Edinburgh Fringe: Alex Walton (From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads) interview

The hugely acclaimed hit show tells the tale of a young David Bowie obsessive on a thrilling journey in the footsteps of his obsession, leading him to discover some long-hidden truths. What follows will change his life forever. Powerful and emotional, music and magic realism collide in this darkly funny and moving production featuring Alex Walton. The life of the pop fan is brilliantly dissected in this tale of unnatural teenage wildlife.

AAA caught with Alex for a chat in between shows.

How has your Fringe been so far?

It’s been fantastic. There’s so many things to see, it’s a “wood for the trees” situation. Not enough hours in the day to everything I want to, but enjoying every single moment

Tell us a bit about the show you’re in?

It’s called From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads – it is a solo show following the journey of Martin on his pilgrimage through Bowie’s London on the search for his estranged father. Peppered with Bowie music, rare images and quotes featuring the voice of Rob Newman as Bowie. It’s a homage to London, a glimpse into the origins of Bowie and what effect he has on a troubled teenager.

What’s the audience reaction been so far?

Everyone has been extremely complimentary. It’s quite a heavy hitting story, and a few people have been surprised, as they’re expecting something different, it’s not one for the fainthearted, but words like ‘powerful’ and ‘affecting’ have been regularly heard after the show, and that’s what the show aims to achieve – to make an impression on audiences.

Do you read your reviews? Do negative ones bother you?

Yes, I do read the reviews. Thankfully, we haven’t had any particularly negative ones so far – there have been constructive comments, and sometimes we do take on board criticisms, but they never directly affect the show. Theatre is an organic beast, always developing, and that’s what I love about it.

There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?

The Fringe is a hub of new and exciting works, and that’s what makes it such a vibrant place to perform. The intimacy our show offers is perfect for a Fringe stage. I personally feel we try to break the mould of solo shows – it has been said that it feels like a multi-cast production and that the audience forget they are watching one actor, which is really very humbling indeed.

Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend?

Loads! BRUCE at the Underbelly. Dust, also at the Underbelly. The Nature of Forgetting at Pleasance Forth. Red Bastard at Pleasance Two. Luke Stephen Black Market. Titus Andronicus at The Space on the Mile.

What’s on your hit list to see?

Frogman, Traverse at Codebase. The Sweet Science, C Venue. Trainspotting, EICC. Caravaggio: Between the Darkness, The Space on the Mile. Catriona Knox: Adorable Deplorable, Pleasance Dome.

What do you like to do in Edinburgh on your day off?

Ha! Day off? What day off!? When I’m not on stage, I do like to cycle around town, finding little gems to explore. I brought my bike up. It keeps me fit too.

Do you agree with those who say the Fringe has become too big?

No, but I haven’t been here for 16 years, and it’s much bigger than I remember, but not too big if you know what you want to see. Do your homework before you arrive, makes life so much easier.

Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

Bars: Pleasance Bar (of course). Abattoir and Loft bar to catch up with other performers. Restaurant: Sabor Criollo – little Venezuelan family-run place in Stockbridge that’s been there 17 years.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in Edinburgh this year?

A show at the Omnitorium, can’t remember the name, but a cabaret act that took a very dark turn!

Sell your show in no more than ten words…

“A whirlwind journey through Bowie’s London through teenage-fandom eyes”.

From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33),  1.55pm, until 28 August, www.edfringe.com 

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