It is August which only means one thing – it is Camden Fringe time! Over the next few weeks we are chatting to acts that are performing at the festival and finding all about their show and what they would call this years iconic Camden Fringe Pigeon! Today we speak to Matt Hansen about Blue Ink Entertainment‘s show
Date: 1st & 2nd August
Ticket Link: https://camden.ssboxoffice.com/events/someone-elses-shoes/
Hello! Tell us about yourself.
I am an actor, writer and producer. I graduated from the University of Gloucestershire in 2019 with a First in English Language and joined the National Youth Theatre. Whilst at university, I appeared in productions at the Cheltenham Playhouse and the Kings Theatre Gloucester, reviewed as giving “a mature comic performance especially for such a young performer” [Gloucestershire Live]. My feature film debut came in 2020 with a supporting role in ‘Palindrome’ [Best Film, New York Film Awards] and I played the lead role in MetFilm’s feature ‘What Happened to Mrs Rogers?’, scheduled to premiere at film festivals in 2022.
Like many people, I started writing in lockdown and quickly fell in love with it. I contributed a monologue called ‘The Keys in the Door’ as part of the online series 10:10:10 by Mint Face Productions in aid of the charity Acting for Others. My feature film ‘Love My Boy’ was a finalist for Best Screenplay at the Independent Film Awards (London) in July 2022, and my short film ‘I’m Not Finished’ is in early development. I produced the play ‘Jammy Dodgers’ at The Cockpit, Edgware Road, in 2021. ‘Someone Else’s Shoes’ is my first play for the fringe.
How did you come up with the name of your show that you’re taking to the Camden Fringe?
Funnily enough, credit for that must go to my mum! I was describing the idea one morning, and she said “So, you’re putting the audience in someone else’s shoes?” and from that moment, it stuck!
Tells us a little bit about your style of show.
It’s partly inspired by Alan Bennett’s ‘Talking Heads’ and Mark Gatiss’ ‘Queers’, in that the show is a series of five monologues, all written and performed by different artists, each based on a socially-relevant issue. The pieces are all different in terms of their genre, style and message. Each piece of the collection is written with an underrepresented voice in mind, and focuses on true, personal stories. The cast and crew are all alumni of the National Youth Theatre.
What will your set be about?
You Say, written by Tolu Fagbayi and performed by Lilith Wake, is a spoken-word piece about being a young, determined woman in today’s society, and the complexities this brings.
Altar Call, by James Tibbles, examines the difficulties of growing up in the evangelical church as a closeted gay man when your most powerful desire is to simply be perfect.
Lighter, by Eloise Whittaker, discusses body image and social media. Ruby is stuck with many decisions to make. Does she want to conform to the idea of perfectionism in this society, or be who she wants to be freely?
Better Off Not, by Ellie Birch, explores the anti slut-shaming and sexual liberation of women in the 21st century, but what that means when you struggle with romance and relationships and must confront your awkwardness and misgivings.I Have a Voice, by Matt Hansen, takes the audience into the mind of a young man with a stammer, and reveals the frustrations of struggling to speak through a humorous lens.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
I’m especially looking forward to seeing ‘Just Sayin’’ by Tina Zucco and ‘The Phase’ by Georgia Grace Gavin. They’re two fantastic writers I worked with at NYT, and their pieces are wonderful examinations of the lives of young women today. I’m sure they’ll be two future pioneers in female-led productions.
What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year?
Start contacting venues early, be in regular contact with your team (if you have one), have a unique and eye-catching poster, and plug the show as much as you can. A month or two before the show, give flyers and a poster to the venue, and post about it on social media regularly. Contact reviewers and interviewers, like The Phoenix Remix!
What are your favourite things about London?
I don’t know if this weird or not, but I love travelling on the Tube. I oddly enjoy the hustle and bustle in the thick of it. My favourite thing to do in London is walk along the south bank, from the London Eye to the Golden Hinde. You get to see everything from the National Theatre, the Tate Modern, the Millennium Bridge, the Globe, the buskers, and the pop-up bookstalls by the BFI. It’s a walk I do most times I’m in London and I never tire of it, especially in the summer. You get to see all kinds of interesting people, smell the roasted peanuts and grab a pint.
What are your three favourite things about Camden?
The colourful artwork and murals on the walls and bridges are stunning, as is the varied architecture. It’s a fantastic mix of old and industrial, paired with sleeker, modern buildings. You don’t quite know what you’ll see when you turn the corner. There’s almost too much choice of characterful pubs, and they recently filmed ‘Doctor Who’ with David Tennant and Catherine Tate in the area, so it’s well worth a visit to those locations for me!
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
That would have to be the Baldrick’s “Boom, Boom, Boom” war poem in ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ at the Cheltenham Playhouse in 2018. It’s such an iconic line that the audience know to expect, and it never failed to get a big laugh. It was the moment in the show where Baldrick got to take front and centre stage and have his little moment, before going back to making coffee out of mud and hatching cunning plans. Also, Blackadder was the last project of mine my dad got to see before he passed away, so it’ll always have a special place in my heart.
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
Either Alan Bennett or Mark Gatiss, as the show is partly inspired by their works. My other favourite writers are Russell T Davies, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton. I was inspired to start writing after watching ‘Inside No. 9’, so to have them see my work would be incredible – I don’t think I could stop pinching myself!
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?
Percy. With the bowtie, the pigeon comes across as a well-dressed gentleman, and who doesn’t enjoy a little alliteration? It was good enough for Stan Lee!
If people want to find out more about you, where can they follow you on social media?
I can be found on Twitter @MattHansen_ and on Instagram @matthansen17_
For full details and tickets for ‘Someone Else’s Shoes’: Someone Else’s Shoes – Camden Fringe (ssboxoffice.com)
And finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
Relevant, new, inspiring.