It is festival season and that means that in the next month there is so many great comedy festivals to look forward to! This month we are looking at some of the great shows that you can see at the Camden Fringe. So take note because we are going to give you all the information you need for just a handful of some of the great shows happening this year!
Location: Etcetra Theatre
Dates: Aug 9,10,11
Price: £10 concessions £8
Ticket Link: https://camdenfringe.com/show.php?acts_id=2496
Hello Matthew! Tell us about yourself?
I’m a bit eclectic really. I graduated from Rose Bruford College’s American Theatre Arts course in 2017 and since then I’ve done a mixed bag of things. I’ve acted at the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, toured around the UK with AlterEgo’s award winning play Chelsea’s Story, and performed in the Canadian Fringe Festival ‘Oh, Canada’. I’ve also written for SLAMinutes, Congress Youth Theatre, Black Cat Theatre, and I’ve even gone to Russia to direct four of my plays in Perm. On the side I have an independent theatre review blog (www.theatre-t.co.uk), and I work as a child entertainer.
How did you come up with the name of your show that you’re taking to the Camden Fringe?
I wanted something that highlighted how juvenile Brexit is. Even the name ‘Brexit’ is a ridiculous attempt to try and make the whole process seem cooler. When I was writing one of the poems in the piece I rhymed Brexit with “regrets it”, and thought, “Regretxit!”. From there, I took the concept of personal and political regret and ran with it.
Tell us a little bit about your style of show?
It’s a one man show that incorporates story-telling, lip-syncing, poetry and speed performance. Like me, it’s a little eclectic, but at the heart of it there’s a love story that weaves the different forms together. I like to think it’s Spalding Gray meets Christopher Brett Bailey, through the lens of a bisexual, Welsh millennial.
What will your set be about?
In the wake of the Brexit vote, politically ambivalent millennial, Matt, falls in love with Ukrainian hunk, Artem. Matt experiences wild fantasies about alternative versions of his life (in a Gwyneth Paltro ‘Sliding Doors’ kind of way). These fantasies only get worse and reality starts to slip when it appears Artem may be deported. Regretxit looks at the consequences of political ambivalence in a time of strong political division.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
A friend of mine, Liz McMullen is taking her solo show, Stupid Cupid to the Hen and Chickens Theatre. I saw it last year and it is both hilarious and uplifting. I’m also excited to see Prospero Acronym’s Fencesitter at The Phoenix Arts Club. They’re a drag magician who incorporates gender and sexuality into magic tricks, and I just think that’s a brilliant combination of art-forms.
Have you done the fringe before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
Although I’ve been in fringe plays before, this is my first time performing my own writing at the fringe. I’ve seen and reviewed quite a lot of fringe; especially at last year’s Camden Fringe. My favourite shows to date have been; In Search of Applause by Maroussia Vladi for its subtle clowning comedy, Hear Me Howl by Lydia Rynne for its unapologetic punk attitude, and any musical Fat Rascal Theatre has put out because they never fail in making me laugh.
What have been some of the most unique and different shows you have seen this year and why?
The three shows I’d have to mention are all heading to Edinburgh Fringe rather than Camden Fringe, but they’re all definitely worth a watch. Yours Sincerely by Will Jackson is a queer coming-of-age story about what happens when you accidentally steal 300 stamps (the punchline of his pitch for the next John Lewis advert is the hardest I’ve laughed all year). Nordic Noir by Laufey Haralds is a stand-up comedy piece that invites the audience to help create a new TV crime drama in a “Nordic Noir” style. Finally, Prefer Not to Say by Riot Road Theatre is a series of verbatim monologues taken from the testimonies of LGBTQ+ people, highlighting the good, the bad and the struggle.
What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year?
People who you don’t know will surprise you by their generosity if you just ask. Be as prepared as possible before you start, but realise that it’s fringe and things will go differently no matter how hard you plan. Get people around you who can push you, cheer you on, and who aren’t afraid to tell you the truth.
What is the best thing about performing at the Camden fringe?
I get to put on a project that combines my passions, shows who I really am and what I’m about, while I entertain people along the way.
What are your three favourite things about Camden?
The street art. The market. Chin Chin Labs.
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
A lot of my comedy isn’t in one liners, but in Regretxit I have a line where I go to meet Artem at a pub and when I get there I say “he looks shaken… not stirred.” That brand of stupid comedy sums up the show pretty well.
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
Someone from the coverage team at Soho Theatre or literary department at Royal Court. I’ve emailed both, so fingers crossed.
The iconic image of the Camden Fringe is the Pigeon – If you could call this year’s pigeon a name to represent its style what would it be and why?
Her name is Victor, but her friends call her Vicki (based on the Victorian era garb).
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
I’m @matthewcleverly on Instagram and Twitter and the Facebook event for Regretxit is: http://www.facebook.com/events/447075076129987/
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Ridiculous. Sexy. Stupid.