Never a man to let pragmatics get in the way of a good idea, Matthew Highton’s ambitious effort this year seems him play the part of the universe.
Bold moves are what we’ve come to expect from Highton, who’s made a name for himself as a surreal storyteller, blending fantastical scenarios with a tight narrative that manages to make sense of the madness.
Hello. How are you today?
I’m great thanks, much better than yesterday when I accidentally kicked a child in Boots.
Are you ready for another month of Edinburgh Fringe action?
Absolutely LOL. I’ve been training in an Edinburgh simulator for months now and I’m absolutely ready to eat protein packs and see how I cope in zero gravity.
At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?
For once, almost exactly. That’s the advantage of having a year off, you think your show through more. By think it through, you come up with a ludicrous concept of pretending to be the Universe embodied and see it through to the bitter end!
What are your tips for getting people to see your show?
Never take no for an answer. People loved being harassed until they give in to your advances. If they’re in a bad mood, don’t falter, they will love you incessantly and mercilessly asking them to come to your show. If you see them sleeping on a plane, plug your suitcase into their head and incept their dreams. Still reluctant? Odd, but not to worry, kill their entire family, bar one, and promise their safe release if they see your show. Don’t forget to smile!
Who are you sharing a flat with this festival and how will you help each other survive the month?
Joe Davies and Pat Cahill. I’m going to start every morning by climbing into bed with them, gently spooning from behind and as they slowly wake I’ll be stroking their hair saying: “everything’s going to be okay. Shhhhh. Let it happen. Let it happen. Shhhhhh…”
Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?
My own, obvs. This is a hard question because you want to say so many… Adam Larter (who one day I hope to work with, Adam if you’re reading this please get in touch) and Stuart Laws (who one day I hope to work with, Stuart if you’re reading this please get in touch) are very silly people, their previews have been great.
Lucy Pearman’s dressing as an egg. WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE! Marny Godden is always fantastic. I’ll deffo be watching Joe Davies and Pat Cahill’s as they are excellent loons and it’ll make the flat uncomfortable if I don’t. Eric Lampaert’s I’m going to watch and eat eggs through the entirety of (wow egg based answer again) as he is great, smells odd and LOVES EGGS! If I can find him Ben Target, he’ll probably be painting a boat or something? James Acaster’s show already sounds like it’s incredible. I love watching Joel Dommett every year. Joz Norris is a definite, and I’ll be making a time lapse of the sparkle fading from his eyes over the month. Eleanor Morton, because I love seeing fellow Northerners like Eleanor (who is from Yorkshire) do their thing.
All the Weirdos (especially our two HARRY POTTER SHOWS) and all The Comedian’s Cinema Club folk. OH GOD MAKE THIS ANSWER STOP! Will Seaward is trying to get permission to have live piranhas, so that! Brunnnnnnsttttrrrooooom)!!! EVERYTHING AT THE HIVE except Ali Brice. I won’t be watching Ali Brice, as he is on in the room next to me which makes us enemies and also he is morally abhorrent. Oh and if I can get a ticket to it, Bec Hill’s wedding sounds interesting. I’m stopping there. Sorry if I didn’t mention you I started to get a nosebleed.
Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?
Having a quiet year and not actually watching any shows.
What’s your topping at The Baked Potato Shop on Cockburn Street?
Other baked potatoes, slowly decreasing in size until you reach the centre where there’s a tiny baked potato dressed as an old Russian woman.
Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.
If I don’t sell at least 40% of my tickets it’s likely the children won’t get the orphanage. But that’s okay, it’s looking like a mild winter, I’m sure they’ll be fine…
Matthew Highton: I, The Universe
Heroes @ The Hive
4-14, 16-28 August, 2pm
PWYW / £5 adv