My show at the Edinburgh Fringe this year is about things that haven't killed me. It starts with a story about a (slightly) near death experience I had in Edinburgh in 2011, but that is far from the only scary experience I've had at the Fringe...
1 . My first Edinburgh Fringe was in 1998. I was a student and, as a student, was a bit of an idiot. My most idiotic moment came when, halfway through August, a fellow student who I quite fancied (although in a strictly silent and unrequited capacity) announced that she wanted to go climbing up near Arthur's Seat. I immediately agreed to go. No one else wanted to get involved, so we set off together at once. It turned out that she was quite good at climbing, and very quickly scrambled ahead of me. I had no experience of climbing but was enthusiastic, smitten, and, as I've already explained, a bit of an idiot.
About an hour after we started, I found myself halfway up a rock-face, perhaps twenty feet off the ground, with no obvious way of getting any further up. I was wearing shorts, a T-shirt, black Clarks shoes (with my socks pulled up) and had a backpack on containing some books. I was not exactly properly equipped. My companion was out of sight and my stupid male pride refused to let me call for help. I remember quite clearly thinking that I might actually die, or at least be seriously injured, if I couldn't make it up the last few feet. Pathetically, my over-riding thought was: "but how will they manage to do the show without me?" I think at that moment a career in show-business was sadly inevitable. Somehow, I managed to find some handholds and dragged myself over the top of the ridge. I lay panting for several minutes, adrenaline coursing through me. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life and for a moment I understood why people might enjoy extreme sports. Then I felt extremely sick and went home and never told anyone what happened.
2. The following year I was back in Edinburgh with another student show, in which I played a rather young looking character (I have been blessed/cursed with a youthful visage, although you should see the painting in my attic! I'm joking of course. I don't have an attic.) One night I was trying to get into a bar in the centre of town. I may have had a couple of drinks. The doorman stopped me and said: "You look a bit young..." and I replied: "Yes, THAT'S THE JOKE!" as I showed him my passport. I saw a flicker of annoyance cross his face but then he must have remembered it was Fringe time and he let me off without the beating I so thoroughly deserved.
3. By 2009 I was doing my second solo show in a delightful little venue called The Hut. As its name implies, it was an intimate space where the audience could quite easily reach out and touch you. Or, as it turned out, throw things at you. This was proven to me when, during one Friday night show, I noticed a couple of drunk men talking loudly on the back row. This was distracting, particularly in a venue with only three rows. I asked them to be quiet, and then one of them threw a football at me. A football. Who takes a football to a comedy show? The football was followed by a cork, a plastic glass and other stuff, but I'm not sure he ever really matched the football. Sadly he didn't throw his wallet or keys which would at least have left me in profit. There was no security guard nearby so I couldn't get the offenders removed and spent the rest of the show slightly braced for impact, flinching every time I saw them move. It turns out that being under missile attack does not improve my performance, one of many reasons I have never considered a career in the army.
Matt Green: Alive is on at 8:10pm at the Jack Dome, Pleasance Dome until 25th August (not 12th)