It’s finally happening! (she says half-traumatised, half-overjoyed) but it has not been an easy ride… and I’m not talking about the train prices.
Before the pandemic, I was on a bit of a roll.
I had been writing, performing, meeting, producing, grafting and had just been programmed with the Pleasance for my first full run the Fringe with a dream team for my play, Please, Feel Free to Share, one that I was and am still very proud of.
Then, after getting quite far down the line, the news came that the festival was off, along with most of the things I had been working so hard for.
The first thing you do is roll things over and cling onto what you can – an air of desperation in trying to not let this be a lost opportunity. Lots of emails were sent with ‘No worries if not!!’ at the end, which was particularly laughable in the face of quite a lot of genuinely debilitating worry. It should be said though, that the kindness on display from all the creatives I spoke to, was astounding. I had been so used to working alone as a writer, usually in competition with others and myself for so long, that I’d forgotten that there were many like-minded people feeling exactly the way I was.
Then came the difficult, but very necessary, ‘grief’ portion of the experience. Taking a moment (maybe a bit more) to sit with just how disappointing that was and to get some perspective on the important things I still had; health, family, friends. You can’t rush this part.
Then, once I’d had a good wallow, it was time to take stock of the blossoming opportunity that was ‘more time’. A revolutionary concept really when you are so plagued by the idea that you’ve lost time. But it became apparent that having that extra time was formative, and not something I had ever allowed myself before.
We had time to get the show programmed for a short run at Theatre503 as a part of their Resets Festival, and even had time to plan a new show, DOXXX, which was programmed as part of a Scatterjam double bill at VAULT 2022. Although this also sadly fell prey to the wrath of Covid, it was refreshing to use the productivity of this show to start conversations about a new one and consider what I’d like to explore next.
It allowed me to better understand my process as a writer, for better and worse, and to feel grounded and ready to go as soon as things opened again. The fringe is an inspiring place, and I’ve waited a long time to finally be a part of it all.
Please, Feel Free To Share runs at the Edinburgh Fringe to 29 August.