Eli Matthewson talks about the best brands of lube to use in his new Edinburgh Fringe show

Name: Eli Matthewson
Name of Edinburgh show: The Year of Magical Fucking
Venue: Underbelly – Wee Coo
Performance time: 9.20pm
Show length: 55 mins
Ticket price: from £7.30 – £10.80

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I was brought up in Christchurch and I got my start with an improv company called the Court Jesters. I moved up to Auckland to train to be a serious-Shakespeare actor but while I was there I tried my first stand-up gig and… there was no going back.

Since then I’ve been gigging non-stop, MCing and Headlining around the country as well as writing and appearing on some of our biggest comedy shows – 7 Days, Jono and Ben and Funny Girls. I do a podcast with my comedy pal Chris Parker, which was recently turned to a TV show with TVNZ on Demand.

I perform every week with an improv troupe called Snort, which also includes Rose Matafeo, Alice Snedden and Joseph and Laura from Two Hearts who are all at Edinburgh Fringe this year, and we basically hang out every day – making food, playing board games and getting into a absolutely no trouble because we are all squares.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
My show is called ‘The Year of Magical F*cking’ and it follows the year after I read a big Time Magazine study which said that millennials are having less sex than their parents.

It follows me having a year of getting my freak on and trying to be my most sexually liberated, free version of myself, before I meet a little someone who changes all of that.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I’ve been working on the show since 2017; I performed at the NZ International Comedy Festival last year where it was nominated for Best Show. Since then I’ve been working it, touring it and finessing it to make sure it’s at its absolute best for its big Scottish debut.

I think the tension between millennials and baby boomers is always ripe for discussion and the statistics about sex got to me especially. How can we be losing at sex! Surely that’s something young people are meant to be good at!

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
This will be my first year there doing a solo stand-up show – does anyone have any tips for me? My main tip is to have a torch available at all times in case when I am drunk, I need to climb up Arthur’s seat.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I once did a gig for a nudist colony at their new year’s party. I was only 21 so I was to shy to accept their invitation to join the uniform, which I regret to this day. That was embarrassing to me; trying to be the funniest person in the room while fully clothed when everyone is naked. People say that imagining the audience naked will help your performance – when they literally are it does not help. They were bold and beautiful and took me down with heckles way better than my gear.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
I fell in love with stand-up through watching clips of Sarah Silverman and I still re-watch the exact same clips and laugh all the way through! I saw Celia Pacquola in Edinbrugh in 2012 and have been in awe of her ever since. These days, I’m loving Michelle Wolf and Julio Torres. Through the NZ fest I’ve been super lucky to meet James Acaster, Nish Kumar and Sara Pascoe who I absolutely adore. I’m also super inspired by all my kiwi mates who are coming over this year, Rose Matafeo is KILLING it and it’s so well deserved.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Put on my headphones and lip-sync to Little Mix, please don’t judge.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Alice Snedden, Paul Williams, Two Hearts, Emma Sidi.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Because I share some truly horrific stories from my fun life having gay sex. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn something (at least about which brands of lube are best).

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