ALTER EGO – Arthur Meek/ Lord Erewhon

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Deadline at the Fringe are interviewing performers across the month, putting 20 questions to them – both as an artist and as their stage or performance alter ego.

Arthur Meek, is a New York-based New Zealand playwright and performer, he is coming to the Fringe as the star of Erewhorn. Which uses an antique magic lantern projector, an iPhone 6 and a live musical score to shine a new light on Samuel Butler’s classic sci-fi novel.

Photo: David Meyer

Arthur Meek

  1.     First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?

History set in stone. I’m here to perform Erewhon – a show about a man from the past who tries to colonize people from the future.

  1.     Does your time here bring on joy or dread?

Joy.

  1.     Are you a happy soul or do the occasionally dreich elements make you morose?

Ich leibe the dreich.

  1.     Where will you visit on your day off and why?

I’m off to Fettes to see www.thehouseofautomata.com. Michael and Maria Start did an incredible job bringing the show’s 19th Century Magic Lantern – the earliest form of projector – back to life.

  1.     Do you ever get jealous of other performers?

I embody different characters. I’m in awe of Kali Kopae in Not in Our Neighbourhood (Assembly) who embodies different people.

  1.     Did you have a happy childhood?

Unfortunately, yes. I have to look beyond myself to find drama.

  1.     What does success and failure mean to you?

Personal connection, or lack thereof.

  1.     Are you superstitious when it comes to performing?

I always speak the opening of Henry V as a warmup. “O for a muse of fire…” It says “sorry audience, I can’t pull this off on my own. I need your complicity.”

  1.     What is your biggest fear before going on stage?

Did I switch off my phone?

  1.  What is your favourite saying?

“Make yourself at home.”

  1.  What is your worst habit?

Picking my nose.

  1.  What do you love/hate about the festival?

The compression of it all. Missing that unexpected treat.

  1.  Tell me about your most passionate embrace.

Reuniting with my wife under the Washington Square Arch in New York.

  1.  Do you wear knickers under your kilt?

I believe in free range everything.

  1.  Most embarrassing moment?

Speaking out of turn.

  1.  Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

Home is where my wife is.

  1.  Who would you be if you were not you?

One of my Scottish ancestors, who had the guts to step on a leaky boat and sail into the unknown in the hope of a better life.

  1.  What Scottish delicacies do you enjoy  and, do any of them fill you with fear?

I’m a haggis muncher, I’m on alcoholiday for the length of the festival, so I fear the incredible selection of fairly priced whiskeys.

  1.  What is your greatest ambition?

To wake up at 5.30am.

  1.  How can we bring world peace?

Buy an apartment in the Beehive Hamlet of Erewhon so I can use the proceeds to invent time travel and lead a colony of pilgrims back in time to make a better world.

Photo: Erik Norder

Lord Erewhon

  1.     First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?

The problem with Scotland is the Scots. Bally practice colony, 4/10. Could do better. And we shall (c.f. Rhodesia)

  1.     Does your time here bring on joy or dread?

Dread.

  1.     Are you a happy soul or do the occasionally dreich elements make you morose?

Speak English!

  1.     Where will you visit on your day off and why?

I shall advance on Musselburgh to quell the uprising.

  1.     Do you ever get jealous of other performers?

One day I wish to win an Erewhonian game of Nomis Syas. But I always move when Nomis doesn’t yas.

  1.     Did you have a happy childhood?

Rather! First adventure age eight. I escaped the orphanage.

  1.     What does success and failure mean to you?

Civilization on my terms, or a lack thereof.

  1.     Are you superstitious when it comes to performing?

I don’t go for any voodoo mumbo-jumbo. I simply say the Lord’s prayer, strike a match and fire up the magic lantern.

  1.     What is your biggest fear before going on stage?

That the combustible gases I need to illuminate my magic lantern slides will set fire to the whole theatre and kill everyone in the building.

  1.  What is your favourite saying?

“Fresh horse!”

  1.  What is your worst habit?

Going native.

  1.  What do you love/hate about the festival?

Love the chance to reflect on my adventures. Don’t like being challenged by all those post-colonial perspectives.

  1.  Tell me about your most passionate embrace.

A craggy boulder that I clung to after being swept down a waterfall into Erewhon.

  1.  Do you wear knickers under your kilt?

I wear knickers under my jodhpurs.

  1.  Most embarrassing moment?

Clubbing another man’s seal.

  1.  Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

When Yram told me she wanted to try a monogamous relationship and wondered if I was similarly closed-minded.

  1.  Who would you be if you were not you?

George Eliot. There’s a man who knows what’s what. Great writer.

  1.  What Scottish delicacies do you enjoy  and, do any of them fill you with fear?

I enjoy appropriating highland estates, and I fear maurauding clans.

  1.  What is your greatest ambition?

Learn to sew.

  1.  How can we bring world peace?

What he said.

Show Information

Venue: Cairns Lecture Theatre, 1 Summerhall, EH9 1PL

Dates: 1st-26th Aug (not Mondays)

Times: 13:25 (50 mins)

Tickets:  £5 1st |£7 2nd | All other dates £10 (£8)

Bookings: Here | Fringe Box Office 0131 226 0000 | Summerhall Box Offices

 

 

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