Describe your show to us

Heads Up is a story about the end of the world. But really it’s about anxiety, alienation, and late capitalism. It’s a story told in second person about these lives playing out in this city, which is a stand-in for the city we sit in, now. I tell the story at a desk, with two audio samplers from I which I also operate sounds and music. If it sounds weird I suppose that’s because it is, but there is I think a kind of logic to it all. And there are jokes in it too, honest.

 

How does it feel returning to Edinburgh after your success last year?

It’s nice to be part of the British Council showcase and a bit of a treat to only be performing for the last week if I’m honest. Bringing a tried and tested show back to the Fringe is, while admittedly a little less exciting than premiering brand new work, also definitely less nerve-wracking too.

 

What is your top Fringe survival tip?

It can really feel like there is a lot of pressure at the Fringe, it is a real cauldron of critical attention. That can be great, and very enabling, but it can and does also take its toll on the artists performing there. Last year, I had no idea really what we’d made, or if it was actually any good. So in order to keep the head down and look after myself I decided not to ready any reviews. Some friends and peers and done this and recommend it. I found it pretty liberating and I’ve still not read anything that anyone has written about it.

 

What is the best and worst thing about the festival?

The best thing is having artists and companies that I love and admire show up on my doorstep. As an artist based in Scotland, the Fringe gives me access to work and to relationships that I wouldn’t otherwise have – and I genuinely love it for that. The worst thing? Unsustainable exploitative labour practices. A debt-inducing pay-to-play culture that excludes whole demographics from participating either as artists or venue staff. The “you can sleep in September” type celebration of pressure and exhaustion that actually batters people’s mental health. Ticket prices. Inflated Edinburgh rents. Basically all the stuff that you can file under “hyper-accelerated capitalist art fair.”

Image: Niall Walker 

WHERE & WHEN

Heads Up, Summerhall, 22-27 August, 7.40pm, £12

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