Interview with Colin Hoult/Anna Mann

"Can’t think of anyone who’s really been cancelled who isn’t a total shit. I think it’s just pointing out the emperor has no clothes and I’m all for that."

Interview with Colin Hoult/Anna Mann

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Oh hello! How are you. It’s me, Colin. Sometimes Anna. Lovely to see you. 

How would you describe your show?

As Anna says it’s visceral, real and incredibly brave. She’s a sensational star of stage and screen who has discovered her time may be up. Now she wants to do one last hurrah telling the story of her life with some wonderfully silly jokes and such. 

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

I couldn’t find a comedy festival in Barbados. But also, because it’s huge and wonderful. It has helped me carve my little corner of the world and I’ll always be grateful for that despite all the absolute daylight robbery. 

What differentiates it from other festivals?

Greyfriar’s bobby 

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

I think it was when I played Mr Toad aged 11. It was sadly still my finest performance. I never quite got back to that. Still waiting to top that ‘poop poop’ 

My inspirations were Elvis. 

How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career? 

I was first in my family to go to uni. We were achingly working class, by the time I came along my parents had managed to do ok. But we definitely grew up with a mindset that makes it terrifying for me to put myself out there, despite a constant ADHD need to. The industry is still massively made up of poshies who are often absolute loves but I still find  myself thinking I’d do anything for that level of confidence and assured sense of worth. I think on some level I created Anna so she could give me a way to fake that sort of riskless conviction. 

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

I remember my dad reciting the Ballad of Reading Gaol. He had a wonderful bass voice, and the room would go silent when he started. It was sort of his party piece, not sure why he chose that one. 

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

I really don’t know. I cannot imagine a life without it anymore. I think a race car driver, why not? 

Did Covid-19 change the way you create work? Do you approach shows with a different mentality now? 

It made me accept that what I make is ok. It’s all ok. At least we’re alive and surviving for now - that’s something so might as well do the show I suppose 

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

It’s all been rather wonderful 

Do you subscribe to the idea that art should be exempt from ‘cancel culture’?

Not sure I subscribe to any ideas. I don’t feel I’m informed enough but it seems increasingly that cancel culture is just something forced on us by the far right to give them an excuse to go further right. Can’t think of anyone who’s really been cancelled who isn’t a total shit. I think it’s just pointing out the emperor has no clothes and I’m all for that. But if you mean that when someone is ‘cancelled’ their art is invalid I think…no. But also ew? 

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

I’d love to create with my favourite comedians Steve Martin, Richard Pryor. What a hoot that would be. I’d love it if old Bill Shakes wrote me a soliloquy, but he’s long gone. I’d pull out my back teeth to spend an hour with Nina Simone, Billy Holiday or Leonard Cohen. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

Know what you want it to achieve for you. The minimum thing where you could go ‘oh yeah it was worth doing that because I got to do this or because I would have loads of fun.’ The minimum thing you’d be happy with getting out of it because the rest is really in the hands of the gods. And they’re famously a fickle bunch of twats 

When and where can people see your show?

9.30 at the Pleasance 

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

@colinhoult / @colinhoultsuperstar 


See Colin Hoult: The Death of Anna Mann at the Pleasance during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 3-28 August. For more information and tickets visit www.edfringe.com or www.pleasance.co.uk

Header Image Credit: Linder Blacker

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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