Patrick McPherson;s Colossal is debuting at the Fringe

Patrick McPherson is returning to the festival a highly anticipated theatrical treat. Colossal is an hour of dynamic theatre, comedy and music that embraces the spectrum of modern romance, from the first date to the last text, from falling headfirst to falling apart. In his one- man comedy play that dives into love stories, morality, and the dance between the two, Patrick weaves sketch comedy, gig theatre and spoken word to tell the comedic and candid story of a man called Dan, his affinity for owls, and his messy recent past. Patrick McPherson is an upcoming writer-performer and Edinburgh Fringe success story, who has seen a swift rise through the British comedy and fringe theatre ranks, following his back-to-back sold-out shows. As a queer writer, Patrick looks to explore and champion LGBT voices and narratives through his writing.

Patrick, how does it feel to be debuting at the Fringe?

Well this is my debut play so that’s very exciting, as I’ve never taken up a play before. I went to the Fringe in 2018 and 2019 with sketch shows but that’s a very different ball game. This feels more risky and more difficult to pull off, but at least it means I can put on a nice theatre-y face after each show and talk about things like staging and foreshadowing. Always exciting to use fancy words. 

What can people expect from Colossal?

It’s a play about love stories, but hopefully above all it’s funny. That’s priority number one. After that, I hope that any other expectation is subverted a bit – it doesn’t fit the mould of a traditional one-man play, and it has a lot of different elements in it. The Fringe is the best place in the world because people are dragged in off the street with zero expectation and I think that’s the perfect audience. Just ready to see something, as long as it’s gripping.

How does one mix theatre, music and comedy so seamlessly on stage?

It’s so very very possible that one does not. I’ve never combined the three so much in a show and in particular this piece is choc-full of original music. It feels like I’m juggling blindfolded a bit. I suppose the arty answer would be that everything has to feel like it’s there for a reason. Hope it works.

Where did the inspiration for ‘Dan’ come from?

It was a challenge not writing autobiographically, so creating a new character took a while, and I got it wrong a lot. I took elements from conversations I’ve had with my friends when they’ve talked about their relationships, and then my director, Susie MacDonald, came onto the project and really fleshed out the part and made it more 3D. She’s fab.

What is some advice for your younger self?

Artistically – trust your process, lots of people say you have to write in a super formulaic way but feel free to fully ignore them. Non artistically – learn to cook carbonara earlier, you’re damn good at it. Oh and feel prouder being queer. That took a while.

Can you recommend us another must-see act for Fringe?

Rob Broderick AKA Abandoman, I think, might just be the most talented person I’ve ever seen onstage. Unbelievable freestyle musical comedy and rap. It’s unlike anything else I’ve seen, it’s genius, and mostly it’s very very funny. Go.

Finally, can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

There is truly nothing surprising about me. I’m everything it says on the dull, uninspiring tin. Though I’ve learnt Spanish this year, if that counts.

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