WhatsOnStage Logo

The View From Paris

WhatsOnStage logo
Packing for the Fringe is always a nightmare. Do I take the corset made out of babygro (it’s blue, with ducks on)? Or the Sherlock Holmes deerstalker? Fake eyelashes? Flipflops? Snowboots? Caffeine pills? Obviously the pills, I’m not planning to sleep for a month. But what else?

The Fringe is impossible to pack for, not only because of the apocalyptic Edinburgh weather (torrential rain followed by blazing sun followed by hail of locusts… yes really) but because you never know what you’ll be doing at any given time. I spent the first night of my first festival in a Free Fringe basement dancing in a circle round a man with a fiddle with ex-Imps and comedy duo Robin and Partridge (now at the Pleasance Courtyard, check them out for a long time).

Then, in 2010, I spent most of my flyering time on the Mile trying to convince punters that I was Sasha Obama. (She is a ten-year old, but we are nonetheless roughly the same size and colour). When it’s perfectly normal to walk down the high street and bump into geishas, Ancient Greeks and men in skirts (my best efforts this year will be devoted to getting Glaswegian Imp Jamie to show a bit of knee) you begin to feel that your own wardrobe might be somewhat lacking. And if you never know when you’ll walk into a performance – or be performing yourself – it’s always a good idea to have props.

This July I’m getting prematurely overexcited from the other side of the Channel in gay old Paris. The ex-pat comedy scene has had a flurry of stand-ups trying out their funny on the Frogs before heading oop north - some of them so amusing I thought I might oui myself. (Don’t worry, none of them made jokes anywhere near as awful as that – the Gilded Balloon is safe.)

So, time’s a-ticking, and the only thing already packed is my stage top. The only certainty I have right now is that we (the Oxford Imps) are going to be putting on a show every day. I’m already getting anxious about pre-booking seats for my comedy heroes – and scanning the guide for any theatre blurb that mentions the words ‘immersive’ or ‘free bacon’. But I guess in the end, I’ll do what I always do and make it up as I go along. Which is kind of par for the course for an improviser. (Cheesy. But not as cheesy as the tatties I’m going to be devouring as soon as I touch down at Edinburgh Turnhouse. BOOM.)

Roll on, 2011. I’m definitely packing the corset. Who knows when I might need to dress up as a sexy baby?

All my amour,

Duker (celebrity child impersonator and proud owner of top below)


Tagged in this Story