Name: Craig Malpass
Name of Edinburgh show: The Spider Glass
Venue: The Space Triplex Studio
Performance time: 1:35pm
Show length: 50 minutes
Ticket price: £8 (£7 concession)
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I’ve been a playwright and performer for the best half of two decades.
Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
The Spider Glass is an invitation to men to look at their own story of masculinity, particularly in the landscape of #MeToo. In the character of James, we witness just one man’s story of how toxic attitudes and behaviours have developed despite being a ‘nice guy’. In the wake of #MeToo, as a man it’s easy to point to the physical abusers and say ‘I’m not like them’ and ignore the fact that there’s work to be done for ourselves and the ones we love. The Spider Glass invites audiences to see why we need to change as individuals and as a culture and challenges them to do something about it.
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I first came up with the show to years ago and I was about male suicide and the affect it left on those left behind. However, when the #MeToo gained speed my, my own sense of shame in my complicity in the sexist society that we live in challenged me to look deeper and do something about it – I acknowledged I needed to change. I think many men find the current landscape a difficult one to tread. In 2018, it’s time for men to step forward and we need to do that together – let’s start shining a light on our story of masculinity and create something better for ourselves and the world we live in.
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Be kind, to yourself and others. There’s a lot of stress in bringing a show up as so much has been emotionally invested. Take a few minutes to yourself each day to relax. Ask people about their shows as well as talking about yours. The Fringe is a rich community of people who love the arts – it’s a month to truly meet your tribe.
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I once wore a prosthetic piece on my nose for a character who then goes on to have a nose job later in the play. During a passionate kissing scene the procedure happened a little earlier than planned and the piece of putty fell to the floor. They say you can lose a part of yourself in a role, but that was taking it a little far.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
I really admire Gecko and Frantic Assembly – I think the work they come up with is innovative and always changing. Trusting those you work with is key to coming up with shows that make an impact and they seem to radiate joy in the craft and community of making excellent theatre. That’s what it’s all about.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Not a ritual as such but I sometimes ask myself ‘Why are you doing this again?’ as the nerves kick in…and then I remember ‘Oh yeah. You love it!’ and then the feelings reveal themselves as excitement just before I step on stage.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Murder She Didn’t Write – manly from Bristol, like myself, this is by far the best improv show I’ve ever seen at The Fringe. An improv murder mystery it’s different every night, full of pathos as well as great gags, it’s different every time. I’ll no doubt be going a few times across the festival.
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Our story of masculinity must change, as individuals and as a culture. The Spider Glass is an invitation for men to step forward and see the damage they are doing to themselves and others, whilst understanding that this is a story we have inherited. It’s our responsibility to changes and it’s liberating when we start doing so – together.