Can we please start having more fun at the fringe?
Madcap theatre company Last Chance Saloon want to remind people that the fringe isn't all about worthy stage shows - it's a lot to do with having fun
As August arrives and performers head north of the border, their family and friends will often say 'Oh I bet you're going to have sooo much fun at the fringe this year!' But are they referring to the general vibe of the fringe or are they referring to performing in the actual shows themselves?
A lot of shows get so bogged down in reviews, selling out and getting in producers or directors, they often forget what the whole point of creating it was in the first place - to entertain and incite an audience to feel something. People panic over jokes that don't land or lines that get fluffed, rather than ploughing on through or, often to the audiences delight, flagging up the fact you've made a boo-boo. Why not show them that actors are just human beings who make mistakes, who can laugh at themselves and are aware that in the end, it's only bloody theatre?
We started our company because we were fed up of theatre
One of the reasons we started Last Chance Saloon was that we were fed up of theatre! Too many shows we saw were long, boring, political and not very good. Our thought was that at the end of a long work day the last thing people want is to have to mentally slog through an evening of theatre challenging you to think about your role in society or how much you recycle…
Our idea was simple: we wanted to be the antidote to people's bad days. Come watch us and forget all your worries, forget about your idiot boss, forget about the fact you can't afford to travel to work, buy food, go to that new trendy bar and afford that holiday to Santorini. Come join us and laugh, smile and clap along to our songs and if you're really unlucky come join us on stage for some good old fashioned audience participation.
Enjoy the fact that you're performing in a cave to a bunch of drunk people
Theatre and art has an important place in society, we understand that. We know there's some fantastic companies out there who do some thought-provoking theatre. However, in the age of Love Island, Made in Chelsea and TOWIE we need to fight to grab the attention of people and get them into the theatre. The way we try and do this is with mischievous musical mashups, ridiculous characters and lightning quick and slick slapstick comedy routines. It's worked so far, although none of us have made as much money as any of the 'actors' on TOWIE.
At the Edinburgh fringe one of biggest things performers forget to do is to go and watch other shows. And enjoy them. Being chilled and staying positive as much as possible is the key to surviving every outcome of the Fringe. So how do you have more fun at the fringe? Be generous about other shows, smile even when it's raining and don't take anything too seriously. You're doing a show in a cave to make a bunch of drunk people laugh. Enjoy that fact, don't fight it.
Curse of the Mummy runs at Just the Tonic (Big Cave) until 26 August, 19:30.