- May 24, 2011
When Matt saw his latest challenge had been set by fellow daredevil, Daniel Curtis, he knew it was time to up his game: “Jump over 15 matchbox trucks as The Great Stoopid in Evil Knievel clobber. But how?” he pondered.
Fortunately, Matt found his emergency kit bag containing a self-propelled scooter, puncture repair kit, two inflatable clown gloves and a set of pound-shop plastic trucks, and declared himself ready for the challenge.
“It’s always exciting to do an impromptu street act in the [Brighton] Festival Fringe – but I knew that if I wanted to make it spectacular I needed employ an intensive training regime,” said Matt.
This involved Matt travelling down to Withdean Woods to harness his focus by jumping over a log and trying to catch his hat in mid-air before achieving mental zen by bending a plastic spoon and reading a hedgehog’s thoughts.
On arrival at Theatre Royal Brighton, there were already droves of people milling around enjoying the open houses and comedy shows.
The plastic trucks were disguised by a blue cover and Matt built up the atmosphere by convincing bemused onlookers that a convoy of trucks was arriving, by chatting loudly with a truck driver on a toy mobile phone.
The challenge nearly had to be called off as Matt discovered he hadn’t packed the piece of bicycle inner tube needed to elevate the scooter into the stratosphere. But he decided to improvise: “I appealed to the crowd for a long stretchy piece of knicker-elastic. Unfortunately the piece I received was a bit too wide so I quickly grabbed a smoker to burn a piece off and wrapped it around the foot stand several times,” he said.
By now the audience were at fever pitch as Matt hit the runway with the speed of an Olympic long jumper with his foot firmly lodged under the knicker elastic.
“The scooter elevated into the air and I felt like I was auditioning for The Matrix,” Matt recalled. “But then the front wheel started to wobble off and the scooter decided to go off towards the audience. I toppled in the air and came crashing down to the floor. My crash helmet hit the concrete floor and my glasses split in the middle and both lenses rolled off in different directions. The crown went from pure elation to absolute horror.”
The attempt had failed and the only way Matt could pull it back was to hide under the cover and play dead. When he re-emerged triumphantly, the crowd cheered.
Set Matt’s next record-breaking challenge by visiting www.facebook.com/latest7 or set him a challenge in person at his Open House every weekend in May between 11am and 5pm at Flat 1, Montpelier Road Apartments.