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Family and the 'Fringe Wave'

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“Hello, is that Grace? It’s Lyn Gardner on the phone from The Guardian”


Scariest phone call of my life? Perhaps. Most excited I have ever been on the phone ever? Yes. You know when you try to sound composed in your voice but you jump around manically. That’s what I was doing. In the kitchen. That afternoon we had an article on The Guardian wesbite dubbing us as the ‘new act of the day’. Smiles all round, even when it rained. After the phone call I opened the door and the rest of the company were sat on the landing, looking up at me like naughty kids who have been caught staying up too late. I half expected them to be holding a glass to the door but I don’t think that ever actually happens in real life.

Having your family up at the Fringe always adds that extra little sprinkle of pressure. During the day all you want to do is find a ‘nice’ café to sit down in, you want it to bloody stop raining because this is their summer as well, and you want to show them the Royal Mile in all its glory (it did not disappoint). But it’s not just about them having a good time, in my case it’s because of my family that I am able to do what I do, they support me in ways I perhaps don’t even realise and when I saw them in the second row my first thought was – ‘oh, please love it’. And, much to my relief, they did.

Ofcourse having your family up also means you can draft them into the flyering team because I’ve been doing it a week now and it’s all starting to get a bit tired. Their enthusiasm knew no bounds (day one for them… day one) declaring that they have good ‘banter’ (that’s the first time I’ve heard my Dad use that word) and using their elderly status to persuade people through the door in the case of my Nana. Reviewers come and go, but perhaps the scariest, most listened to critics of all are your family and if they love the show, it means so much more.

This past week we really have witnessed the Fringe ‘wave’, the inconsistent, constant, rolling up and down that come with performing at the festival. Two days in we got our first review. 4 stars. Brilliant. We were coming up. The next review wasn’t so great and we found ourselves peering over the crest before crashing back down to earth and worries that we may be heading for a bad Fringe crept their way into the backs of our minds. Our show is all about how small changes can have far reaching, unpredictable consequences and there was a timid caution in the company that this review might be the catalyst for worse things to come. But we picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves off. Then a great review, a good sized audience, an alright review, over 100 sat in seats, then a great review. Starting to feel a bit nauseous now. Yesterday we had a surge of good reviews including a five star and this morning we woke up to a four star review in The Herald. On the up again then? Though, I’m not too worried about what’s to come. We have a thick skin now and I have a feeling that this review might just get us to land.


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