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adam riches time out 2014
© Rob Greig

Adam Riches: portrait of an artist

Most describe Adam Riches as a multi-award winning character comedian. But he classes himself as an ‘artist’. To prove it, he got creative with some toothpaste and baked beans

By Adam Riches

As a special Christmas present to Time Out – a publication that has regularly incorrectly listed me – I have decided to open up the portcullis of my loins to shed light on how I manage to create a show filled with characters that look and sound so much like me, year upon year upon year.

Ever since the film came out, I have been highly inspired by Mr Turner, an artist I admired from the second I knew it would impress people. Just as Mr T had his visceral methods for creating art, I too, have mine for creating characters. For example, I like to spit repeatedly at my laptop, would never use two grunts when one, long, sustained grunt will do, and I have casually started a second family in Margate.

So here, to whet your nostrils, is a sneak peek of the initial sketches for three of my most recent oeuvres…

It represents the first character in the show. It’s a quiver made out of green beans that I then filled with baked beans to represent arrows. There are 57 varieties of Heinz and 105 screen credits of Bean. Coincidence? You tell me.

My favourite Sean Bean quote is ‘Move, and I’ll blow your teeth out.’ Not ‘Move, or’, but ‘Move, and I’ll blow your teeth out’, so either way you lose. I don’t even think he was armed when he said it. He just knew he could completely de-tooth you with a single puff of his own gut-gust.

He’s a wandering tattoo artist that has toothbrushes for hands, and it was important to me that I capture the essence of that whilst simultaneously promoting positive dental hygiene. It’s something I feel very strongly about and is possibly one of the last great taboos in live comedy. We just don’t talk about it.

Toothpaste is used to clean and maintain the health of teeth, and serves as an abrasive that aids in the removal of plaque. It also assists in suppressing halitosis whilst delivering active ingredients (most commonly fluoride) to help prevent tooth and gum disease.

For fans of leaving early, this character comes on stage around the 40-minute mark.

In the show’s finale you meet Vic as nature intended: naked but for the freshly fluffed modesty of a single white towel. I therefore felt a map of the human body showing where hair can be found (in peacetime and in winter), made with body hair culled from that region, would be an apt representation of him and all he shaves for.

I guess this is less ‘art’ and more a manual for understanding. It’s a Himstallation and the perfect educational tool for teenagers and friends of teenagers.

NOTICE: No towels were harmed in the production of this sketch, but all of them were stolen from various Virgin Gyms around the country.


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