Hal Cruttenden is taking show Chubsters to the Pleasance Courtyard in Edinburgh for the month of August. Hal’s now back on the 5:2 diet and onstage in a Fringe show that not only touches on his usual moans about being a middle-aged, middle class father of fat-shaming teenagers but also introduces us to new problems like his struggles with IQ tests, political zealotry, the trauma of being English and his funeral plans.
Hal spoke with The Fountain about what he personally enjoys viewing at the Fringe, as well as his plans post-Fringe.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
TF: Chubster certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
It’s called Chubster. It’s the name my kids call me. The show, like all my other shows, is really about me. Thank god there are jobs like stand up comedy for people who are so appallingly self-obsessed.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
Like a golfer searching for the perfect shot, I’m still constantly searching for the perfect show. I’ll never get there of course but I love the challenge. I hope that each show I’ve done has been a little more honest, a little more insightful and a little funnier than the last. My influences lie in quite traditional observational stand up but I like to think I give it a neurotic twist.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
I love improv shows like Showstoppers and Paul Merton’s Impro Chums. I love improv. Of course they’re funny but I find something moving in performers working so damn hard.
My tips to first time performers would be to not get caught up in the competitiveness of the Fringe. Someone else will always be getting more attention than you. Keep your head down and keep concentrating on your own game. Also do remember that it’s a bubble. If you’re being told you’re a star of the Festival, that doesn’t mean that anyone will know who you are when you go for a drink in your local back in London.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond The Fringe?
I’m on tour with this show from September until March. It may well extend beyond that as well. Also some TV appearances will be happening and I’m sure Hollywood will be getting involved very soon (I’m a massive optimist).
Hal Cruttenden: Chubster, Pleasance Courtyard – One, 9pm, 4th – 26th August (except 15th)