After an amazing response last year we have once again resurrected our Brighton Bites mini-interviews. These short and snappy Q&As offer an, occasionally witty – often hilarious, insight into the acts strutting, sailing, surfing (insert preferred form of transport here) in to join the line-up of England’s largest arts festival, Brighton Fringe. 2018 was a record-breaking year for the Fringe with over 575,000 people attending the festival; and with 2019 promising to be more inclusive than ever, our Bites aim to give you a taste of what’s in store across the 4,500+ events and performances that are on offer.
Next up, Matthew Edwards tells us about Man In The Blue Box which he’ll be performing at Sweet Werks 2.
Describe your show in one sentence?
Doctor Who and a real-life tragedy collide, leaving the Doctor faced with his greatest enemy of all time… death!
Why Brighton Fringe?
The Brighton Fringe is England’s biggest fringe festival, and having performed in Brighton during my studies before, and having seen work performed at the Fringe in recent years, I felt that this was the right time to apply. I have had a burning passion for theatre and the arts since the age of four and I have always seen myself perform on a theatre stage since then. With my show involving my obsession with the TV show Doctor Who, there is a huge fanbase nationwide and especially in the city of Brighton and this is why I feel suited to perform this particular work at the Brighton Fringe.
How did the show get to where it is today?
It started off as a 15-20 minute solo performance project when studying in my third year at Chichester University. The show at the time was full of quotes that were spoken by the Doctor from a whole range of episodes including the classical episodes. I was originally performing as both myself and my favourite Doctor, David Tennant (10th Doctor). When studying my postgraduate degree, I revisited the project and started from fresh, and began to create my very own persona of the Doctor (16th Doctor/Future Doctor). Using my clowning/comedy performative skills and my knowledge of Doctor Who, I managed to regenerate the show to a 45 minutes-1 hour show to which I performed at the Spire in Brighton in April last year. Since then, I have changed a few scenes around and the show is becoming more like an episode of Doctor Who, especially with all the mixed emotions that the show is full of.
What do you think sets your show apart from all the other festival offerings?
This show is different as it obscurely combines both fanaticism and grief and makes the two relatable. Despite the real-life topic of personal grief within this performance, the show is able to show a bright side to life after losing a loved one and is able to make the audience laugh and have fun rather than trying to express how dark and miserable the subject is all the time. As this show is all about time travel, this show is different in every performance.
What show do you not want to miss at this year’s Brighton Fringe (apart from your own!)?
For those that are fans of football. I definitely recommend Off The Fence’s “He Shot, He Scored”. Like my show, it is filled with mixed emotions as this one-man show talks about the story of Brighton and Hove Albion’s 1976-77 season as he uses the voices of four supporters who follow their beloved club.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, or would give, for performing at a fringe festival?
My advice to anyone that is taking work to a fringe festival is always keep in touch with the venue that you’re working for, always maintain communication with the people that you need to. Follow everything step-by-step so it isn’t stressful and finally, promote and tell as many people about your work as you possibly can.
With the theme of this year’s festival being ‘DARE to Discover’, we’d like you to tell us a TRUTH – something about you or the show that fans may not know.
When revisiting my show in 2017, I started off by attempting to improvise for as long as I could… I only lasted 5 minutes until I started all over again properly.
Man In The Blue Box runs at Brighton Fringe from 20-26 May 2019. Brighton Fringe takes place between 3 May – 2 June 2019; www.brightonfringe.org
Nicole Craft | Image: Contributed