Comedy people are already starting to talk about the Edinburgh festival even though it is not for another 7 and a half months. There are few things that are discussed quite as often on the circuit as the festival. August is spent at the fringe, with most conversations being about how its all going. September to October is generally asking everyone how their fringe experience went. November people start asking whether you’ll be going back next year, and then that remains the topic of conversation until the following August. You might say its because comedy-centric people have no imaginative social abilities to discuss anything else but its actually because its a big event in the entertainment world.
My plan is to take a solo show to the fringe this year. That seems like a fairly solid idea, until yesterday when I started to recall all the elements you have to think about as well as writing and performing a show. Firstly there is finance. To head to Edinburgh this year, unless I find a rich benefactor, I may have to sell off some organs. I’m fairly sure I don’t need both my kidneys so that could be a plan. Although the booze that I will be consuming in Edinburgh will probably call for the use of two kidneys rather than one. Its not all elements of the festival that are expensive but certain are worse than others. Accommodation for example. The citizens of Edinburgh are so annoyed that performing wankers take over the city for the month of August that the only way they can deal with it is by renting out their homes at prices that would allow them to buy ten other flats and go on the best holiday of their life. Meanwhile you are broke, living in a flat thats full of damp and hasn’t been cleaned in four years and in a city that wont stop raining in the summer.
This expense, along with venue rental, PR, printing and having to eat and live when you are not earning for a month is normally something that you just take into consideration and know that September will be spent scavenging for food in bins. However, this year with that ol’ credito crunchy there are worries whether it will be worth it or not. Will any punters be going this year when their hard earned pound will only pay for the tenth of a show by someone they’ve never heard of and could end up with them wasting an hour of their life they will never get back because someone wanted to only do jokes starting with the letter z in the form of interpretive dance? There was a massive drop in ticket sales (partly because the fringe box office collapsed) and it could be worse this year.
On the plus side there might be more foreign tourists buying tickets now that the pound is worth the same as a child’s drool. On the minus side none of the foreign tourists will really get any of the comedy shows. Another plus, there should be less shows going up this year so less competition. However this could also mean less important people bothering to see shows and the feel of the festival just dwindles away. Although there are some great venues and good schemes going on such as the Five Pound Fringe which should help things along. No downside to that one.
So some choices to be made about whether I should break, nay destroy, my bank or not. At least at the moment I am confident about the show itself. I haven’t written it all by any means, but I have a much stronger idea about what it’ll be about and I have one page of spidery notes that when I try and read them I get confused about what any of them mean. At least I still have 7 months to sort that bit out. Oh, and any rich benefactors reading please get in touch at the usual address.