Matt Green is an actor, comedian and writer, and this year brings his 5th solo stand up show to the Edinburgh Fringe. His show is called ‘Alive’ and is a run down of all the ailments and accidents that he has survived to remain alive. Green’s set is a very personal account of his own tortures, but also takes route down a funny anecdotal path as he lists the absurd ways other people have died. As Matt prepares to wrap up his successful 2013 Edinburgh Fringe show ‘Alive’, I took the opportunity to talk to him about his time here.
SF: Hello Matt Green, how are you and how is the festival?
MG: I am alright, the festival is nearly over; it always feels like a week too long for me so it’s the last week now and it’s nearly all over. But yes I’m still feeling good and still enjoying myself, and really looking forward to the last two shows.
SF: Your show is called ‘Alive’, can you tell me a bit about it please?
MG: The show is about things that haven’t killed me yet basically. So that is the theme really, and I also talk about reasons that people have been killed over the years. It is also about things in my life that I feel could have gone the wrong way, some really bad experiences that could have killed me, but ended up being okay because I am still here! It is stand-up so there are lots of jokes and stories, sort of autobiographical, and people seem to be really interested in the structure and the way it goes. I found a list online of all the ways people have died in the UK, reasons for cause of death and I went through and picked out ones that I thought could have affected me.
SF: What is your favourite story from the show?
MG: I think my favourite stories are ones that happened to me as a kid, I won’t spoil it here, but there is a lot of detail about it throughout and a lot of silliness when explaining what happened.
SF: Where did most of your ideas come from?
MG: I think every year you come up with a different way of way of writing. Every year at Edinburgh I challenge myself to write something completely different. Last year I did a more topical show which had a more blissful satirical side to it, but this year I wanted to do something a lot more personal and I had some stories that I already knew I wanted to talk about. It was then just finding a way of framing those, establishing them and always keeping to something other people will want to listen too.
SF: So this is not your first time at the Festival?
MG: No, I’ve been loads of times. This is my tenth festival, or maybe even more than that. I first came as a student in the late 90s and I’ve been most years since then. There was a couple of years I didn’t, but this is my 5th solo show so I’ve obviously been through a lot of stuff that I’ve used, and every year I need to find a new angle to approach it from.
SF: What is this year’s main difference?
MG: The more personal side for me, and the story-telling side of it. And, yeah, just revealing more about myself – in the past I’ve always told stories about other people but this year it is all about me.
SF: And are you involved in anything else during the Fringe this year?
MG: Yes, I’m doing lots of other shows, lots of other gigs around the festival, but mainly, I’m doing a play called ‘Sex Lives of Others’ which is on at the Pleasance and has been going really well and I’m having a fun time.
SF: So what do you prefer doing, comedy or play?
MG: It’s good to do both. I find whenever I am doing stand up I miss doing something a bit more collaborative, but when you are doing just a play you always feel like you want to do your own thing. So it’s good to balance it out.
SF: As you say, it’s nearing the end of the festival now, what have been your highlights?
MG: I’ve seen some really great shows, Claudia O’Doherty and Brett Goldstein were both great. I’ve also done some really interesting gigs, this year there are gigs with some very different formats. There is one called ‘Joke Thieves’ where you swap material with another comedian and you do that for 5 minutes. I think that is what the Fringe is all about, you’d never normally get to do that, it’s just do your set then you’re off.
SF: What is next for Matt Green after the festival?
MG: Back to London, back to the circuit, and there is every chance I may tour this show a bit. And then I guess it’s back to thinking about Edinburgh, will I be back? It’s a yearly process, I’ve already had a few ideas for next year.
Matt Green has two performances of ‘Alive‘ left at Pleasance Dome.