Show: Aaron Simmonds: Hot Wheels Venue Pleasance – Bunker 3 Time: 3.20pm Dates: 3rd – 29th August (not, 15th) Photographer: Steve Ullathorne Links: Profile and Social Media
Hi Aaron. Please tell me about your 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, Hot Wheels.
Easiest place to start is the title, I got given the nickname Hot Wheels after a one-night stand five years ago. Since finding out about it I went through a bit of an identity crisis of questioning whether my disability was a good thing or not. So the show is me trying to answer that, whilst telling stories about having sex in a disabled toilet.
Hot Wheels is directed by Kevin Shepherd. How did that collaboration start how has he influenced the show?
Kevin directed my first show, and he was great, so it was a very easy decision to work with him again. I always think you come up with better jokes when collaborating with people, because you’re trying to make the other person laugh then and there. He also suffers through me sending endless voice notes when I’m driving to gigs and have an idea and can’t write it down.
How has your comedy evolved since your 2019 critically acclaimed Edinburgh show, Disabled Coconut?
It’s a good question, I think I’ve grown as a comic over the last 3 years, I’d like to think I’ve grown as a person, but I’m probably just as big an idiot as I ever was. I think the big difference between Disabled Coconut and Hot Wheels is that with Coconut it was a story of what had happened over a year of my life, so unless I wanted to have the show be like Pulp Fiction where it starts at the end of the story, there was an obvious way of writing that show. Whereas with Hot Wheels we started with a blank piece of paper and it’s a collection of stories rather than one big one so everything has a bit more room to breath and I can play around a bit more.
Have things improved in any way for wheelchair users on the comedy circuit, for both audiences and performers, in recent times? What needs to be done?
I hope so and I think so, it’s getting better, perhaps slower than everyone would like, but I think it is moving in the right direction. I think it’s a lot harder to change at the bottom of the ladder rather than the top. An open mic night that is performing above a pub because they get the room for free isn’t going to be able to afford putting in a lift. But I think at the top end, there is absolutely no reason for more disabled talent to be on TV. People like Rosie Jones, Tim Renkow and Chris McCausland have all proven to be incredibly funny and the more disabled talent gets represented on TV, the more disabled people will want to take up comedy and therefore the amount of wheelchair accessible venues will arise.
Finally, ask and answer a question of your own.
I’ll go with my usual opening question on a dating app. If you could be any animal, what animal would you be?
A Pegasus. Not only do you get to be a majestic horse, but you can fly as well. Win Win.
Tickets: Aaron Simmonds: Hot Wheels