Comedy blog

Edinburgh Fringe interview: Matt Highton


Matt Highton is a regular at Laugh Out London comedy club, and one of the acts we always look forward to seeing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

His previous shows have been epic stories of seemingly unrelated thoughts, incidents and strange characters that all tie-up in one magnificently satisfying whole of meticulous planning. We are excited for what he comes up with for 2013.

Hallo Matthew. How are you feeling today?

Pretty good LOL (may I call you LOL (You can – Ed)), the sensation is returning to my face and I’m pretty sure I can see the whole colour spectrum again.

You’re up at the Fringe again this year. What keeps you coming back?
Good question. I have no idea. I think it’s the good times and being in a dense concentration of comedic output, but then I think hard about previous years and just remember being cold and frightened. For the sake of “selling myself” let’s just say I love putting on a show for three and a half weeks and watching the joy on people’s faces as they leave.

Your show this year is called It Came from the Mud. Should we expect a mucky horror story?
Well, well, well. Good work gents (for readers not familiar with Laugh Out London they refuse to employ women (Lies! – Ed)), good work indeed. It’s exactly that. There’s a big horror/movie influence this year. So yes, expect that!

The greatest thing about your previous Fringe shows (other than the goose honking) has been their divergent story lines and off-hand thought that all somehow end up in a satisfying conclusions that makes perfect sense in the world you create. How do you come up with your crazy ideas?
I’m very lucky in that each year I seem to get into a crazy adventure that is not only hilarious but also manages to tie itself up neatly with call backs before the beginning of the Fringe. People often think it’s a work of fallacy, of fabrication, but there’s a lot of heart and honesty in it and like all the great raconteurs I offer it to the masses in the form of word spoken. If it was up to me I would just do an hour of goose honking and be done with it, but alas in the age of the internet people don’t want to see a man “goose honking” for an hour so I have to break it up with hilarious stories.

Is your show easy to adapt for Radio 4 just in case it wins the Fosters Comedy Award?
Absolutely. Piece of piss mate. Radio 4 have a nineteen million pound budget right? The special effects alone would need that… Also we would definitely need Radio 4 to start broadcasting on TV. I’ve actually invented a type of camera that could do this. Also we would have to broadcast for 80 days straight whilst people compete to race around the globe. I’ll need a sixteen man strong work force and a dog sled if I’m to compete, which means the radio show will have to be mobile. I don’t expect all of us to make it home…

Who would you like to see in the crowd?
Anyone who wants to be there. It’s easier to say who I don’t want to be in the crowd. None of that shouty lot that come in and it would be nice to have just ONE year where I look out into the crowd and don’t see the faces of all the people I’ve killed…

How long did it take to come up with the show’s name? And what did you reject?
The show name just sort of presented itself. It was the easiest year I’ve had for this. I can’t remember any rejections.

Mark Stephenson after throwing one dart into another dart

Mark Stephenson after throwing one dart into another dart

Do you have a favourite Fringe memory (not necessarily your own or about the Edinburgh in Scotland)?

Does the film Highlander count? I’ve watched it so many times that I can’t quite tell where my memories begin and the plot ends.
Failing that, it was witnessing Mark Stephenson throw a dart into another dart (It’s true. See the picture! – Ed).

What else are you looking forward to in Edinburgh this year? We recommend the Piemaker, The Baked Potato Shop and a pleasant stroll.
I run over Arthur’s Seat (Volcano in the middle of the city – Ed) on the first day every year. I like to stand at the top and scream like Lieutenant Dan in Forest Gump (the bit where the storm hits). It’s very cathartic but once I’m pretty sure a cloud formed specifically to mock me, but it saw a good fist shaking before dissipating.

Here’s a space to write anything you want about any subject. Go for it:
There are points in Canada that have a lower gravitational force than the rest of the world. This is most likely due to where a glacier melted leaving a depression in the Earths crust and therefore the density of the Earth is slightly less at those points.

Matthew Highton’s It Came From The Mud
August 3-25, 5:15pm
Whistlebinkies (venue 158)

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