Interview with John Hegley

John Hegley takes some time to talk to Voice about the show, inspirations, and to give advice to young people.

Interview with John Hegley

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hello reader, I am a writer and I perform what I have written with music and drawings and quips and chips off the old potato.

How would you describe your show?

An event meant for those intent on singing along and having some small sense of belonging- people not averse to versification?

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

This festival is a chance to dance and to chip in with your own bit in the big whirling whole of it.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

The crags. The Lothian buses. The Portobello beach time opportunity. The old chums of the slums of Reekie. The Traverse Theatre. The Museum of Modern Art. (And much, much mare). [sic].

Do you think the Fringe has changed over the years? If so, how? Are these changes positive or negative?

There were more leafleteers last time I went; the 'positiveness' or otherwise of this experience depends on the gambit and the ambience of the handing over.

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

Two industrious motivationals have been John Cooper Clarke and John Dowie who showed me pathways of popular poetry and one person performing respectively. Also, Morrissey and Elvis Costello, who demonstrate that song writing can have an existential component. I came to this line of work firstly because I want to sing.

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

If not a performer I would like to have a go at teaching in France.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

I think, refer to the previous question.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

Filling the black and white line drawings in my mum's magazines with colouring.

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?

My pieces are not frequently topical.

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

I cannot immediately think of any such shiftyness.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

The past.

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

Joan of Arc. I would like to work with her in a French classroom environment. I think she would be an inspiration to the children in terms of being a model of being able to achieve stuff and I think some of them would like her armour. It would also be good to bring her into classrooms on my own island; I think that everywhere she would be found to be a healthy subversion of gender stereotyping.

Why would a performer opt to do either a ticketed event or participate in the free fringe? What are the benefits and limitations of both?

I think others might speak more eloquently on this subject as I have much smaller experience of the free Fringe.

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

For a first timer perhaps, one thing might be: What is YOUR bit that you can chip in to the big mulching festive stew?

When and where can people see your show?

Assembly Rooms for nine afternoons roundabout the middle of the festive time.

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

My website is

John Hegley: Peace, Love and Potatoes is performing at Assembly Checkpoint at 14:30 on 13th – 21st August. For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is a Politics graduate, and holds a Masters in Journalism. He serves as Editor for Voice, and has an almost unhealthy obsession with Batman. His hobbies include gaming and reading graphic novels - his current go to series is Bill Willingham's Fables.

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