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.
Thom Monckton uses body manipulation, dance, circus and clownery on stage as Only Bones. The New Zealand artist is back at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with his show ‘Only Bones 1.0’.
First we speak to Only Bones…
- First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?“I’m Edinburgh”. I’m here because of a celestial explosion 13.7 billion years ago, a bit of evolution, a pinch of revolution, some DNA, a whole lot of loving, and a festival called Edinburgh Fringe.
- Does your time here bring on joy or dread?All of it and some nail polish.
- How did you travel to the capital, and are you alone or with friends?I don’t know. I arrive when the light goes on. I’m assuming I’m transported with the rope and pulleys in the turquoise suitcase. Or is it aquamarine? Or maybe teal?
- Where will you visit on your day off and why?I’m on a day off? Does that mean the rest of the time I’m off a day on? What am I off if I’m on a day? Is it the day that I’m off? If I’m off the day on then I’m off the day so I can’t be on it any more. I’m confused. What was the question?
- What Scottish delicacies do you enjoy and, do any of them fill you with fear?I’ve heard that some of the Scottish delicacies are filled with fear.
- Which watering hole will you most likely be stopping at?Like a hose? Why would I visit a hose? I’m unlikely to visit a hose. I might visit a hose. Either a fire hose or garden hose. Those are the only hoses I can think of.
- Which other act would you be most likely to recommend to a friend?I have no friends.
- Plug your show in three words.Fortunately non-verbal.
- Are you a newcomer or a veteran?I’ve been here before in 2016.
- What do you love most about the festival?I come into existence.
- What do you hate most about the festival?I come into existence.
- What is your biggest fear before going on stage?My vocal sandwiches won’t work.
- Quote yourself. What’s the best thing you’ve ever said?“It’s nice to be here”. It’s actually the only thing I’ve ever said out loud.
- What does success and failure mean to you?Laughs. No laughs.
- What is your worst habit?Being contrary.
- Most embarrassing moment?There are none. All moments are best. There is no embarrassing.
- Where is your favourite place in the world and why?In a spotlight.
- Who would you choose to be if you were not you?Gravity.
- What is your greatest ambition?To be gravity.
- How can we bring world peace?Become immediately and unanimously threatened by something else.
And as Thom Monckton…
- First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?It appears to be covered in posters… but from what I see peeking out from behind the paper maché it looks pretty sweet! I’m here to perform my show Only Bones 1.0 because I didn’t have anything else to do in August.
- Does your time here bring on joy or dread?Equal amounts of both, but they are surprisingly harmonious, a little bit like chili and mango.
- How did you travel to the capital, and are you alone or with friends?I flew with a plane full of strangers.
- Where will you visit on your day off and why?Nowhere. I’ll be asleep.
- What Scottish delicacies do you enjoy and, do any of them fill you with fear?I would probably like good whisky if I could afford it. Is that a delicacy?
- Which watering hole will you most likely be stopping at?I don’t remember names or locations (or faces or places or anything in the recent or distant past), so even if I did have a regular I wouldn’t be able to remember what it was called or where it was situated. I often get lost after going into a shop and then exiting it and forgetting which way around the street is.
- Which other act would you be most likely to recommend to a friend?Anything presented by Aurora Nova (Un Poyo Rojo especially) and anything presented by Zanetti Productions from NZ.
- Plug your show in three words.Three (Plug) words.
- Are you a newcomer or a veteran?This is my fourth time. I’m not sure what that makes me…
- What do you love most about the festival?A significant and surprising thing always seems to happen every festival. Like a royal family coming to see the show (2014).
- What do you hate most about the festival?Flyers. Not the people flyering, they’re just doing a thing, but the actual flyers themselves and the astronomical waste of paper it involves.
- What is your biggest fear before going on stage?It changes every day. The sense of fear pre-show is irrational so it just attaches itself to whatever it can at the time. Sometimes it’s to do with the show but other times it latches on to other things like being afraid I’ve had too much coffee, or that maybe I left the door open or the lights on, or that tomatoes have forever lost their taste. Mainly it’s just your average chaotic nonsensical panic.
- Quote yourself. What’s the best thing you’ve ever said?“Arg! I have to make up a quote quickly. That’s ok, just think. Well…just avoid being a smart-ass, don’t make it meta, and don’t make it ironic.”
- What does success and failure mean to you?Success is maintaining a sense of progress.
Failure is allowing the destructive elements in your life become larger than the productive elements in your life.
- What is your worst habit?American politics.
- Most embarrassing moment?I was running to catch an elevator in the centre of Melbourne and ran into a very clean glass door I had just exited from about 30 seconds ago but somehow forgot it was there. I hit it hard enough that it wasn’t fun for anyone who saw it…and a lot of people saw it. Most of Melbourne was there actually. Everyone winced. Some people said “oh god, are you ok?”, some people said “Why were you running so fast!?”.
- Where is your favourite place in the world and why?I recently went to a small beach in the Coromandel, Aotearoa. It was amazing but I’m not telling you which one. Get your own favourite beach.
- Who would you choose to be if you were not you?Someone who lives in a desert. Then I would know really well what living in a desert would be like.
- What is your greatest ambition?To move Finland closer to New Zealand.
- How can we bring world peace?Free and accessible non-discriminatory education using updated unbiased information.