Interview with Alex Gwyther

"I don’t look through newspapers and decide to write something. If an idea hits me like a ten ton of bricks and I need to drop everything to tell this story then I know it’s something important."

Interview with Alex Gwyther

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hello. I’m Alex Gwyther, a writer and actor based in London.

How would you describe your show?

Ripped is a dark, funny, powerful one man play exploring toxic masculinity and male trauma.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

I first performed here in 2013 with my first one-man play Our Friends, The Enemy. It was tough, tiring but so much fun, so demanding. I learnt a lot in that month and I wanted to come back again with a new one man play.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

Edinburgh Festival is a jungle of live art like nowhere else on the planet. The buzz and vibrancy of the city is overrun with performances and it's a feeling like no other to be amongst that.

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

To be honest, I don’t think there was any motivation. I knew I always wanted to write and be a writer. I began by performing poems and spoken word in London and turned one poem I had into a theatre show.

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

Wishing I had my current job.

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

This one.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

Trying to pee my name on the wall in primary school.

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

No pressure at all. I don’t look through newspapers and decide to write something. If an idea hits me like a ten ton of bricks and I need to drop everything to tell this story then I know it’s something important.

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

People are getting better, and becoming more aware of issues in the world. People want to change things and see change. This is great for theatre. I don’t think theatre has ever been so needed and so relevant. It’s so exciting.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

It has been a rollercoaster.

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

Bruce Lee. Would love to write a film with him.

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?

It must all boil down to money. Some performers do amazing on the Free Fringe and no doubt recuperate a lot of their expenditure back. Likewise, a lot of performers have a terrible time on the ticketed events. Realistically I think you have to decide what do you want from the Fringe, why are you bringing your show here and what can you afford?

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

Be very clear with yourself as to why you want to take the show to the Fringe and what you want to achieve out of it. Then, do it. Don’t hesitate. Once you’ve committed, go for it. Just f*****g go for it. Once here, look after yourself, remember why you wanted to take the show here.

When and where can people see your show?

1:00 Belly Laughs, Cowgate, Underbelly.

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

Header Image Credit: Pamela Raith Photography


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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