From The Fringe

From The Fringe: MJ Hibbett

By | Published on Wednesday 12 August 2015

MJ Hibbett

Each day over the next three weeks we will be looking at some of the shows, performers and events being championed at the Edinburgh Festival this year by our sister magazine ThreeWeeks.

Musician MJ Hibbett has become something of a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe. “About eight or nine years ago, me and my friend Steve were sharing stories about terrible Edinburgh Festivals we’d done as students, when we were idiots” he told us. “And we said, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to go and do it properly, now we’re not idiots and have some expendable income’. Because if you come to the Fringe with sufficient cash it’s brilliant, you can eat curry every day!”

That first Edinburgh show was simply Hibbett telling stories about his life and times as a music maker interspersed with songs. But out of that things became more ambitious. “One of the stories involved me pitching to write a sci fi story called ‘Dinosaur Planet'” Hibbett explains. “At the end of the Festival, Steve asked me ‘so, what are we going to do next year’. So I said ‘Dinosaur Planet, of course’. To which he replied ‘you’re only saying that so I have to dress up as a dinosaur'”.

“I was only joking, but once he’d said he’d dress up as a dinosaur, we had to do it. So we did a show about me pitching the idea of a rock opera called ‘Dinosaur Planet’. And then the next year I thought I might as well write the thing. And ever since then we keep coming back with these two men rock operas”.

This year’s show is called ‘Hey Hey 16k’, inspired by one of the earliest online viral hits that Hibbett scored back in the day, a song about ZX Spectrums. “Several people have said that I should write a musical based on that song. But I’m not that bothered about ZX Spectrums. But then I realised, I could make it about anything I liked! So I did it”.

‘Hey, Hey 16K’ is on at Free Fringe venue Sneaky Pete’s until 22 Aug. And hear more about Hibbet’s show in this edition of the TW Podcast.