Saturday 15 August 2009

Edinburgh 2009, week one

I notice from the header that I've very quickly fallen into the trap of calling this month simply "Edinburgh". That is so the sort of thing these namby pamby southern comedians do when they come up here for the Fringe then never show their faces here the rest of the year. And it's precisely what I said I wouldn't do after I spent all of December in Edinburgh playing in Winter Wonderland. I was to say the Fringe, not just Edinburgh. Whatever, I've been doing Edinburgh for 10 days now and it has been brilliant.

Brilliant but different. For starters Heather came up for week one and will return for week three and on the day of our arrival we learnt our flat back home had had a big water leak, so that cast a big damp shadow over us, just as I was trying to get my show running and she was supposed to be having a holiday and doing an art installation. We've got it sorted by the way, and she's at home doing that now.

The other big difference from other Edinburghs - dammit other Fringe years - is that I've booked daytime work outside the Fringe. I've been delivering my Comic Art Masterclasses around Edinburgh, three days at Balerno High School's summer school then morning or afternoon visits to libraries in Granton, Muirhead, Corstorphine, Blackhall (Google them, they're Edinburgh's flyover estates and the kids are lovely), and at Edinburgh central library (where yesterday a kid in my class was sick, NB: kid vomit smells just like cat vomit, fact). I have more of the same in this coming week too.

All of which means I have to cut back on late nights, and can't do so much flyering in the day, something which is vital to promote your show. It also means my tradition of the last two years of producing daily Sock Puppet videos has totally gone out of the window. The Socks have maintained YouTube silence all the time we've been up here and I'm worried our fans might forget us.

Few such worries on the ground here in Edinburgh where the show has had a record year. As of yesterday we'd sold more tickets and taken more through the door than we had by the end of 2008's Fringe, and more than half the shows have been sellouts (some are technical sellouts, with a few empty seats for admin reasons, but four now have been total every-single-ticket-sold sellouts, and tonight's is, I believe, already the same).

Our TV profile got off to a great start with GMTV:

...and the BBC:

And Heather became the lead story in ArtMag:

And the icing on the cake of our first week has been the 4 star review in The Scotsman, along with a big photo:

So it's good for the show, looks like I'll be making money this year, now I really have to work out how I turn this success into getting the Socks onto the telly and into the big time where they deserve. I'm thinking on it. And being quite knackered. Having pulled a few good late nights at the Loft Bar, having some great conversations with hordes of great people far too numerous to mention, coupled with the classes and the flyering, which I do love and have done some good long stints of, I'm feeling a tad weary. So today I shall see some other peoples shows, and prepare for two more weeks of light entertainment self promotion.

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