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EDINBURGH 2019: Eli Matthewson Q&A

EDINBURGH 2019: Eli Matthewson Q&A

ELI MATTHEWSON is a young and fabulous darling of the New Zealand stand up scene. He's in the UK this August to perform AN INCONVENIENT POOF at the Edinburgh Fringe, sharing a few - self-deprecating and endearing - things to say about why millennials make lousy activists.

Tell us a bit about An Inconvenient Poof.

This show marks about ten years since I was the Head Environment Prefect at my high school (I don't think that's something normal high schools have, but my school liked to give everyone a special title). Obviously, things for the planet have gotten a lot worse over those ten years, and I'm not always sure I'm doing enough to help. This show is all about trying to live my best life and be the best activist I can, but being held back by the insurmountable pressures put on millennials - not only by generations before us, but also by ourselves.

What was the inspiration for the show?

I'm heavily inspired by the best piece of art ever made about the environment: Earth Song by Michael Jackson. Just kidding! Obviously, he's cancelled, but the original show did feature this song quite prominently, so I am grappling with its inclusion at the moment. He's such a bad guy, but it was quite integral to the show, and my absolute favourite song as a child (obviously I was a very strange child). Might have to put up a sign on the door saying "Trigger Warning: Earth Song"

It all sounds quite heavy- are you sure it's a comedy?

It is. But should it be? Sometimes I read these headlines that are like "Human Civilisation Will Be Over by 2050" and I'm like maybe we should never laugh again... Or maybe we should laugh more with our short time left and just appreciate that we don't really have to worry about our student loans anymore. But I wouldn't worry about this show being too serious - a lot of the jokes are actually just about things like lube.

Who do you think should come and see it?

Honestly, I think any millennial or anyone wanting to know our secrets should come to the show. It's about all the things that me and everyone my age let get in the way of us actually doing something to save the planet: indoor plants, TV shows, MDMA, think pieces, Aperol Spritzes, fluid queer identities... all our favourite things.

What's next for you after the festival?

I was going to go on a gorgeous holiday with my boyfriend. However unfortunately, but also luckily for my depressing bank account, I got a job Head Writing for a panel show back home, so I will literally be doing my last show and flying back to NZ (I think it's about a 2000 hour flight) as quickly as possible. So for that reason I will be making the absolute MOST of my time in Edinburgh, see you there xoxo

Eli Matthewson's 'An Inconvenient Poof' is at Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 31st July - 26th August (not 12th). Tickets and more information: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/eli-matthewson-an-inconvenient-poof

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