The Fitzrovia Radio Hour's Jon Edgley Bond On Edinburgh Through An iPhoneDate: 16 August 2010I have been involved with The Fitzrovia Radio Hour, as an actor, writer, director and producer, since the first spark of the idea. I have traveled from the first show, in front of 30 people in a basement bar, to residencies at The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe and The Last Days of Decadence. And now here – or rather, there – The Fitzrovia Radio Hour is, at the Edinburgh Festival.
As the halfway point in our – or rather, their – Fringe run approaches, we – or rather, they – are attracting happy crowds to the Belly Dancer, deep under the old Central Library. Audience demand has prompted an increase in capacity of more than 50 per cent.
Our – their – first Edinburgh Festival has provided a steep learning curve. At times it has been a stressful experience, but it has been well worth the effort to see our thrilling tales of casual imperialism, British derring-do and inventive cabbage abuse entertain a new audience. The only thing is – and this will explain all those italics – I’m stuck in London while it’s all going on up north.
I directed The Fitzrovia Radio Hour’s Edinburgh show – or “episode”, as we call it. I oversaw the company’s successful previews and its first steps at the Underbelly. I then had to return to the Big Smoke, in order to run our burgeoning affairs there. And because of all this, instead of having an Edinburgh hit on my hands, I have one on my iPhone.
I receive a show report by email every day. I receive text messages from friends who have seen the show. I see reviews. On my precious iPhone, I chat to the guys in the company. They are tired but happy. As opposed to tired and emotional, the default Edinburgh setting, though there has been a bit of that too, thanks to the sixth-form disco at C Studios. Things, I am constantly assured, are going swimmingly.
I, however, am involved by remote. You might say, as some cruel souls have when I have acted in the Radio Hour, that I am “ faxing it in”. Or iPhoning it. It is an odd sensation to see from so great a remove something to which I am connected so intimately. The philosophical approach would be to say that distance adds perspective, but my struggles with that concept are rather like those of Father Dougal. The show, which has in fact become quite big, at the moment only seems very far away.
So while I don’t envy the company their hangovers, or their cautious experiments with haggis pizza, I can’t wait to be back in the bustle of the festival. For one thing, I’ll get to see this Fitzrovia Radio Hour that I’ve been hearing so much about.
Sent from my iPhone
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