Anthony Fairweather is a Playwright, performance poet and satirical singer. Having started writing poetry in response to a nervous breakdown he has gone on to have a book of his poems published, perform at the Edinburgh Fringe, become a 9-time Poetry Slam Winner, perform on the Radio and support the likes of John Cooper Clarke, Elvis McGonagall, Byron Vincent, Pete the Temp and Inua Ellams.
Anthony was born in 1979 and had an uneventful childhood. As a child he loved comedy. He was often bullied at school, and then heard the oft-told story that comedians who got bullied at school often told jokes to avoid being bullied. He tried this and it did him no good at all. He was now also bullied for failing to be funny.
In 1994 he saw an episode of a series called Ben Elton: The Man From Auntie, and it was on that day he knew he wanted to be a stand-up comic (which is an odd choice of career for someone who has a stammer). Twelve years later he finally did something about it.
In the meantime in 1998 he went away to University to learn how to be a grown up. However, his brain decided it didn’t want to be a grown up and had a nervous breakdown in protest. In early 2004, after several years of struggling with mental problems and now at rock-bottom, he saw a documentary about the late, great Les Dawson. In it, it was revealed how Les had had a tough upbringing where he kept a diary in which he became obsessed with failure. It was revealed that he sometimes wrote poems about what he was going through. Anthony thought “I wonder if I could do that..?”
…and he did.
Throughout 2004 he wrote many poems about his mental state, and they helped him. Then in 2005 things began to improve. After seeing some of Spike Milligan’s poems, (both nonsensical and serious) he decided to write lighter poems as well. In the Autumn of that year he returned to University and showed his poems to his new psychiatrist (a Dr. Dawson), who as a result of reading them diagnosed him with Asperger’s Syndrome in early 2006. It was one of the best days of his life as finally he knew why he is like he is.
At the end of his course in August 2006, Anthony took the plunge and took part in a poetry open- mic in Birmingham. Afterwards he knew what he wanted to do with his life.
Having returned home, he started looking for open-mic events , and started writing and performing regularly through 2007/8. He also wrote his autobiography called “The Mindset of a Mental Patient” which tells the story of his life coping with mental health problems in poems and prose. It was published by Chipmunka Publishing and reached No.4 in their Bestseller list.
In 2009, things moved up a gear. He performed as a featured act at the Grand Opening of The Art House in Southampton and also in a well-received show called Anthony Fairweather & Friends at The Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton.
Later that year he performed his one-man show called How Do You Solve a Problem Like Britannia? at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Moving into 2010, things moved up another gear. He entered 7 poetry slams, winning 5 of them consecutively and also supported several well known poets such as Elvis McGonagall, Byron Vincent, Pete the Temp and Inua Ellams. He also made 5 appearances as guest of Comedy Radio Boscombe on Hope FM and also appeared on the Allan Turner-Ward Show.
In 2011 he built on these successes and found new outlets to perform in. He won more poetry slams, co-starred in a critically acclaimed show at the Exeter Fringe Festival and supported John Cooper-Clarke.
Anthony also appears at mental health events and in October 2010-2012 was part of the mental health charity Love Me Love My Mind’s Epsom Mental Health Week. More recently he has worked at Outreach days for Mind and has recently written a play called Nuclear Winter based on his experiences coping with mental illness. The play is receiving its premier at the Camden Fringe in August 2013.
In 2012/3 he has won several poetry slams and has regularly been a featured act at poetry events all over London.
2013 saw Anthony’s first play, entitled Nuclear Winter premier at the Camden Fringe Festival. It takes as its theme the topic of mental illness, how people cope with it, and the reactions of others towards it. The story is based on true events and was warmly received by people who saw it. He is currently planning a film version.
He has a website called: www.comedyverse.co.uk where you can listen to his work. He is also contactable on Facebook and on 07786 734 747.
Anthony’s Performance Style
Anthony’s performing style is fast paced, rhyming and rhythmic. His poems are political, satirical and nonsensical, sometimes all at the same time. He also enjoys performing comedic song parodies in the Rory Bremner / Mitch Benn style. He also likes to take famous pieces of classical music and set humorous lyrics to them. For examples of these, check out Breakfast TV, Drunken Yobbos Night Out (The Operetta) at www.comedyverse.co.uk