Edinburgh Festival Spotlight: Graham Dickson Is The Narcissist

Edinburgh Festival Spotlight: Graham Dickson Is The Narcissist

To find out more about Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.

Next up in our Spotlight feature is Graham Dickson Is The Narcissist, which plays Edinburgh Festival from 3 – 27 August 2017. I caught up with writer and actor Graham Dickson:

Describe your show in three words.

Preposterous meta-theatre clusterfuck.

Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?

This will be my 6th Fringe, but my first solo show. I am part of ‘Austentatious, and we have done the Fringe for the past five years with that show. It’s also my second year bringing up The Free Association: Jacuzzi – the headline show of The Free Association – the improv theatre and school from London I am the director of.

Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while at the Fringe?

I’m very excited to see Trygve Wakenshaw’s new show. I’m also very keen to see Rose Matafeo (Sassy Best Friend), all of the Berk’s Nest acts, and of course my consistently over-achieving Austentatious colleagues: Joseph Morpurgo, Rachel Parris, Charlotte Gittins and Daniel Roberts.

How do you feel to be performing at Underbelly Cowgate?

I’m very excited to play in the Iron Belly. It’s so dark and damp! An August dream. Really though I love the space and I’m so happy to be in it, I think it suits my show really well. I should have written ‘dark and damp’ for the three words about my show…

Who or what are your inspirations?

The biggest influence for this show has been the Russian absurdist Daniil Kharms. I am obsessed with him. He’s a mischievous genius, and he looks thrillingly sinister in every picture ever taken of him. Other than him, I am constantly inspired by collaborating. I can’t even do a solo show on my own. I need to work with people, it’s why I love improv so much. I’ve been very lucky to work with some incredible people on this venture.

What is your secret to surviving the intense, fast pace of the fringe?

Really do try to keep having fun. It’s a long month. If you spend it stressing about reviews or audiences, it will ruin you. Keep finding the joy in your own work and being inspired by others. Berocca.

What are the future plans for your show?

Returning to London, acting, teaching, touring Austentatious in Autumn. The dream is still Hollywood, a 7-movie deal and a parade of empty relationships with vapid starlets. It will be until I die.

What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?

I loved a play called Still Ill by a theatre company called Kandinsky. It’s coming back this autumn, I think. They are a great company.

Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show/ theatre company/ production?

If you like your comedy silly, your expectations confounded and your fourth walls smashed, this show is for you. But there will also be a lot of other shows for you, too. It’s Edinburgh.


Writer: Graham Dickson

Director: Hamish MacDougall; Phoebe Bourke; Katie Churchill

Producer: Berk’s Nest

Cast: Graham Dickson, Hamish MacDougall

Graham Dickson Is The Narcissist plays Underbelly Cowgate as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 from 3 – 27 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.