I arrived to see this year’s Challenger with high hopes, and I was not disappointed. Tim FitzHigham has been to the Edinburgh Fringe every year since he was 18 and always presents a show where he challenges himself. One of the highlights of last year’s Fringe for me was FitzHigham’s Stop The Pigeon – a performance that I can honestly say changed my life. How often can you say that about a theatre show?
This year’s challenges were presented to FitzHigham by the BBC, seeing as he now has his own TV show, challenging already established Guinness World Record-holding champions. He has already rowed the English Channel in a bathtub within a storm and he ran a few marathons whilst Morris dancing, what could possibly be a challenge after that? Oh, except if you’re afraid of heights and are told to free-climb one of the highest buildings in the world – or run across an Icelandic glacier, barefoot.
The show is a mix of stand-up, video screenings of FitzHigham’s previous stunts- you need to see them with your own eyes to believe some of the stunts he pulls!- and a sort of autobiography as he takes the audience on a journey through his adventures. FitzHigham is an extremely likeable and down to earth kind of character, although somewhat eccentric when it comes to a choice of hobbies, and exceptionally enthusiastic about trying something no-one has ever done before. Although he speaks fast and some of the jokes may get lost he makes sure to take the audience in and encourages them to do something they’ve always dreamt of. The saying goes: ‘if you set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything’. If you set FitzHigham’s mind to it, no matter what it is, he will actually accomplish it.