Comedy blog

Edinburgh Fringe 2014 interview: Matthew Highton

Matthew Highton always makes our ‘must-see’ list of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe for a very simple reason – they’re always very, very good.

Whereas in the past he’s teased audiences with tall tales of ridiculous adventures, this year he promises to take on issues more close to home.


Hallo Matthew. How are you today?

Hallo LOL crew. I’m very well thank you. I just had a Wispa Gold and it was glorious… How’re you?

The blurb for your show this year describes it as a ‘strange uplifting new comedy’. Is a suitable to adapt into a Hollywood film?

Of course LOL, all my shows are Hollywood ready. Whereas previous years may have been big budget Sci-Fi’s, involving robots, monsters, imaginary me’s and a part sentient Tom Selleck moustache, this year’s actually more of a black and white autobiographical piece that’s occasionally harrowing but generally uplifting. Shane Meadows could easily direct it and Paddy Consadine should be involved somewhere. The end credit music would be an 80/90s synth pop anthem to bring the mood back up. Sweet Dreams by the Eurhythmics would work very well (it’s my opening music).

I’ve seen all of your Fringe shows since 2011 and they have all been terrific. What keeps you coming back to Edinburgh?

You have haven’t you! Well that alone keeps me coming back just to see you in the crowd. The year you don’t come is the year I quit. No pressure.

Where did you get the gorilla hands that are in your photo?

I’ll let you in on a little secret. They’re not real gorilla hands… I know, right! I found them on a site called ebay. It’s an electronic market place essentially and it is incredible. I can’t recommend it enough. I got them for a Weirdos night originally, though I can’t for the life of me remember why. They just make me laugh…

You’re also a regular in Knightmare Live this year. How exciting is that?

It’s very exciting. We’ve been touring it the past few months and it’s been an incredible experience. The team are great and I LOVED Knightmare as a kid, so there’s one childhood box massively ticked. I think it’s the only time I’ve rang my brother and he has genuinely wished he was living my life… If I die in the Fringe he’ll probably take over. He looks a bit like me only he’s about ten feet taller and has a Manc accent and calls me “our kid” and says “that was Mad” or “it were proper mint” without irony.

What other children’s TV show would you like to bring back as a Fringe spectacular?

Get Your Own Back – but it can only have a maximum of two audience members at a time and it’s just me and Dave Benson Phillips gunging people whilst crying. That or maybe Fun House. Ooooo, how about a live action version of ThunderCats where I play all of the parts. Yeah let’s go with that and I’ll start writing for 2015. It’s going to be given a classic Sitcom spin, where the enemy Mumm-Ra is a landlord and the TC’s are always trying to avoid paying rent by getting into some bonkers, outlandish and unpredictable situations!

Last year you damaged an intimate area of your body in an unfortunate toilet accident. Are you expecting to get into any scrapes this August?

I hope not guys. That was my worst Fringe moment ever. For anyone reading this thinking, ooo tell me more, I had an accident in the flat that was entirely innocent and needless to say the word lacerate was involved and where you would least want that word applied. John Kearns was at the other end of the flat when it happened and heard me scream. I think he has a picture of me moments after it leaning against the wall. You should ask him for it…

What else are you looking forward to in Edinburgh this year? 

Show wise there’s a lot. Ali Brice from our Weirdo’s gang is doing his first solo show. The aforementioned Kearns is doing his follow up, Joz Norris is doing a non-character show.
I’m living with Ian Smith again (also doing a show). He never sleeps and is insanely loud at ungodly hours. We have an annual pool tournament and I’m 2-1 up from the last three years. It’s probably the most serious thing I have at the Fringe. A few years ago I had to ask Bobby Davro to move out of the way so I could take my shot. It didn’t pan out well for either of us.
I also like seeing who goes mad. Someone does every year and you can never predict it. But madness aside I just love being up there, seeing a lot of comedy, hanging out, you know the good times, the all or nothing times… The times.

Here’s a space to write anything you want about any subject. Go for it:

Well NASA is working on an actual Warp Drive and I’ve been following it for the last few years, but it seems to be picking up some steam. The thought of being able to explore the universe without breaking the laws of special relativity is incredibly exciting to me. It saddens me deeply that this is unlikely to happen at an age where I can gallivant off into the unknown. I think that we should divert money away from needless pursuits and put more into exploration of space and finally get off this planet! Oh and if you don’t buy a ticket online for my show but come along anyway, please pay in note form so I can further my own warp research. You can learn more here:

Matthew Highton: Good Luck Sleeping Jerks
Heroes at the Hive

Aug 4-24, 3pm
Pay what you want or £5 to guarantee a seat


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