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Edinburgh Fringe – Day 1 and 2

Despite my best intentions to write a daily entry, my laptop and general Fringe lifestyle had other ideas. So I will be writing about my first two days at the 2013 Fringe.

I honoured the traditional Edinburgh train journey ordeal and sweated profusely while carrying three bags of heavy luggage with me.

What made this worse was that I was wearing my mountaineering jacket (never actually used for mountaineering) on one of the hottest days of the year. Thankfully, it was early-ish in the morning before the heat properly kicked in. Even still, it wasn’t pleasant.

I did initially think about leaving my coat behind, as it is falling apart after eight years of use, with a broken zip and holes everywhere. I ordered a new coat to be delivered to the place I am staying up here, but knew that there would be a problem delivering it. There are always problems delivering things that are important. And sure enough, I arrived at my flat to find one of those annoying red slips from the postman saying they couldn’t deliver my package and it was at the sorting office. I have rearranged a delivery to coincide with when I am working remotely.

Anyway, I expect you are not reading this for information about coats and are wanting to know more about the Fringe. If you were reading this to find out more about coats, that was for you.

I have returned to the same venue I was performing at last year, the Kilderkin. I adore the pub and am very happy to be back there.

Nevertheless, the venue is slightly off the beaten track so can be challenging to get an audience in. We managed to go ahead every night last year despite being on at 11pm, we did a lot of flyering and made it work.

This year, the show is at 6pm. In theory, this should make it easier to get in a crowd as there are many more people around this particular part of town at 6pm rather than 11pm. But after two shows, I think a strategy needs working out.

One disadvantage is that I need to get the room ready before our show, transforming it from an eating space into a performing space. This needs doing at 5pm and takes about half an hour, which cuts into my optimum flyering time.

I need to work out a way to get around this. Flyering is going to be made particularly more difficult when I am working remotely for four days of the first week. Simon has a solo show to promote, so I fully appreciate him not having as much time.

Our first show had 18 in for audience, which wasn’t bad. I was on first, only about ten minutes after putting the room together. So my mind wasn’t properly focused on my set. It didn’t go too badly, but was definite room for improvement. I also must force myself to stop saying ‘um’ and ‘uhhh’ so much when I am going off-piste.

Simon did very well and it was just the pick-me-up he needed after a few challenging days of his solo show.

At our second show, we had ten people in for audience. This was disappointing, but you have to work with what you’ve got. They were a nice and friendly audience with more smiles than laughs, which is never what you want as a comic. Still, I am grateful for any audience and it is normal for Fringe shows to take a few days to hit their stride.

  • Love and Lilley: Fear and Loathing is on at 6pm from Saturday August 3 to Saturday August 24. At Kilderkin, 65 Canongate, EH8 8BT. It is part of the PBH Free Fringe, which means it’s free.

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