SUCH are the riches of Adam Riches' comedic mind, that he presented not one but three shows at last summer's Edinburgh Fringe.

Now he is on his debut British tour from April 25 to July 3, presenting The Adam Riches Experience on Saturday at the Burning Duck Comedy Club, in The Basement, City Screen, York.

Yet the South Londoner has a surprising admission to make. "My ambition never was to be a comedian; it was just happenstance," he says. "I always wanted to be an actor doing comedy roles and writing comedy plays to do that.

"I copied the model of early Alan Ayckbourn, writing plays and parts for himself when he didn't like the roles or plays he was doing."

Riches also wanted to re-create the Rising Damp style of sitcom, albeit starting off with one-act plays. "It was like Ernie Wise on Morecambe & Wise: writing lots of short plays. They take a lot more work and a lot more time, but I got a bit frustrated and instead started just putting some of the characters on stage [outside a play format]."

Enter the Adam Riches experience, or variety of experiences, more like. "I'm never Adam Riches on stage; I only play characters, and I don't have anything I don't want to say through the prism of an idiot, playing the fool on stage," he says.

"Stand-ups stand up to say things about the world, but with me it's just an evening of big fun and silliness."

Riches has created such shows as The Guy Who, The Lone Dueller (the one with a cast of 17, all played by mannequins), Coach Coach and Coach Coach 2: Coach Harder (the one with a live basketball game on stage in the last 15 minutes). "One of the characters would get injured in the last minute, and a member of the audience would have to step up and shoot," says Riches. "It they scored, you had one ending; if they missed, you had another."

The Adam Riches Experience show will be a compendium. "I've never done anything over two acts before, when normally everyone's exhausted after an hour, but the tour will be good for getting used to doing two acts, and I'm now thinking of expanding Coach Coach 2 for a West End run," he reveals.

Summing up the experience in store on Saturday, Riches says: "I'll bring all my favourite characters, along with a whole bunch of new ones. It's going to be great fun and, as usual, it's a different show every night, brought to life by the willing – and otherwise! – participation of the crowd. Restraining orders at the ready!"

In other words, this weekend promises an embarrassment of Riches, but in a good way. Tickets for Saturday's 7.30pm show are on sale on 0871 902 5747 or via

Charles Hutchinson