Fringe Perspective: Blog of a participant
Whilst London is over run with enthusiastic sports fans from across the world as they descend on the 2012 Olympics, the place to be this summer for all your arts needs is definitely Edinburgh. This week the Edinburgh Fringe Festival starts, and I am performing here for the first time.
Part One: Are We There Yet?
I'm with a York based company called Straight Line Theatre Company performing a musical called Songs For A New World. Songs is one of my favourite shows so I am super excited to be here. We've also been extremely lucky in that we've managed to secure a great time and location for our show. We'll be performing at 8pm, prime show time, at C Venues, which is the biggest, and arguably the best and most exciting venue. This kind of slot doesn't come free, and not even cheap at that, neither is easy to acquire the rights for an established musical. As a new company, Straight Line have had difficulties trying find the money to afford to pay for the cost of the venue upfront, but thankfully we have overcome them.
So, our company has arrived at the Fringe. We're living in a top floor flat of an old Victorian house which is less than a minute's walk from our venue, which is handy. We have spent the last few days flyering on the Royal Mile, which is the road up to the Castle where all the performers advertise their show. It's crazy busy and you can always find someone dressed in some bizarre outfit trying to make you come to their show by pretending to be a statue or dancing around ...
We've done about five shows here now, two as previews before the Festival officially opened on 3rd. Our opening night was a great success actually, we filled over half the seats and had audience members from One Academy, who are the musical theatre students from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Action To The Word, another exciting theatre company. We've had a few reviewers in too, all part of the fun of the Fringe. It's exciting being reviewed by recognised publications, but it feels no different to having someone review a Drama Barn production really.
The show itself is going well I think; it's still early in the run so we're still finding things to polish but generally I've been pleased with how it's all gone. We did get interrupted by the Tattoo fireworks though. In the middle of one of the more somber songs, I had to battle to be heard over what must be the loudest fireworks ever, so that was fun ...
As I've got more settled into the day to day pattern of flyering and doing our show, I've had time to catch a few shows myself. So far I've seen two of the One Academy productions, Company, and a new musical called Active Virgin, both of which I enjoyed. The "one to watch" at the Fringe last year was Action To The Word's A Clockwork Orange and this year they are doing the show again, just in a new venue at Pleasance Courtyard. I got talking to one of their cast members on the Mile and he gave me some free tickets so myself and the rest of the cast went to see the show, which was excellent. The funniest thing I've seen so far was Shit Faced Shakespeare, which is a reduced version of A Midsummer Nights Dream, but one of the actors is completely shit faced. The night we went, Demetrius was on fine drunken form. We're not sure if he actually was drunk, what with it being illegal to drink on stage, but it was still hilarious.
Well, as a first installment I think that's quite enough. I'll try to keep you all posted on the Edinburgh goings on of the next few weeks, recommend some shows and generally try to give you a feel for the Festival.
Until next time all (: