Who? Matt Hoss
What? Here Comes Your Man
Where? Just the Tonic at The Grassmarket Centre – Just The Meeting Room (Venue 27)
What are your feelings as you enter into this year’s Edinburgh Fringe season?
A hot mixture of excitement and untimely stress. As a Stand-up Comedian, I am essentially a one–man production team. So I am trying to do the roles of Director, Performer, and Producer all by myself, so it’s pretty full-on! That being said, I am very proud of the show. It’s something I think people will really engage with, so I’m ecstatic that I get to perform it for a month!
Also in my personal life, I’ve been trying to live my best life as much as possible (which links to the themes of the show). So I feel very fit, healthy happy going into the Fringe. I feel ready!
What is the premise of your Edinburgh show this year?
Here Comes Your Man is all about paramours, romance and the events of the last year of my love-life. In my debut hour, I talk about my relationship with relationships and about failing in love. It’s a narrative show, where I talk about how weird and romantically intense I am, and how that impacts me. As well as this, I also open up to talk about the need for men to discuss their feelings more.
The show delivers raw anecdotes, emotionally-honest routines and personable tales of finding and losing his first true love. However it’s not a sad show, its celebratory and upbeat and I take my audiences through a confessional yet sentimental journey about learning to turn break-ups into a positive and non-toxic experience. It’s the most romantic show about a break-up you’ll ever hear.
What is the biggest obstacle you face(d) while putting this show together?
This show has been a very personal show for me to write. As mentioned, the show main narrative arch is about the rise and fall of my first true love (which actually started at the Fringe last year). So I’ve had to be very honest and open my experiences, and I’ve had to revisit every fuck-up for the last year.
‘An unexpected result of doing a show entirely about love is that it has freaked out of lot of people I have dated. So this show has heavily impacted my life beyond the stage.
So I do speak earnestly about a break-up onstage (and also start a conversation about why male comedians are exclusively talking about their break-ups onstage). This requires me to be incredibly vulnerable onstage and emotionally expose all aspects of my personality. This is a tricky obstacle. However I feel that is what makes the show relatable, to see someone go through the hidden things which we don’t talk about. I’ve had people come up to me after previews to say that the show has touched them; hopefully it inspires to be more open with their emotions and to talk frankly with people. So the obstacles give texture and substance to the show.
Also logistically, it’s really difficult to write an Edinburgh Fringe show about your real-life. I started previewing this show in November. I had the basic concept for what I wanted to talk about, but a lot of the story hadn’t quite happened in my real life just yet. So I would be talking about a story with no ending. It was a bit like that scene in Wallace & Gromit’s The Wrong Trousers, in which they’re on a moving train and Gromit is laying down train tracks as they go. This did allow me to focus on writing the jokes and developing a fierce gag-rate. The ending did eventually happened and I think the end result is quite unexpected and has turned out accidentally perfectly.
Has your attitude towards the Fringe changed at all in recent years?
Yes, in a way. So I’m a relative newcomer compared to others. So this is my second full-run at the Fringe, so I’ve recently had the transition from comedy fan/punter to Performer. The changes are pretty obvious: I feel a lot more fatigued as a performer and I don’t see as many shows. The biggest attitude shift was, as a punter, i thought and kind of assumed that everyone who went to the Fringe would turn out to be really rich and famous afterwards (you do not). So I suppose my attitude changed into a professional mind-set, and treating it as a job. However my excitement for the festival still is the same, just that the parameters have changed.
Do you have any other Edinburgh show recommendations?
I have so many! It’s hard to limit it to a handful of recommendations. However I think that Laura Lexx will absolutely smash it out of the park with her new show Knee Jerk. I work a lot with Laura and she has been a massive inspiration for my show this year. She can excellently tie an emotive story with the best gag-rate you have ever seen. That’d be my hot ticket that I would recommend. (Gilded Balloon Teviot -The Turret – 5:15pm)
The show I am most looking forward to see, as a comedy nerd, is Tom Parry: Parryoke! I’m a big fan of Pappy’s; they taught me to be anarchically playful whilst entertaining an audience. Tom Parry in particular showed me in his 2015 solo show, Yellow T-Shirt, how to spread pure joy over the course of an hour. I imagine this show will not be any different! (Pleasance Courtyard – Beside – 18:00)
Bec Hill’s new show I’ll Be Bec is a really fun sci-fi /comedy concept. Bec is a comedic genius onstage and an utter delight offstage. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this show. (Pleasance Dome – 10Dome – 17.40)
Alice Fraser – Mythos. Alice is a Fringe show champion. Her writing is impeccable, she’s incredibly intelligent and her ideas are so innovative. Her shows can be utterly moving too. I can’t wait to see her next instalment. (Gilded Balloon Teviot – Billiard Room – 20:45)
Michael Legge: The Idiot – Michael is one of the loveliest people in the world and an utterly wonderful comedian. His last show, Jerk, was a masterpiece and always think about some of his quotes on a daily basis. I will never tire of watching Michael’s shows. This show will be a delight (if you find an angry Irish man delightful). (The Stand Comedy Club 1 – 12:00)
Finally – Sean Morley: I Will Soon Be Dead and My Bones Will Be Free To Wreak Havoc Upon Earth Once More – now, when people ask me for recommendations, I ALWAYS want to say ‘Sean Morley’. However, I know a lot of people who are going to Edinburgh for the first time and may not appreciate Morley’s ‘alternative’ vibe. But if I ever meet any comedy nerds, I always wholly recommend Sean’s show. Genuinely innovative and highly hilarious – he creates some of the best and most original comedy to date. I’m convinced he will win award very shortly for one of his shows. Go at your own peril. (Heroes @The Hiive – The Bunka – 15:20)
Where would you like to be in a year’s time?
My smart-arse answer would be ‘In the Bahamas, on my private plane with my own entourage, whilst I sit with all my Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Awards’. However, the earnest answer would be ‘Slowly stressing out about my second Edinburgh fringe hour, but being quietly happy, as I believe it to be EVEN better than Here Comes Your Man (whilst I sit with all my Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Awards)’.