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!
Matt Blair – Mattinée
Location: The Bill Murray
Dates: 11th August
Hello! Tell us about yourself Matt ?
Well I’m a musical comedian. One half of double act Rayguns Look Real Enough. And I’m also a co-founder of The Distraction Club, which is a musical comedy night in Central London. To a lot of people I’m also known as “Lionel’s son” and I imagine that’s a lot better than being known as Tony’s.
How did you come up with the name of your show that your’e taking to the Camden fringe?
I host the odd pub quiz and one of the regulars is Simon Hickson from Trevor and Simon fame, if you’re old enough to remember Saturday morning telly in the 90s. One evening before the quiz started we were having a chat over a pint and I asked for suggestions for a show title. I knew it needed to be movie themed but I didn’t want something obvious like “Blair Witch etc…” and Simon just blurted out without skipping a beat, “Mattinee” and I was annoyed it didn’t come to me first. It’s perfect.
Tell us a little bit about your style of show?
It’s a mix of stand-up and musical comedy. Some of it is observational, some of it is fantasy.
What will your set be about?
The key theme for my show is “why do we love movies so much?”. I love movies, TV shows and comic books. The last few years has seen a real surge in all sorts of fandoms. Some of that surge has been positive and a lot has been negative and I wanted to look at the reasons why.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
Faye Treacy. She’s played Distraction Club a number of times. Sometimes I see her early ideas and I’m interested to see how they’ve evolved since.
Have you done the fringe before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?
I’ve played a lot of Fringes. Edinburgh, Brighton, Leicester. This will be my first Camden Fringe as a performer. I was a sound engineer for one Camden Fringe years ago and I remember getting annoyed with a certain TV comic who always kept his microphone about two feet from his face. No one could hear him so I had to turn him up which led to feedback which led to him getting annoyed at me. Cheeky bugger. Mic technique is important.
What have been some of the most unique and different shows you have seen this year and why?
I feel bad to say it, but I’ve not been to any this year. I’ve been busy writing my own. However one of the most unique performers I’ve seen this year is Andrew O’Neill. He didn’t used to be a musical comic, but since he dipped his toe into that arena he has written some truly weird and wonderful songs that are hilarious.
What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year?
If you’re umming and aahing about whether or not to do a show, just do it! Work hard. Write a lot. Edit a lot. Test things out. Don’t get bogged down if it doesn’t go to plan. The most important thing is to keep it fun. It’s hard work but it’s the most fun hard work you can do. I’ve had jobs where my arm has been up a blocked toilet. Anytime things get difficult, I think back to that moment and remember things could be a lot worse.
What is the best thing about performing at the Camden fringe?
For me it’s a relief to not have to travel to Edinburgh, haha! But also it feels like a fringe. Edinburgh is amazing but it’s so many TV comics too much industry, not enough spotlight on the art itself. The Camden Fringe seems to focus on the content, not just the personality of the creator.
What are your three favourite things about Camden?
The alternative nature of the area.
The memories I’ve made there. Many years from my youth were spent in Camden. Mainly late nights.
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
This is from a Rayguns show – “The best thing about an Emo hairstyle? It cuts itself”
It just tickles me. It especially pleases me when it dies. In certain places, they have no idea what an emo is so it sometimes gets such a confused response and then you hear the younger people whispering what it means to the older crowd.
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
Someone who works in Hollywood. Actually in the industry. Just so they can see their world through my lens. I imagine they live in quite a bubble so I’d like to show them how absurd their industry and their fandoms are.
The iconic image of the Camden Fringe is the Pigeon – if you could call this years pigeon a name to represent its style what would it be and why?
Well it looks like a Victoria to me. But the sort who wouldn’t let you call them Vic or Vickie. Only Victoria. Looks like a character who dresses and acts like they don’t care what other people think but deep down they really do care. Which frankly is the perfect representation of every performer who’s ever taken to the stage.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
My twitter is @themattblair, my instagram and facebook is @mattblairmusic and you can also see some videos on my youtube channel youtube.com/mattblairmovies
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Because it’s fun.