I’ve just checked the howhow productions opt in mailing list for our new club, The Royal National Theatre of Fools, and I see that we have 9 people interested in knowing more about us on a regular basis. You cannot imagine how exciting this is, I mean nine people are interested in little old me. It may not seem like much to you, and I’m sure that Barack Obama has a few more, but for me it’s a milestone. Nine people have never been interested in my work. Well that’s what it always felt like anyway. Maybe a year of counselling is paying off and at last I can say to my self that, yes, I’m worth the interest of nine people, and hopefully more.
The fantastic news of this initial interest in my work is the icing on the cake at what was a great Edinburgh Fringe. Admittedly I didn’t put on an inside show, which could be why my stay was so enjoyable. Newspaper articles about how audiences were down this year, and how established performers were getting houses of 6 people were certainly not lost on me, but I face the future with a little fear and a lot of optimism.
This year was the first year for a long time that I’ve really engaged in the whole Edinburgh Fringe process and it certainly seemed to prove the old adage that you get back what you put in. I was constantly bumping into old friends and colleagues, who seemed to be doing great stuff. Not only that, it always seemed to happen in the same place, the walkway by The Pleasance Dome. I even made a detour a couple of times to see who I would meet this time, but of course sod’s law kicked in and I met no one. Grisel and I met with venue managers, became quite adept at pitching our ideas, soaked up the atmosphere, lapped up information and advice that was heaped upon us and generally had a wonderful time. We also found some new talent that we decided we just had to have our very own pop up royal national theatre, even though we haven’t started it yet. The most surreal and fun of these ‘meetings’ was with legendary alternative comedians, The Greatest Show On Legs. I enthusiastically pitched our ideas, blabbering like an over excited teenager. Nothing conclusive was arranged as we don’t even have a venue yet but it was a nice chat, interrupted by a pissed Arthur Smith, looking for a lost rucksack. Happy days.
We also managed to see over forty shows. Not bad eh? Now I know that journalists at The Fringe boast seeing hundreds of shows, but they get in for free. Of the forty-three we did see. (by the way, that statistic comes courtesy of Grisel and her addiction to The Fringe ipad app) these are my top ten. Look out for them.
THE FANTASIST (Theatre)
Theatre Temion use puppetry and physical theatre to look at the issue of bi polarism. The most moving piece of theatre I’ve seen for years.
THE GREATEST SHOW ON LEGS (Comedy)
They are the greatest show on legs. The perfect antidote to Jimmy Carr.
ROB AUTON, THE YELLOW SHOW (Comedy/Spoken word)
A star of the future.
THE BOB BLACKMAN APPRECIATION SOCIETY (Comedy)
Absurdism at it’s finest. Defies description, you’ll just have to go and see them.
MAN 1 BANK 0 (Theatre)
Heartwarming tale of an ordinary joker sticking it to the banks.
10 FILMS WITH MY DAD (Comedy)
Aiden Goatley explores his relationship with his dad in hilarious stand up and beautiful film silliness.
AFTER THE RAINFALL (Theatre)
Stunning design, great acting and multiple plot lines as Curious Directive explore social relationships, antiquities and ants.