Garry Starr: 'I'm terrified I'll poop myself while dancing in my white thong'
- Brian Donaldson
- 23 July 2019
This article is from 2019
The 'actor's actor' muses on nudity, neds and the utter genius of Rob Schneider
After a ballsy (literally on occasion) Fringe debut last year, Garry Starr brings us yet more of his actorly genius and theatrical wisdom wrapped up in a story of myth and madness.
After that aesthetic and moral masterclass of Fringe 2018, what has made you turn to Troy for your latest epic stage affair?
Immediately following EdFringe last year, where I single-handedly saved the performing arts, I was in need of inspiration for my next show and decided to embark on a 90-day silent meditation retreat in the Scottish Highlands. Two hours into it I still hadn't had any epiphanies and the midges were really bad so I just thought, bugger it, I'll make a show about Troy.
While digging around in the Trojan / Brad Pitt section of my local library, I discovered that the carpenter who built the giant wooden horse used by the Greek army to conquer Troy was a man named Garry Starrtacus. I asked my nan and she said he was probably my great-grandfather. So I made a show about him.
If you are the 'actor's actor', who is the 'actor's actor's actor'?
When it comes to the craft of acting, it's hard to go past Robert Michael 'Rob' Schneider who brings such authenticity to his characters it's almost as if he isn't acting at all. His portrayal of a youthful femme in 'Rob Schneider is The Hot Chick' is nothing short of breathtaking.
Is dance your first love? And if so, is it likely to be your last?
Dance and I have a complicated relationship. It certainly was my first love (I famously performed an arabesque during my 19-week ultrasound) but it won't be my last. We tend to see other artforms on a regular basis and come together only intermittently for a 'top-up' of intimacy. Last I heard s/he was having a rather raunchy love affair with ceramics and I've been getting jiggy with architecture.
What, if anything, make you fearful on stage?
My greatest fear on stage is that people will laugh at me. As anyone who has seen my shows will know, I'm a very serious artist and go to great lengths to create a sense of tension through prolonged silence and stillness. I'm also terrified I'll poop myself while dancing in my white thong.
What levels of nudity (whether semi, full or implied) can audience members expect this year during your show?
So far, I keep most of my clothes on for this new show but, to be honest, I don't really start the show wearing much. I think I've found a few moments to flash my bumhole but there's nowhere near as much nudity as last year. That all could change of course.
What would constitute a successful August for you?
A successful August for me would be big crowds of lovely people coming to see my show and laughing hysterically (I lied about the prolonged silence before) and still finding time to hang out with my friends. If I manage to avoid getting sick or injured or abducted by neds I will be over the moon.
Garry Starr Conquers Troy, Underbelly Cowgate, 3–25 Aug (not 12, 19), 8pm, £11.50–£12.50 (£10.50–£11.50). Previews 1 & 2 Aug, £6.50.