FESTIVAL ALTER EGO Q&A – Andy Cannon / Macbeth

0
16

Deadline News reviews and reports from Edinburgh Festival Fringe

AS PART of Deadline at the Fest, we are interviewing performers from across the month by putting 20 questions to them – both as an artist and as their stage or performance alter ego.

 

ANDY Cannon is a much loved Scottish storyteller and Fringe stalwart who translates the tales of some of the literary greats, like Robert Louis Stevenson and Shakespeare, into funny and accessible yarns for children and audiences of all ages.
This year he reworks Macbeth, a production he has been touring now for a decade, to great critical acclaim.
Is This A Dagger? The Story of Macbeth, Red Bridge Arts, is showing until August 20 (NOT 17) at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

 

Scottish actor Andy Cannon
Picture Contributed

What are your first impressions of our fair city and why are you here?
I love it – I live here.

Does your visit bring on joy or dread?
Both – I’m delighted to have been selected to be part of Creative Scotland’s MADE IN SCOTLAND 2017 programme which is a great honour – the only thing that fills me with dread is negotiating the public transport challenge of getting to the theatre due to the seemingly never ending road works!

Are you a happy soul or do the occasionally dreich elements make you morose?
I do get down from time to time and a bit maudlin – but then I remind myself that I’m in an incredibly privileged position to be pursuing such a rewarding occupation with lots of support from my family, friends and colleagues.

Where will you visit on your day off and why?
My flat. I’m hardly there and the laundry and household chores are beginning to stack up…

Do you ever get jealous of other performers? Can you name one or two?
I don’t think so – no one springs to mind. I do sometimes find myself coveting a performer’s musical skills (particularly someone with a great singing voice) – but I’m not jealous of them (it’s more rather that I’d love to join in!).

Did you have a happy childhood? 
Mhmm – now there’s a question… I had a very happy childhood – when I was not at school. School and I didn’t get on – for lots of reasons that would fill at least a couple of pages.

What does failure mean to you? Does it make you shrink or grow?
I’m not good with failure – as to why? See above. As I have gotten older I’ve got better at managing my relationship with failure and try to grow from it – after briefly shrinking. However working in theatre as I do, failure (or the perception of a failure), is often very public so it’s an occupational hazard you have to learn to roll with, look in the eye, accept and move on.

Are you superstitious when it comes to performing?
Not at all – I believe It’s unlucky to be superstitious!

What is your biggest fear before going on stage?
Forgetting to put on my cycle shorts.

What is your favourite saying?
Carpe diem

What is your worst habit?
Procrastination 

What do you love/hate about the festival?
I love the fact that the world looks to my hometown as an international hub – if not THE hub – of artistic experimentation and creativity for three weeks every year.
What I hate? Hate is a strong word so I’d rather say what disappoints me – and I’m straying into politics here… but I’m disappointed that the incredible amount of money that the festivals generates for hotels, universities and the likes doesn’t seem to find its way back into the cultural sector. Just about every artist performing on the Fringe makes a loss – and international business and institutions make a killing.

Tell me about your most passionate embrace.
Too many to remember… 

Do you wear knickers under your kilt?
See above.

Most embarrassing moment?
Nothing springs to mind – though I live in fear of forgetting people’s names in social situations which happens – I’m embarrassed to say – a lot.

Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
Edinburgh & Leith – it’s home.

Who would you be if you were not you?
Bryce Harper 

What Scottish delicacies do you intend to sample and, do any of them fill you with fear?
I really enjoy Venison Stew and am very fond of haggis too (and my mum’s haggis lasagne) When I was wee I enjoyed all the usual sweet stuff – Snowballs, Macaroon Bars, Irn Bru and the like but I’m pleased to say that my palate has matured since then – though I do enjoy a malt (Talisker being my nip of choice – one I share with Robert Louis Stevenson who called Talisker “The King of drinks”)

What is your greatest ambition?
To continue to be fortunate enough to continue doing what I am doing (and decorate my flat!)

How can we bring world peace?
By listening. 

MACBETH (As portrayed by Andy Cannon)

Andy Cannon in Is This A Dagger The Story of Macbeth
PICTURE BY SANDY BUTLER.
Scottish actor Andy Cannon performs his version of Macbeth at Edinburgh Fringe 2017

First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?
It’s a very impressive Royal seat and I’m looking forward to moving into the castle now that I’m the rightful King of Scotland (though it’s a bit too close to those troublesome Northumbrians for my liking.) 

Does your visit bring on joy or dread?
Both – see above

Are you a happy soul or do the occasionally dreich elements make you morose?
I’ve been drifting into bouts of deep melancholy lately to tell truth – after everything that has happened lately I find myself wondering what it is all about – life? As it creeps “in this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time…”

Where will you visit on your day off and why?
The launderette. I’ve been strutting and fretting for over a week now – my royal robes are minging.

Do you ever get jealous of other performers? Can you name one or two? 
Performers?! This is not an act – I’m the king! 

Did you have a happy childhood?
By and large yes – until my cousins murdered my father.

What does failure mean to you? Does it make you shrink or grow?
Failure? Not a chance – haven’t you heard? “I bear a charmed life, which must not yield to one of woman born” 

Are you superstitious when it comes to performing?
What are you suggesting?! Who have you been talking to?! I’m desperately trying to turn away from such beliefs as I now realise what my old friend meant when he cautioned that supernatural forces “tell us truths”, only “to win us with honest trifles.”  

What is your biggest fear before going on stage?
That I have forgotten to put on my cycle shorts under my kilt.

What is your favourite saying?
“If your parents never had any children… it’s very unlikely that you will” – it’s my current political strategy (In fact I was thinking about getting it printed on a baseball cap – either that or “Make Moravia Great Again!)

What is your worst habit?
Treachery 

What do you love/hate about the festival?
All these people telling my story and getting it so terribly wrong.

Tell me about your most passionate embrace.
As I held King Duncan near (to make sure he didn’t make a sound as he threw off his mortal coil…)

Do you wear knickers under your kilt?
See above – or should that be below?

Most embarrassing moment?
Raging at Banquo when he apparently wasn’t even there – N.B. “I have a strange infirmity” (though he was there – honest)

Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
Dunsinane – it’s where I feel safe.

Who would you be if you were not you?
Tree surgeon 

What Scottish delicacies do you intend to sample and, do any of them fill you with fear?
My wife does an amazing Venison stew – with just the slightest hint of blackcurrant – which goes wonderfully well with diet Creamola Foam before a fine Spey side malt (Royal Brackla whisky – Cawdor’s finest which as its name suggests is reserved for only a few – one of the many perks of being a Thane).

What is your greatest ambition?
To stay alive now that I’m finally King

How can we bring world peace?
Just do what I say and no one is going to get hurt.

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY