August 12, 2009
Tuesday. Day off. Phew!
With our insane programme of 4 plays and a free fringe performance at the festival we decided that the only way we’d all get through the festival would be to take a day off each week. It was such a good decision. Having worked on the project intensely for the last month rehearsing and making arrangements, after week one, quite frankly, we all needed a break. I’m sure we could have all managed to make it through to the traditional mid festival day off that a lot of companies seem to have. But why bother fighting through when you could have that extra time to enjoy the festival and get your head ready to hit the second week running. Read more
August 9, 2009
I think yesterday has to be my favorite day of the festival so far. We opened our last show, Johnny Acecraft, on the free fringe, and now have 5 shows a day running. Woooo. We’re getting into the rhythm of how things work, where everything happens and where we want to be. The chaos of the first few days is melding into a semblance of order.
And it’s going well! Really well. Yesterday, two of our shows sold out. What a feeling of joy, relief and excitement. People like what we’re doing and want to come and see what we’ve created. It really does give you an enormous sense of well-being. Finally, the months of hard graft seem to make sense. And more importantly, it means I can relax a bit and start enjoying the fun. Read more
August 7, 2009
Thought that’d get your attention. Cheap trick I admit. But it has been the focus of my last few days, so seems only fair to write a bit about it.
Our show, Fucked, is all about sexual experiences and mornings after, so we saw a bit of potential there for some fun publicity. My weeks before Edinburgh were spent on the phone to various condom manufacturers, distributors and sexual health clinics trying to procure large numbers of condoms. Not to be used during the show I hasten to add. We’re not that kind of theatre company! Marketing. That’s what they’re for. Handing out condoms with flyers for our show. Eventually after a myriad phone calls I landed on a company that were delighted to be involved. Hurrah! Read more
August 7, 2009
‘Tis a good question. Why do I find myself hundreds of miles from home in a town of what appears to be madness for the month of August? Well. I decided I wanted to pursue this insane career of producing. And producing 4 shows with Tangram Theatre Company at the Ed Fringe seemed to be as good a way to start as any. Yes, I know, 4 shows seems a bit greedy. Excessive. Crazy. But it was put to me (not as a drunken bet I hasten to add), and being one of those who’s up for a challenge I said a resounding “yes”. And so I became Tangram’s producer – had business cards printed and everyfink. Read more
August 3, 2009
Bluddy nora, its a LONG way from London to Edinburgh. A really LONG way. Especially when you’re in a reasonably small car with 4 other people and a boot that is rammed to bursting, oh and you’re the only driver. I had gaily offered to drive my team up, of course main motivation being money-saving, but hadn’t really thought about how long it would actually take to get here. Long story short, we arrived, 12 hours later: 10 out of 13 of us (yep, we’ve grown since my last blog, we now have a lovely lass joining us from Germany) all present and correct.
At this point, I’d love to make some intellectual comment about the metaphorical differences between London and Edinburgh, nicely linking to my theme, but to be perfectly honest all I managed to do after our epic journey yesterday was a Morrisons shop, a quick poster pick up and then I hid myself away to try and sleep – no exploration of the town, didn’t even meet a local. So my knowledge of Edinburgh is limited to the fact that they talk in sexy accents and have confusing scottish money. Can’t wait to find out more…
July 29, 2009
July 29, 2009
I know nothing about Edinburgh. I’ve never been to the Fringe. Never been to any of the festivals come to mention it. Never even been to the city. I did venture across the border once. Well twice. Mad-cap adventures to Ben Nevis with old colleagues – a world from long ago. But really, how am I in any way qualified to take one show to the fringe, let alone the four that I find myself producing. God, when I look back it feels like a drunken bet. Your director says to you “Go on, I’ve got four plays for Edinburgh – it’ll make loads of money – it’ll be great”. And you nod gaily.
Here I am 3 months later, juggling four productions, a team of 12 and trying to find the royal mile on the map (it’s not there – there is NO road called the royal mile I swear).
It’ll be fine though – won’t it?
July 25, 2009
For the 2009 Edinburgh Festival, we’ve appointed a collective of more than a dozen bloggers to give you a broad, insightful and highly entertaining perspective on life on this year’s festival frontline.
- BABA BRINKMAN – Baba is a rapper and performer returning to the Fringe for the fifth time. His previous Fringe hits include The Rap Guide to the Canterbury Tale and The Rebel Cell. This year, he’s reviving The Rebel Cell (Underbelly’s Hullabaloo, 7-31 Aug) and also presenting his new show The Rap Guide to Evolution (Gilded Balloon, 8-31 Aug). Both are being produced by the team behind Fringe and West End hit Into the Hoods.
>>Click here for Baba’s blogs
- COLIN HOULT – An acclaimed writer-performer who recently appeared in Al Murray’s Multiple Personality Disorder (ITV1) and the play Pete and Dud: Come Again (West End), Colin makes his Fringe solo debut with Carnival of Monsters (Pleasance Courtyard, 8-31 Aug). The new show – combining theatre, comedy and storytelling to evoke a strange twilight world of inimitable creations – follows sell-out runs for Colin as one half of comedy double act Colin & Fergus, and last year’s action-terror-comedy-adventure Zimbani. (What’s more, Fergus of Colin & Fergus is also blogging for us this year about his solo debut – scroll down…)
>>Click here for Colin’s blogs
- CHRIS GRADY – Chris was undoubtedly our most prolific and committed blogger from Edinburgh 2008 so we begged him to return this year. When not blogging, he’s the programme director for the Musical Theatre at George Square, working closely with the University of Edinburgh and Pleasance Theatres. The three-auditoria venue, now in its second year, is the first space dedicated totally to musicals at the Edinburgh Fringe. Grady is also the founding chair of the professional theatre network organisation Musical Theatre Matters, which runs the Musical Theatre Matters Awards. Now in their third year – and sponsored by Whatsonstage.com – the MTM:UK Awards are the only prize-giving specifically dedicated to the musical genre at the world’s largest arts festival. Click here to read our recent festival countdown interview with Chris, and visit the theatre’s listings page for further details about the George Square programme.
>>Click here for Chris’ blogs
- EDMUND DIGBY-JONES – Another Fringe alumnus, Edmund is appearing this year in the world premiere of The Play About Charlotte (C soco, 7-31 Aug), care of Dark Horse Theatre. Set in 1968, Hannah C Patterson’s play revolves around the gifted Cathy, whose battle with mental illness is alleviated only by her close friend and muse Charlotte. Edmund has patented his technique for flyering on the Royal Mile…
>>Click here for Edmund’s blogs
- FERGUS CRAIG – The winner of the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year 2009 award and star of Channel 4’s hit comedy Star Stories admits to still watching Neighbours and happily takes audiences on a very personal guided tour around Ramsey Street in his new solo show Carnival of Monsters (Pleasance Courtyard, 8-31 Aug). The new show follows sell-out runs for Colin as one half of comedy double act Colin & Fergus, and last year’s action-terror-comedy-adventure Zimbani. (What’s more, Colin of Colin & Fergus is also blogging for us this year about his solo debut – see above…)
>>Click here for Fergus’ blogs
- HANNAH SPENS-BLACK – Hannah hasn’t let the fact that she’s an Edinburgh virgin daunt her from mounting four new productions with her Tangram Theatre Company (www.tangramtheatre.co.uk): Almost 10 (Pleasance Courtyard, 8-31 Aug), Art House (Zoo, 8-31 Aug), F**ked (Assembly @ George Street, 8-31 Aug) and The Origin of the Species (Pleasance Courtyard, 7-31 Aug). Hannah trained as a chartered accountant with Deloitte and then worked in the Young Vic finance department, before joining Tangram full time.
>>Click here for Hannah’s blogs
- JENNIFER ROWLAND – Jennifer is a Los Angeles-based playwright whose US credits include The Indians are Coming to Dinner, The School Plays and Ice Girl in Bungalow B. She makes her UK debut, and her first trip to Edinburgh with the world premiere production of The Contest (Gilded Balloon, 8-30 Aug), fresh from a critically acclaimed, sell-out US run. Set in New York’s art scene, the play charts the journey of three characters from hopeful youth to disillusioned adulthood over 15 years.
>>Click here for Jennifer’s blogs
- LISA WELLS TURNER – Lisa returns to Edinburgh this year with the world premiere of The Opposite of Waiting (Venue 13, 8-30 Aug), her new physical theatre solo show, which combines movement song and text. Locked in, Rebecca dreams of escape and adventure. Who are we and who do we feel we should be? Lisa’s previous self-penned show, an adaptation of Iphigenia was mounted at Zoo Venues in 2006. >>Click here for Lisa’s blogs
- MARK MATTHEWS – Mark, an Australian actor and director, is the course director of the Sydney Theatre School. He’s bringing a cast of his graduate students to the Fringe with This Mortal Coil (Quaker Meeting House, 10-15 Aug), which was devised by the group through a Mike Leigh-style of improvisation. It’s directed by Mark who also penned the script. This is the first time Mark has brought a production to the Fringe (although he attended as a visitor last year) and, for most of his cast, it will be the first time they have ever left Australia.
>>Click here for Mark’s blogs
- SAMMY J – Following an extended sell-out season in Edinburgh last year and a stint at the West End’s Leicester Square Theatre, Sammy J in the Forest of Dreams (Udderbelly, 14-30 Aug) is back at the Fringe ahead of a UK tour. In the cult-adult-comedy-musical, Sammy J and his fellow puppeteer Heath McIvor embark on an adventure in a magical forest with a cast of 14 puppets.
>>Click here for Sammy J’s blogs
- TRIONA ADAMS – A former showbusiness agent – and still an occasional Whatsonstage.com reviewer – Triona has written and performs the new one-woman show Nun the Wiser(Gilded Balloon, 8-31 Aug), in which she tells her own true, and truly hilarious, story of how she swapped premieres for prayers and spent a year in a nunnery trying to get into the habit. The experience was also Triona’s inspiration for the BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play The Lemon Squeezer, premiered earlier this year.
>>Click here for Triona’s blogs
- MICHAEL COVENEY – Whatsonstage.com’s chief critic and contributing editor will be at the festival from 7 to 16 August and blogging regularly – as well as reviewing and tweeting.
>>Click here for Michael’s blogs
- WOS EDITORS – Whatsonstage.com’s other key editorial staff – editorial director Terri Paddock, deputy editor Theo Bosanquet and Scotland editor Joe Pike – will also be contributing to a joint blog.
>>Click here for the WOS Editors’ blogs