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Take That China!
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Give Me Your Voice
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Saturday, August 21

Still alive....

So little time to write up what's been going on. In essence, it's all going really well. I have high hopes for today's show, but I'll have to take to the streets and flyer for it, or they'll be dashed.

Festival is going well, 9 shows left to do and we're still raring to go.

Tuesday, August 17

We're working very hard
I am currently sitting in The Underbelly listening to Abbey Road - this is playing through the bar speakers as I type on my laptop, connected to the wireless internet they have here. I'm taking a rare break from gigging. I was hoping to see a bunch of shows, but today is a lot of people's day off, so perhaps it makes sense for me to be chilling out for a bit. I will pop over and see something shortly, I'm sure.

Today we had possibly our best house so far - at least in terms of numbers. They were not the rowdiest house, but they were very loving and gave us a lot back. We flyered about 3 hours each. In addition, we had flyering support from our official flyering person and a couple of friends too. I spent about 2 hours with the queue for the Fringe office - something which is now officially my main task - and managed to convince a bunch of people to come and see the show. Either that, or what we're doing is irrelevant and people are coming out of sheer coincidence.

I am gigging hard and looking forward to our day off tomorrow, when we're still going to have some performing to do - we're doing the best of the fest musicals show.

This is really good fun. I wish I had time to write more.

I'll have to do a retrospective. It will be finished by about October '05!

Wednesday, August 11

Oh my goodness - so much happening and so little time to write about it.

The best news I can report so far is that we have had a couple of reviews and they have been really positive. The reviewers came in on our second show which was probably the worst show we have ever done in terms of engaging with the audience. We pushed and pushed and they didn't seem to be there... but slowly and surely we reeled them in. The reviewers either didn't notice the lack of hilarity in the room, or forgave us our case of second night blues. The reviews we've seen were from Three Weeks (4/5) and The Scotsman (***). This is really encouraging. We still have to work really hard to get our audiences to know about us and come, but so far it's going really well.

Today, I am really tired and I have no air. Luckily, we have no show today, so I think I can get away with it. I'm off to do some flyering now. I shall, hopefully, find time to write up what's happened since the last post, but the important thing is that we're having a good time and starting to get a grip on the festival.

Thursday, August 5

A brief summary of what's happened so far in Edinburgh. There was a slightly less brief summary, but the computer lost it. Damn things.

Day 1 - Sunday
We packed, went to the supermarket, packed some more and then set off from Newcastle to Edinburgh with a car so full that the contents were all pushed up against the windows. Arriving in Edinburgh we had the pleasure, though not surprise (after the previous day's work with the set) of negotiating all three flights of steps up to the flat with the exceedingly bountiful contents of the car.

We made relatively light work of the trip up to the flat and even unpacked within a few minutes. This left us time to go out for the evening. We headed to the Spiegel Tent, which is one of the first festival bars to open. Much enjoyment was had at the time and the energy of moving cities, coupled with a light eating schedule soon enabled me to become desperately merry and under the influence.

Day 2 - Monday
Of course, I'm not as young as once I was, certainly not as youthful as my co-star, and so I woke with a stinker of a hangover. This hangover stayed with me over much of the day, despite my efforts to shift it with coffee, a breakfast that could kill a man and a variety of combinations of fresh air and optimism. Ibuprofen was a good answer, in the end.

We visited the venue to see how things were going and arranged to get all of our set into the place later in the day. We met up with our chief flyerer and organised the dates we'll have help getting people into the show. We went shopping for "vital essentials" that were missing from the flat. In this case, I apparently, cannot do without a laundry basket, a shower curtain and a small table (upon which this very laptop is resting as I type).

Somehow the day passed by and we survived taking the set down three flights of stairs and then back up another set in the venue itself. At the venue we met and were assisted by our new crew member, who is also a comedian and is doing another show which Incredible Productions is producing - Rehab's for Quitters. Since I'd not met the star of this show, it made sense to spend some time with him talking turkey.

The turkey having been talked, there was a relatively sedate evening spent over coffee at a friend's place, followed by a quick drink in town. I got chatting to an Irish girl called Stacy, with lovely eyes, who smelled of garlic and talked so constantly about almost intolerably pointless things that I couldn't get a word in edgeways, in order to talk almost intolerably about my own pointless things. I won't be seeing her again.

Day 3 - Tuesday
This was the day of our technical get-in. Quite an important day in the history of the show. I've finally had to give it over to the venue. Essentially, there's nothing left for me to plan. All the plans have come to fruition. Sure, I may have kit which is currently spare and which proves its use in unusual and interesting ways, but I've nothing specific left to worry about. However, when the day started, I didn't know that. I zoomed over to the venue to see whether my cables had arrived. They hadn't - so that was something to sort out.

We found out whether any tickets had been sold - surprisingly some had, which was nice. Then we did plenty of flyering, because an audience in a room that holds 160 can seem pretty sparse. The tech get-in was fun, and we have a lot of work to do in order to make the show work, but we can do it. I'm sure we can. All my wires worked. Yay.

In the evening we had a couple of beers, which nearly completely floored me, so I came back to the flat to write the first version of this diary. That was eaten by the computer, so I mutedly left the flat and returned to town. I had been asked to help with the technical set up of a venue, but found myself answering the call of a lone-female in the middle of nowhere with a flat tyre. Tyre irons at the ready - I hopped in a cab and got down to the task of attempting to replace the wheel with the spare. A passing motorist stopped and gave us some light as I discovered that the jack didn't actually fit in a specific jacking point. Luckily, a previous "jacker" had dented the sill under the car with that ill-fitting jack, giving me an idea of somewhere that the jack had, previously, not plunged through the sill, while holding the car off the ground.

Giving a lecture on wheel changing, while simultaneously changing the wheel and putting much filth under my fingernails, I completed the challenge of wheel-changing - a task I quite enjoy. The car was back on the road and I had some techie things to get on with at the venue I was helping to set up. A day of problem solving. Cool.

Day 4 - Wednesday
I had a few priorities for the day. Flyering, show-watching and performing were in the list. I saw the following shows:

  • Bad Play 2
  • The Trap
  • The Elephant Woman

All of these were previews and the latter two had noticeable technical glitches. However, I laughed heartily and had a good time. I shall try not to worry too much about the possible drawbacks of technical glitched in The Musical!. I handed out a few hundred fliers and a few free tickets too. In a few hours, I'll be handing out even more fliers.

The gig went reasonably well, considering a bizarre mix of mainly comedians and a few punters in the audience.

I ended the night in the meadows, writing a song for use in a stand-up show.
Many well-wishers have wished us well over the course of the day. It's going to take some doing, but I hope we get through the first show, which will be coming to an end in just over 12 hours' time.

Now I shall sleep.

Sunday, August 1

Edinburgh here we come
Well, this is pretty much it. The car is about to be packed for the second time (we did a car load full of stuff yesterday on the way to a gig, which was abandoned, but never mind). We're about to head up the A1 yet again, and we're unlikely to set foot outside of the city until the 31st (or maybe the 30th if we decide to bring the set back on our last day).

Not much else to report... we rehearsed, we drove, the time was too short, but it wasn't quite short enough to make things impossible.

Why am I not in the car and driving?... sorry... gotta dash.

Keep watching, I'll probably blog of my adventures in Edinburgh - if there's time.

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