Juliet Lawrence Wilson gets up close and personal with the fabulous Elvis McGonagall, Scottish stand up poet and armchair revolutionary, who makes his long awaited Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut this year at the GILDED BALLOON, 5th – 30th AUGUST 2009 at 5.45pm.
JLW: So, what’s the best thing about coming to Edinburgh for the Festival?
EM: I imagine it’ll be the sunny Scottish weather.
JLW: : When was the first time you performed at the Edinburgh Fringe?
EM: This is my first solo show.
JLW: What parts of town do you like to visit – have you discovered any hidden gems?
EM: I will be using Mr. Irvine Welsh’s esteemed travel guide “Trainspotting” to discover the less well known parts of the city.
JLW: What advice would you give to a tourist coming to Edinburgh at this time of year?
EM: Dress head to toe in tartan. The locals find it highly amusing.
JLW: Any shows you’re looking forward to seeing?
EM: My poetry comrades in arms, Luke Wright at The Underbelly and Matt Harvey at The Assembly.
JLW: How did you get into this poetry lark, then?
EM: On an utter whim borne out of desperation and the fear of putting on a bright orange apron and working in B&Q.
JLW: Who are your favourite poets (living or dead, don’t mind)?
EM: Ms Rachel Pantechnicon and ee cummings.
JLW: Do you sit down and write every day or do you wake up in the middle of the night when inspiration strikes?
EM: I stare at the cows at the bottom of the garden. The cows stare back. The cows usually win the staring contest. Inspiration comes from the bottom of a bottle. And throwing the bottle at the telly.
JLW: Do you enjoy being a resident poet on Saturday Live?
EM: It is a joy and a pleasure albeit one that is rather too early in the morning. Hurrah for caffeine.
JLW: You have a unique look, how did that come about?
EM: Ask my mother.
JLW: Do you have your own personal tailor?
EM: Mr. Poon Kee of Hong Kong.
JLW: Where are your favourite bar or bars in Edinburgh?
EM: I will be undertaking extensive research throughout August and will be able to provide a full and thorough report and recommendations thereafter.
JLW: And restaurants?
EM: Anywhere that serves a white puddin’ supper.
JLW: Describe your ideal night out.
EM: A few pints, a pickled egg and a packet of crisps at the Square & Compass in Worth Matravers with the Dead Plants playing their Caledonian rockabilly skiffle.
JLW: Who would you spend it with?
EM: My lovely missus and our dog.
JLW: Is being called Elvis as much fun as the rest of us might imagine?
EM: Bring me another deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I’ll tell you. Crivens, this rhinestone jumpsuit’s tight.
JLW: Who would play you in a movie?
EM: Rab C Nesbitt
JLW: Tell us a secret about yourself.
EM: Way back in the murky mists of time I ran for Scotland. Hard to believe now.
JLW: What’s your favourite cocktail (one with gin in it if possible because we like gin)?
EM: They are many and various. Molotov, obviously. Bermuda’s “Dark ‘n Stormy” (ginger beer and dark rum resulting in a petrol hangover). And a G&T with ice ‘n a slice at 6pm. The G bit must be Tanqueray.
See also: www.elvismcgonagall.co.uk