his empathy-based internet start-up, which saw him partner with Stephen Fry. He developed 2 sitcoms with Channel 4, including The Art of Foley and can be seen in Lovesick and Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.