Edinburgh Fringe, Days one and two

And so into battle every day, against thousands of other shows, leafleting in the Mile, leafleting outside our venue, leafleting outside other peoples shows and venues, and talking to people about the show and summing it up in three words (‘ Poetry death match’), and leafleting and leafleting some more, and then one person turns up on the first day.

And worse than that, she hadn’t even come to watch us. She had expected something else to be on. We invited her down into the basement of the Royal Oak to our performance space and we performed just for her. But then she said she had to leave at half past to see something else, so we stopped the show halfway through and reminded her that she needed to go. She didn’t clap much.

The second day we had a fifty percent increase in viewers, and they both stayed to the end. One if them was Tina Sederholm. The other was an Australian we met earlier.

But it’s so much more than just our show. I went to see one of my heroes, Rob Auton, he was brilliant and honest and human and everything that’s good about the human spirit was exemplified in him. We chatted afterwards, and I helped him pack up. As a fellow performer, you see, the importance of getting the venue ready for the next performer is paramount. And another poetry hero was also there, Byron Vincent.

Then I went off to see a drag artist, Mzz Kimberley. She was fantastic and belted out some classics to an audience of eight blokes. She sang to me. I could have watched all night. And when I left, I saw Eddie Izzard crossing the street. He stumbled on the cobbles in his high heels and bumped into me. Oh. These chance encounters!

A poet gave me his flyer. It must have been his last one, as he had written his set list on the back, I wanted to go and find him. It was probably important!

So it’s a cattle market here, of shows and flyers and leaflets and slow walking tourists. But I’m getting the hang of what’s required, hence this blog. Getting the word out there, you see!

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Camaraderie at the Barnstaple Fringe

Its been the most amazing week or so and the last few day’s have been weird yet strangely life affirming.

I’ve been in Barnstaple now for three days participating in both Spectacular Vernacular and Poetry Ping Pong.  The weather has been amazing which has helped make me feel good,  but most of all it’s the camaraderie of the performers and those who run the event.

Day one 
Spectacular Vernacular overran a tad.  I amused every one by repeatedly saying Macbeth in the theatre.  Not everyone laughed. Previous to this I’d had to mend my cardboard zebra with gaffer tape. On the way home the sump guard fell off Tim s car.  We had to use the gaffer tape yo fix it.

Day Two
Spectacular Vernacular and Poetry Ping Pong.
The first Poetry Ping Pong was at Barnstaple Library. It went ok. The audience were appreciative. The second show was less well attended.  In fact it was only Tim and Saskia.  So Dan and I did all new material.
Spectacular Vernacular went better and didn’t overrun though there was a mini outcry when I dropped Camp Cat from my set.

Day Three
Poetry Ping Pong and Spectacular Vernacular.

Had two brilliant shows at the theatre. The audience was amazing and responsive. Previous to this Dan and I did an impromptu interview on local radio, and a marketing seminar.

For me the abiding feeling is of the attitude and support of the organisers and those in other shows. Everyone supports and promotes each other and sees as many shows as possible. For example I just watched Purgatory Passengers and it was the funniest thing I’ve seen in years!

One day to go and three more shows to do. No sign yet if fatigue.  Though I do have work on Monday morning!

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