Gareth Strachan: Cooler Than You

This month we chat to writer and producer Gareth Strachan who is hosting a show at Brighton Fringe Festival. 

Tell us about your Brighton Fringe Festival Show? 

On Friday, 17th of May at 7.30pm you can see ‘Influenzers’ a nine-character comedy sketch show, featuring woefully hopeless Influencers who attempt to set up their own TV Channel and fail! A chortling parody of the digital daze that is social media and the thumb-flicking plague of our favourite go-to platforms (Facebloke, Insta-sham, Thick-Tok…) 

‘Influenzers’ features a cast and crew of fabulous local talent. Originally shot in lockdown, we had to bring in actors one by one and then mash it all up together. The result is something like flicking between channels in the 90s, remember that? With characters like Tiffany Touch-cloth, Billy Near-mates, Stella Stiletto and Cyclepath Psychopath, you’d be forgiven for mistaking them for actual Brighton locals! We’ve recently launched ‘Influenzers’ as a web series showing a one-off screening, followed by an in-character Q & A, with some prizes to give away. This is a free screening, but places are limited so people need to book by emailing The show takes place at St Mary’s Hall in Brighton.  

What inspires you to write/create? 

As wanky as it sounds (can I say wanky?) I describe myself as a ‘method writer’, which is to say I live an experience fully and then write about it. To that end, I worked on a perennial flower farm in Canada and wrote my first novel, The Salt Farm; I worked as a postman for four years and wrote a play called Post Modern; more recently, I worked as a youth-worker and am now writing a sitcom based on that; even our ‘hero project’ miBOTS – a science-fiction animation about an autistic boy who thinks he is a robot – is largely drawn from working with neurodivergent kids and on my own neurodivergency. 

 Can you give some advice to someone starting out as a writer? What are your top tips?

Surprise-surprise, number 1 is: have a real job that covers your baseline income and connects you to the real world. Writers can be introverted and solitary and this can disconnect from the very people and environment they need for material and wellbeing, so having something that is completely away from your artform is good for the brain and the pen. 

What are your three favourite things about Brighton?

In the American comedy ‘Portlandia’ they describe Portland as ‘the place where young people go to retire’ which I think sums up Brighton, but I would also add it’s the place where ‘older people go to stay young’. It’s Peter Pan land, with a Tinkerbell on every corner, there’s nowhere else in the UK I’d live.

Steven Graham
Author: Steven Graham

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