DarkChat - Reviewing the Edinburgh Fringe since 2008

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So, what can we expect from " Matthew Crosby: Smaller Than Life"?


It's a stand up show about visiting Russia and wanting to be more like Vladimir Putin.



Do you feel under pressure doing a full solo show this year?


It's my third solo show so I want to make it good but I try not to put too much pressure on myself. That tends to ruin the fun of it all.



Are you excited or nervous?


Excited. It's my first year back at the fringe after a two year break and I've missed it so much.



How have previews been going?


Some have been lovely, others have been a room in Kings Cross with 4 people. Two of whom were the next act waiting to go on.



Are Edinburgh previews enjoyable or just a necessary evil?


Enjoyable and necessary. But never evil. How else do you know if something is funny if you don't preview it? I can't trust my own instincts. They're skewed beyond belief.



Your show runs for an interesting length of fifty minutes. Do you not feel you can be funny alone on stage for an hour?


I think 50 minutes is a fairly standard length for an Edinburgh hour. I'm just being honest about it. Plus, for an audience member, I think it sounds more manageable: “I can get through this, it's only 50 minutes”.



Both you and Ben Clark are performing solo shows this year. Is there a rivalry between you both to get better reviews & bigger audiences?


Oh so close, Dark Chat, so close! It's actually Tom Parry who is doing the solo show. Ben is doing a play (it's called Marriage and it's written by Tom). No, there's no rivalry. I completely adore Tom's show. It's brilliant and everyone should go and see it. I'd be delighted if he sells out every day and gets phenomenal reviews because that's exactly what he deserves.


By the way, if you edit out your mix up between Tom and Ben I will forever think less of you.  (Ed - not a problem Matthew, more than happy to highlight DarkChat Dave's error).



If we could only pick one "Pappys" solo show to see which one should it be and why?


I'm going to say Tom's. Just to prove there's no rivalry.



In 2012 "PAPPYS LAST SHOW EVER" deservedly won the DARKCHAT Award for Best Comedy. "Badults" has had two successful television series. So, why is there no new "Pappys show this year"?


We haven't written one, I'm afraid. I wish we had but we haven't had the time. Plus, after the very intense period from 2011-2014 of spending every day together writing Last Show Ever and then Badults, it was good to take a break.


Just to keep doing stuff together we are taking our Secret Dudes Society show to the fringe (it's us with a live band, plus some special guests) for four nights. We're also doing three nights at the Cabaret Bar at the Pleasance.



There have been a lot of good sketch groups recently but very few have gained television series. Why do you think "Pappys" was selected?


I don't know the answer. That's a question for the commissioner. The script for Badults had been knocking around since about 2008. It just so happened that a new commissioner joined BBC 3 and wanted a big, silly show and we had a script that fit that brief. I think you can drive yourself a bit nutty wondering “why us?” or “why not us?”.



Are you happy with the end product?


Really happy. Very proud. Obviously the studio sitcom has its limitations. As do our abilities as performers. But I had a blast making it and, especially in the second series, I think we made some really funny television that was different to anything else on the TV at the time.



Will the demise of BBC 3 cut back the amount of new comedy on television?


I hope not but it looks like that might be the case. Again, I know as much about the inner machinations of the BBC as you do.



Sketch comedy groups seem to have a limited shelf-life. Is the end in sight for "Pappys"?


We love performing together. And we have 2 shows up at the fringe this year. So as long as we enjoy doing it, we'll keep doing it. That's another reason why doing solo shows is important. I think some sketch teams can only operate as a unit, which limits their career options. I like to think of Pappy's as three already inordinately talented individuals who, when they work together, are greater than the sum of their parts.



Apart from "Pappys" who are your current favourite sketch groups?


Lazy Susan, Birthday Girls, Sheeps, Twins, The Pin.



When was you first Edinburgh festival and why did you come?


It was 1998, I was 18 and a punter not a performer. And it was because my friend Andrew had been the year before and said, “you should come to this. Everyone's doing exactly what you want to do.”



How did the reality differ from your expectations?


It was even better than I expected. I saw Simon Munnery and that was pretty much that. I knew I wanted to be part of the fringe.



What is the best thing about the festival?


The chance to see what everyone has been working on. And to see those performers that, for whatever reason, you don't get to see for the other 11 months of the year.



What is the worst thing about the festival?


It's exhausting and I miss home.



What has changed over the years?


A/ For the better – It's got bigger.


B/ For the worst –It's got bigger.



Who are you most looking forward to seeing in Edinburgh this year?


Stuart Goldsmith, if he doesn't clash with my show, hang on, I'll check.






I've checked and it doesn't. Although it is an hour long, which does slightly put me off.



Despite being inundated with flyers it occurred to us at DARKCHAT that as we are quite organised before we arrive we never watch a show due to a flyer. So, as a first this year we have allocated Sunday 9th August as Flyer Day. The plan is to leave our flat ( near Arthur's Seat) and start walking down Nicholson Street and go to the 1st show we have a flyer for etc, & so forth. Does this sound a genius or a disastrous idea?


A great idea. That's the best way to approach the fringe. See things you've never heard of, take risks, go out on a limb. But obviously come and see my show too.



Finally, how do you plan to survive that month of mayhem?


Regular calls to my Mum.




Details of all the 'Pappy's' shows below and also the Stuart Goldsmith show (which doesn't clash with Matthew's) have alook here:-


Matthew’s show: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/matthew-crosby-smaller-than-life


Tom Parry (I repeat Tom Parry) click here:  https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/tom-parry-yellow-t-shirt


“Marriage” featuring Ben Clark and adapted by Tom Parry:  https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/marriage


Pappys –Live At The Cabaret Bar : https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/pappy-s-live-at-the-cabaret-bar


Stuart Goldmsith: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/stuart-goldsmith-an-hour-free-show


Finally (phew) to buy tickets for Pappys Presents The Secret Dudes Society





Matthew Crosby

We have been fans of Pappys since the days of Pappy's Fun Club  with “Pappys Last Show Ever” winning the coveted DARKCHAT award for Best Comedy show of 2012.


Due to the late announcement of some Pappys  show this year we will not be seeing the group together but can't wait to see Matthew's solo show on Monday 10th August.


To find out how Matthew deals with an interviewer who made an inadvertent typing mistake (Ed - interviewer who researched poorly) read on :