Matt Winning is the master of the idiosyncratic one-liner. His eccentric observations are as left field as they are accurate. If an hour with Matt Winning doesn’t change your life, you’re certain to start you seeing it differently. Martin Walker asked the Scottish up and comer what he’s been up to.
“I have been doing some work-in-progress hours for the debut show The Moose which I am working towards for a show next year. So far is about my relationships with Robert Mugabe, a moose, my dad, a dead chicken and a talking tennis ball but that may well change. I enjoy comedy that takes fantastical ideas and making them very mundane. I prefer it when comedy offers ideas that the audience won’t necessarily have thought about before, that isn’t too obvious where it is coming from. At the moment my show is half-surreal and half-anecdotal so I’m not sure it quite works yet. That’s why I’m spending some more time getting it right by doing half-an-hour of new material on the Free Fringe this year – it’s at 4.30pm at The Southsider with Lolly Adefope.”
Matt is best known for his character ‘Steph E Graph’
“Steph E Graph is the tennis player from the 1980s and 1990s who has spent her retirement travelling around the world learning about graphs and watch the films of Richard E Grant. Essentially I’ve stretched the one joke about “what would it be like if Steffi Graf couldn’t understand graphs” out for 15 minutes by using a wig, a flipchart and a silly accent. There is no more that can be done with it.”
Matt is also involved with the ‘Bearpit Podcast Podcast’.
“The ‘Bearpit Podcast Podcast’ is a live recorded show by a bunch of people famous from the Ipswich comedy and arts scene like John Pitt, Euan Raffles, Tommy Jumpers, Richard Isapotato and Susan Honk. I’ve done their podcast. There was only one audience member and they forgot to press record anyway. I won their new act competition in 2011 by default as the only other entrant was a pineapple and won ‘Beat the Gong’ by doing 127mins. They had lost the gong. The ‘Bearpit Podcast Podcast’ is on at Just the Tonic at 7.40pm in Edinburgh this year.”
Unlike many Scots who are yet to engage with the debate, or are reluctant to discuss it publicly, Matt is in favour of Scottish independence.
“Yes I am for it because I believe it will allow more specific policies aimed to help those in Scotland who need assistance and target Scottish-specific social problems, policies which will never occur under any Westminster government. It will provide an opportunity for a fairer and more equal society. Unfortunately I cannot vote as I live in England. The irony is not lost on me. I’ll probably be deported back to Scotland one day.”
Finally, if he were curating a stand up show for TV, who would be his guests?
“My ideal stand-up show for TV would be full of weird acts that I love like John Kearns, Paul Foot, Sam Simmons, Josie Long, Mat Ewins, Tony Law, Richard Gadd, all doing their sets at the same time.”