Fringe comedy debut: Rhys Mathewson
The comedian performs debut solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013
This article is from 2013.
What do you think might work out as the best piece of advice you receive ahead of your Fringe debut?
A few people have told me that everyone has a breakdown at some point. And it's nice to know going in that at some point I'm going to be crying in a chip shop. If you overhear someone saying, ‘no salt ‘n’ sauce for me thanks, these tears make them salty enough’, feel free to come and say hi.
What do you expect will be the least useful piece of advice?
Don't party too hard. Edinburgh is a month-long party, and to make sure I'm ready to handle it, I drink heavily the other 11 months of the year as a form of ‘Edinburgh training.’
Imagine this is September: looking back at August, what would constitute a successful Fringe?
My general standard of success when I look back at every month of my life is ‘at least I didn't die’. It's a pretty great strategy to feeling good about myself because it is literally the absolute minimum a human can achieve. I don't mean to brag, but I'm pretty successful.
In krugerrands, how much do you expect to lose during the Fringe?
Based on the krugerrand's market value of £193 at the time of writing and using an average audience size and extensive budgeting, I have managed to ballpark my loss somewhere between ‘a shitload’ and ‘a metric fucktonne’.
Back in the old days, there used to be a thing called ‘the festival shag’. Is this ancient tradition likely to play any part in your thinking during August?
I'm not the sort of guy who can at any moment in space or time say that I can guarantee a shag (or ‘root’, as we call it in New Zealand). So, I dunno. I want to say I hope so, but then that kind of makes me sound like a dick. Why? Do you know anyone who's offering?
Back in the old days, comedians would drink alcohol solidly for a whole month and still manage to get out and do their show every day: how much are you likely to imbibe per day?
Probably heaps. I don't really drink before I go onstage, unless it's a late show, in which case I've normally vommed once or twice before the gig. Luckily my show's on fairly early, so come 8:15 when I've clocked off, you'll find me downing shandies, popping a couple of Strepsils and getting stuck in.
What qualities do you expect from a Fringe venue?
Lights and sound. Based on what I've heard, expecting an audience is pure arrogance.
Will you read your reviews before your run is over and if so, how do you think they will affect you as a comedian and as a human being?
I always read reviews. I overheard a performer talking about their previous year's show saying they'd stopped reading reviews because audiences and comedians liked it but critics didn't. Really? You mean the people who know comedy but aren't your friends didn't think it was up to much? Yeah, you're right, it's probably their fault. I mean, it's not like their opinion has been deemed worthy enough to be paid for and put into print or anything.
Next year, will you consider returning as a double act?
I am too narcissistic and controlling as a human to share the limelight with someone else. Unless they're willing to pay for everything.
Do you undertake any superstitious rituals before going on stage?
I have a can of energy juice ten minutes before the show, because a later life of diabetes is totally worth having the right energy levels for your first 20 minutes on stage.
If you were about to perform at the Fringe for your tenth year, where would you expect your career to be at that point?
I'd hope by that point I wasn't losing money on the Fringe. I really hope that's not the funniest response to any of these questions.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 3–26 Aug (not 13), 7.15pm, £10. Previews 31 Jul–2 Aug, £6.