News from the South Holland Centre
Matt Panesh brings his brand new show ‘LOVEhurtsACTUALLY’ to the South Holland Centre next month. We recently caught up with him to find out more about the show and why we should go and see it…
What can you tell us about Matt Panesh?
Tall, dark haired and damnably handsome! Just joking, beauty’s in the eye and all that. I’m a writer and performer of solo shows that tend to use a lot of comedy to sugar the pill of politics. I like there to be a reason for my shows, a point, but I don’t want to bludgeon my audience around the head with a big moral stick. It’s got to be fun – as it has been from my first play which was about the Afghan war to this one which tackles class.
How did you become a performer?
I took the long way round! I started out doing performance poetry, and did a couple of solo shows before asking the question, “Can I act?” The only way to get an answer was to write a play, which I did – the aforementioned “Welcome to Afghanistan” in 2010. I made it a reasonably high bar to jump by putting 13 characters in it, and then took it to Edinburgh Fringe to see if I could jump the bar or smash into it. The result was a combination of the two. It got great reviews, but the reviewers also told me what the failings were...needs a director, characters could be tighter, and so on. The reviewers actually gave me a checklist of things to do, which I did. Sorry, that’s a bit long winded. I guess the simple answer to the question is “because I wanted to!”
Your latest one man show ‘LOVEhurtsACTUALLY’ takes its name from the Richard Curtis classic. Is ‘Love Actually’ your favourite film then?
Of course. I can’t go a week without seeing it!
Ok… can you tell us what inspired this show and what the audience can expect on the night?
The inspiration is always to do something new. It’s set after the film’s events. Emma Thompson is hosting a Christmas Party for Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant et al. It’s fast paced, pretty much done at farce speed with plenty of in-jokes for those that love the film, acid satire for those that hate it, and dollops of other stuff for those that have never seen it. It has japing, jocularity, class war and a guest appearance from the late Sir John Gielgud!
So when you are fully immersed in the performance, which actor from the film do you truly imagine yourself to be?
I have a fondness for Emma Thompson which possibly borders on the indecent and is probably related to me seeing her on TV in Tutti Frutti when I was but a young child with developing thoughts and feelings.
Have you a message to anyone coming to one of your performances for the first time?
Sit tight, strap in. It’s going to be fun.
* Matt Panesh performs ‘LOVEhurtsACTUALLY’ at the South Holland Centre on Friday, May 9 at 8pm. Tickets are £9 and £7.50 concessions from the box office 01775 764777 or online www.south hollandcentre.co.uk