ALTER EGO Q&A – Russell Dean/ Mikey

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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.

Russell Dean, Artistic Director of Strangeface Theatre company has worked as a freelance designer/maker and facilitator for Trestle Theatre Company, Red Ladder, and on Billy Elliot, amongst many others.

Russell wrote and directed The Hit, a solo puppet show born from the question, Who really has control? The production follows the journey of hit man Mikey, a controller of life an death.

Photo submitted

Russell Dean

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

Smooth stone, big windows, high ceilings. Excitement and the need for good shoes.

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

Both in equal measure, so many great shows and people tempered with the fear of some horrific unseen banana skin.

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

Melancholy is a part of my DNA.

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

The Well Hung and Tender burger van.

  1. Do you ever get jealous of other performers?

There’s so much talent here it’s best to enjoy it rather than feeling inferior. That way madness lies.

  1. Did you have a happy childhood?

Not always happy but I have a lot of good stories about growing up with six siblings. I’m surprised we all made it to adulthood.

  1. What does success and failure mean to you?

Success is staying excited, failure is just necessary.

  1. Are you superstitious when it comes to performing?

Don’t we all have lucky pants?

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

Having a coughing fit.

  1. What is your favourite saying?

The consolation of imaginary things is not imaginary consolation

  1. What is your worst habit?

Quoting Roger Scruton.

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

I love the feeling that anything can happen from moment to moment. I hate the fact that at some point I have to sleep.

  1. Tell me about your most passionate embrace.

Three oclock in the morning in a Luxembourg theatre whilst finishing a set for Heart of a Dog.’ We’re married now.

  1. Do you wear knickers under your kilt?

Not since then Luxembourg.

  1. Most embarrassing moment?

Dancing with my eyes closed to Shakin’ Stevens’ Green Door only to find when I opened them the floor had parted to enjoy my moves.

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

Tonbridge park. It has a crazy golf course with no sense of irony. Most days it feels like Mr Benn’s Festive Rd.

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

I always wanted to be Oliver Postgate.  

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

I have an addiction to tablet and before I gave up drinking, a pint of heavy.

  1. What is your greatest ambition?

Aside from not failing too badly at being a parent? I would like to carrying on touring Strangeface shows around the world.

  1. How can we bring world peace?

A little more self knowledge.

Photo submitted

Mikey

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

It’s great to be here! Like a beautiful asylum. I’m Mikey, aka The Ghost, and star of Strangeface’s The Hit.

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

Both, but to different people.

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

You make your own weather.

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

Surgeon’s Hall Museums.

  1. Do you ever get jealous of other performers?

Best be yourself, everyone else is taken.

  1. Did you have a happy childhood?

Childhood is a jungle, not everyone makes it out.

  1. What does success and failure mean to you?

If you have to ask you’ve already failed.

  1. Are you superstitious when it comes to performing?

No, I’m blessed.

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

Losing a limb.

  1. What is your favourite saying?

You can get much further with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.

  1. What is your worst habit?

Quoting Al Capone.

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

I love the anonymity of crowds and hate the possibility of being seen first.

  1. Tell me about your most passionate embrace.

Svetlana Ivanova as she lay dying under a 98 Buick.

  1. Do you wear knickers under your kilt?

No, just a Glock 17.

  1. Most embarrassing moment?

Improvising without a Glock.

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

Tokyo. Clean. Great sushi.

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

Deacon Brodie.

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

I’m a sucker for salmon, but haggis sits a little heavy.

  1. What is your greatest ambition?

To see my daughter smile.

  1. How can we bring world peace?

You are definitely asking the wrong person buddy.

Show Information

Edinburgh Fringe Previews 2018 - Logo

Venue: Old Lab, Summerhall, Summerhall Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL

Dates: 14th-26th Aug

Times: 13:20 (1 hr)

Tickets:  £10 (£8)

Bookings: Here | 0131 560 1580

 
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