Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Miles Allen delivers his One Man Breaking Bad

This article is from 2014

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Miles Allen delivers his One Man Breaking Bad

Photo: Jay Hynes

'I’m glad I get to be a part of that experience: you can come up and say “bitch” at me all you want'

Miles Allen is doing all the voices and I’m wondering how I’m going to write it down. ‘Yo, it’s kinda my thing, bitch,’ he says, with the back-of-the-throat stoner growl of Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman. Then he switches: ‘One of the characters I didn’t expect to like is Skyler,’ he says, adopting Anna Gunn’s voice of controlled panic. Now he’s doing the nasal slur of RJ Mitte’s Walter White Junior and we fall into a discussion about the ethics of imitating (or not imitating) someone with cerebral palsy.

If none of this means anything to you, then you haven’t worked your way through the five seasons and 62 episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix or DVD box-set and will be innocent to the story of Walter White, the mild-mannered high-school chemistry teacher who becomes the producer of the purest crystal meth in the state of New Mexico.

Allen’s 60-minute distillation (that’s an average of one episode every 58 seconds) began with a YouTube video in which he appeared as a homeless man, with thick beard and no shirt, doing Breaking Bad impressions for food (you can watch it below). It clocked up more than a million hits and he realised he was onto something: ‘Why not condense the entire series into one hour when people are off their Breaking Bad meth fix? We can give them that high again.’

As if that was not ambitious enough, Allen also finds time in the show for pop-culture references to Family Guy, Pulp Fiction and The Lord of the Rings. ‘Imitation is the highest form of flattery,’ he says. ‘For me, One Man Breaking Bad was a huge love letter to the show. I’m glad I get to be a part of that experience of this beautiful nostalgia for it: you can come up and quote Jesse Pinkman’s “bitch” at me all you want.’

Famous Spiegeltent, 0844 693 3008, 1–4, 6–11 Aug, 7pm, £15 (£12); Stand III & IV, 558 7272, 13–18, 20–24 Aug, times vary, £12.

Homeless Man does Breaking Bad impressions for food (Homelessberg)

One Man Breaking Bad

  • 3 stars

One man. Sixty minutes. Sixty episodes. Shedloads of knowledge. Miles Allen brings TV smash Breaking Bad to life, all by himself.

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