Wednesday 8th September 2010, 01:35
I tweeted, facebooked and told random people in passing these various things, but I wanted to log somewhere My Edinburgh Experience 2010. It was marked by several notable events:
- My doing the Free Fringe for the first time. Worked out marvellously, with full houses, breaking even, fun shows, lovely venue, and generally far more enjoyable a run of shows than my last fringe. Then, while I did enjoy my show, I found being delighted at 30-40 people in a 120-seat venue still meant that the audience were rattling around in it. Much better to lure 100 people in with the promise of zero ticket price, then put a hat round, and sure enough, people gave. The added consequence is that because they pay after the show, my earnings were directly proportionate to the quality of that particular show. If I had an off night, I got less. So I upped my game, and the next night worked my arse of on stage and earned more than at most gigs. Itís like street theatre but without a street. So theatre.
- One person rummaged in their pockets for change but unfortunately drew out their house keys. Even more unfortunately, I didnít notice till I counted my takings later that night. I still have their keys, and presume that means I now own a house in Edinburgh Ė I just donít know which one. A generous donation.
- I met a second cousin for the first time, who also happened to be doing a show at the fringe. And I met my second cousinís second cousin (no blood relation of mine), who was teching at the Pleasance. Small world, but then I am Cornish. It certainly didnít help prove, as I was hoping to in the show, that Cornish inbreeding is a myth.
- One nightmare of a gig was at the bar next to my flat. I saw they had a comedy fundraiser gig, so I offered my services along with the other names I saw listed. I turned up on the relevant afternoon, waiting for 2 hours as various comedians gigged then stayed to drink, and eventually went on stage to find an all-male audience crammed into this pub. I began with a routine about my forthcoming child, asking if anyone there had kids. No one, apparently. ďWhat are you all, barren?Ē I asked. No. It turned out it was a gay bar. My gaydar is pretty bad, but my gaybardar is even worse, it appears. Apparently the rainbow flags should have been a clue, plus the all-male audience, plus the fact that the comedians drinking there happened to be either gay or female, plus the charity being fundraised for was Waverley Care (an HIV charity), plus the fact the two preceding acts to me were The Scottish Gay Menís Chorus and a poet whose work was all homoerotic. His act ended with a full striptease. There were clues, you might say. But I am so clear of bias that I donít see these things that others might. Plus anyone there might have had kids Ė they could adopt. Still, that gig did not go well.
- I did see some shows, but not many. Highlights included:
...improv musical Baby Wants Candy
...comedian David OíDoherty
...Exeter Universityís play Bluebird
...sketch troupe The Real MacGuffins
...Margaret Cabourn-Smith and ZoŽ Gardnerís riotous An Hour of Telly
...Lizzy Maceís lovely docu-comedy Crush
...Andrew Collinsí solo show debut
...the inimitable, the indefatigable, the indivisible Andy Zaltzman
All in all a successful Fringe. I now hope to do a mini-tour of my show (or even a minotaur), and roll on next year, or more likely, the year after, pending parental duties next August.
In the mean time, for my own posterity, here are some links to articles written about the show, or more likely, by me, this Fringe: