Edinburgh Fringe 2022
& Matt Glover
Unwanted Objects is the new story and song show from critically acclaimed duo David Head and Matt Glover. They invite you to explore a mysterious second-hand shop full of old teddy bears, abandoned chess sets and ships in bottles. Combining bittersweet short stories, full of wit, whimsy and warmth, with folk, pop and blues inspired musical melancholia, it explores sentimentality, our possessions and the meaning we attach to them.
Hi David & Matt thank you for talking with The New Current, how have you been keeping?
David: Well, thank you! Or as well as you can while organising a fringe show. In between heat waves, day jobs and general existential angst.
Matt: Ok thanks! Not long ‘til takeoff.
How does it feel to be bringing Unwanted Objects to ZOO Southside this summer?
David: Very excited. We love the Fringe and can’t wait to be there. And Zoo are a great venue – they have such an interesting and unique programme. It’s a real honour to be a part of it.
Your final preview ahead of your Fringe run was a sell out, what was that experience like for you both?
Matt: It was great! This one has been a long time in the making, to finally perform it was both exhilarating and gently terrifying. It was super useful to share it with other humans and use the two shows to feel it in a theatre and make some last tweaks ahead of the Fringe.
David: I would also describe the experience as sweaty. The humidity of a sold out theatre on a hot day is truly special.
Your reviews for past Fringe shows have always been incredible, what has it meant to you to know that your show have really connected with audiences in such a profound way?
David: I guess, truthfully, it’s a mix of flattering and humbling. It’s nice to know you’re able to share an experience with an audience and provide them with catharsis and an escape. And to feel our voice resonates with people. We don’t take it for granted. But it’s also what we aim to do. We craft our stories in a very intentional way to provide that. So it’s good to know it works!
Matt: Past performance is no guarantee of future performance… Hopefully we’ve put together another good’un!
What does Edinburgh Fringe mean to you?
Matt: I mean, it will be great to be back. We performed our last show in 2018 and didn't expect it to be so long until we returned. I’m looking forward to being immersed in art and culture for nearly a month, performing every day and hopefully meeting some like minded spirits.
David: How do you sum up everything Edinburgh means? Relentless expenses and admin? Endless flyering? Truthfully though I have so, so many fond memories of Edinburgh. It’s a real celebration of art and endeavour. It is hard work, of course, but the rewards are incredible experiences and a unique and inspiring atmosphere.
Can you tell me a little bit about how Unwanted Objects came about, what was the inspiration behind this show?
David: Well… we draw inspiration from a lot of different sources, but we knew we shared a real desire to delve into the nature of stories themselves. What they mean and why they are important. Storytelling is central to both our respective crafts and pivotal to the art we make together, so it seemed a natural fit to explore the concept. There’s also this quirky little antiques shop we both knew, but which for legal reasons we cannot name – and we must stress that any places that appear in our show are entirely fictional.
"Luckily we find lots of the same things funny, have similar sensibilities and visions for what these shows should be."
What are the biggest challenges you face when creating a new show like this?
David: Right. Well. We began preparing this show for the Fringe in 2020. So you might be able to guess what the biggest challenge we faced was. I think beyond that the hardest obstacles are the mundane things like finding time to create while working, building momentum and motivation to keep pushing onwards and overcoming those nagging doubts and insecurities that we’re all prone to.
Where did your passion for music and storytelling come from?
David: For me it’s unresolved trauma and an unhealthy need for external validation. And I suppose an extension of a lifelong love of escapism… the ability for art of any kind to transport and inspire you. That too.
Matt: I’ve certainly been borderline obsessed with music as long as I can remember. I think discovering that music could make you feel things, especially as I was writing my first, terrible, songs ignited something. That act of discovery of popping on a new song and waiting for emotional resonance is pretty excellent.
How important is the creative collaboration between you both when working and creating a new show like Unwanted Objects?
Matt: It’s enormously important. We both have other projects that are strictly songwriting and music in my case, or writing in David’s case, but this work is very much a joint endeavour. Luckily we find lots of the same things funny, have similar sensibilities and visions for what these shows should be. Hopefully we’ve managed to create something that has a coherence, rather than a collection of short stories with some songs. And, we’ve only nearly fallen out over creative differences once or twice…
David: Agreed. It’s integral to it. It doesn’t work without it. From the very first ideas we kick around to the fine tuning – the show needs the collaborative energy and input. Like Matt says it’s a very shared approach to the themes and goals, and while we both have our own areas of craft – those need to fuse together and compliment each other. Plus we push each other and challenge one another. It’s the duality that shapes these shows and makes them distinct from our individual projects.
Has your approach to your shows changed much since you started out?
David: I used the word intentional earlier – but I think that’s the biggest change. We are so much more deliberate about what we want to achieve and how we want to do it. And more integrated – both in the way we work together, but also the final product. The stories and songs feel less segmented and more one organic, holistic creation. Also we have a lot more zoom calls than we used to…
Matt: I think we probably have greater expectations of ourselves and the work too, which is a good driving force, but also, unnerving. And one thing that hasn't changed is the amount of pizza we consume during writing sessions.
Do you have any advice or suggestions you would offer anyone wanting to get into performing, writing or music? *
Matt: I’m not sure we’re very qualified to be giving advice… It’s a cliche, but when you're scrambling around working on something or trying to put on a show, or wading through admin, try not to forget what got you into it in the first place.
David: Frankly we could do without the competition. But if they are insistent… I think the best advice I can offer is to quote that great philosopher Shia LeBeouf: Just do it. Find your voice and your passion and a way to share it. That’s all there is to it really.
And finally, what do you hope your audiences will take away from Unwanted Objects?
Matt: An enthusiasm to tell others about it!
David: And an immediate urge to follow us on social media. Sincerely, it would be really lovely if they come away feeling thoughtful, nostalgic in a good way, uplifted and joyful. And that they laughed a few times. We just want people to have enjoyed themselves and feel inspired for a day of great shows. But yeah… telling everyone they know would be a massive help.