Sunday, 23 August 2009

Edinburgh for pleasure and profit

This year's Edinburgh Fringe, which still has 8 performances to run, has been an enjoyable one, and as ever I contrast it with previous years. Obvious in previous years we hadn't suffered a flood in our flat back home, and Hev hadn't shuttled up and down to check on things, but amazingly we seem to be keeping our minds off that as the days go by.

The most delightful comparison with previous years is how much The Socks success has grown. Audiences have been universally great, big in number and laughing in all the right places, and our reviews (all 4 stars so far) have reflected that. We've made more and more room for adlibs which are making our interaction with the audience funnier and more interesting than any previous show.

I've felt a bit disappointed that I haven't done Socks video diaries this year, but with daily Comic Art Masterclasses on most weekdays since preview week, it's been out of the question. Frankly no-one's complained about their absence.

Now I'm getting a little concerned that I've not done enough to use Edinburgh to promote The Socks. I've only done a couple of extra curricular gigs (Geek Night Out and Get Up Stand Up) and may still do Spank and Old Rope. But have I made myself known to folks who book shows the rest of the year round? Not enough I fear. Though some theatres have come to see us, and one offered us a booking the very next day, so maybe the good work is going on behind the scenes.

Yesterday I attended a seminar of International Fringe Festivals, where we heard from and met representatives from Fringes in Prague, South Africa, Brighton, Adelaide, Amsterdam, Hollywood and some others. Most are pay-to-play, like Edinburgh, but a couple look like they might be worth the gamble. I'd most like to get us invited to a festival like Melbourne. Sucking up still needs doing.

Have hardly seen any shows, only 10 so far I think, and am refraining from reviewing them cos I don't want to say anything that might upset anyone (oh god, even saying that will make the friends whose shows I've seen think I hate their shows - I didn't, they were all brilliant. I just don't want to start making one show sound any better than another or damn by faint praise, not till the whole shebang is over, is that okay?)

Networking of a more nebulous kind went on in a great way last night at the Loft Bar, where I pulled me longest late night stint of this year, surrounded by bigger names than have been around for a while and some grand conversations. Best chat was with Stephen Merchant, about men, women, life the universe and He's Just Not That Into You, and I met Tav who manages the Ting Tings, and give full marks to chats with Sean Hughes, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Geoff & Marnie and a dozen other top folk some of whose names remaina blur. It was such a good night that I've decided to have an early night tonight since otherwise it could only be an anticlimax. I know, I know, I should network every available second, but sometimes you can just be trying too hard.

Next weekend is the TV festival and I must get all the delegates emailed by tomorrow morning. So that will be tonight's networking.

Oh god, sales figures are rubbish for tonight (following two more sellouts) so I'm afraid I must flyer some more. Laters.

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