Another day, another Fringe Diary, this time courtesy of Powder Keg’s Josh Coates. A neat run through of the hectic day-to-day activities of theatremakers at the Fringe – this time at slightly later time than most.
The Fringe Festival is a wonderful, exhausting, gruelling, joyous, rewarding, beautiful time of year to be in sunny(or as is usually the case, rainy) Scotland. Now we’ve been to the Fringe before, but as our own company this is our first time and for a while on the edge of burning out, though also wishing for an extra 16 hours every day just in case we miss out on any little thing this city has bursting from its seams – all we can do is try our best.
With our show not being on until 22:15 each night, we find ourselves slightly out of sync with normal human beings and a day will usually run as follows:
- Wake up around 10/11 and commence morning routines, followed by breakfast and coffee
(breakfast that usually consists of a banana on the way out because you’re already running late for that midday show you wanted to see). As it was yesterday, Palmyra (Bertrand Lesca & Nasi
Voutsas) was our midday show at Summerhall – it was gorgeous, playful, nasty, twisted and nail
biting – I highly recommend it.
- After this it was time to grab a quick Sainsbury’s meal deal on the way to another show. The Fringe is brilliant as a performer because you meet so many people and find yourself amongst a lot of friends who all have other shows they’re enthusiastic about and its hard not to get swept up in the hype and find yourself booked up pretty much every hour. However on this particular day, we get to the venue and find ourselves in an empty room – it was of course the performer’s days off (sorry MeMeMe!) so it was to a coffee shop instead.
- We found one nearby the venue and found some seats downstairs that were away from the hustle and bustle of the busy Fringe and gave us a moment of reflection (and frantically checking Twitter for reviews).
- With coffees drank we parted ways, either to do some flyering or to try and squeeze nap #1 into the day. With these done, it was time to race back into the city and find a remote location for a late afternoon show – Doomsday Meditation by a good friend of ours Nathan Birkinshaw at Bar Bados. Whilst he is done no favours by the venue or sound travelling through, the show itself is great, plays beautifully with that line of light-hearted and aren’t-we- all-fucked. After this is done it’s time to squeeze in a bit more flyering and flyer placement all over our venue before heading back via Tesco to make ourselves a dinner that has some kind of fruit or vegetable to keep us alive up here (this time in the form of a tofu and veg stir fry).
- Dinner done and eaten, quick check in with Mum to tell her I’m surviving and eating properly (as I have done every week since i moved out 5 years ago) and that final nap in the 20 minutes you got spare.
- It’s then show time, making yourself look vaguely presentable and energised as you arrive at Summerhall. The wonderful tech crew at NorthernStage had already got well under way with our get in (they’re honestly so great we love them) and classic bits of warm ups and running around loosey goosey to welcome an audience as we play loud angry music to pump both them and us up.
I love performing this show, it’s a lot of fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously which is always a laugh. In it’s relaxed way it also makes it more comfortable for an audience to approach with their own views and opinions. It’s a piece that provokes thought and invites an audience to start a conversation – which I’m glad so far they have been doing and it’s been incredibly rewarding.
We end the show the same way we always have “We’re going for a pint, feel free to come with us” and then it’s off to the Summerhall pub for a few drinks with the wonderful people we have either known for years, or met this year. People we know as other artists, production teams, marketing, producers, techies, or even just some of the staff of the venue. It’s nice finishing our show gone 11pm, because Edinburgh Fringe seems to operate on a level where they too want us to get 40 hours out of our day. Always end up getting home a little later than we plan (what? We only START drinking at like midnight…) and that’s probably part of the reason – along with throwing ourselves into our show every night with everything we’ve got – but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.
Powder Keg’s Morale is High plays at Summerhall NorthernStage at 22:15 throughout the Fringe