The Stand up’s Journey From, To , and From The Edinburgh Fringe
– a fiction based on things that may or may not have happened in a variety of performers’ minds over the last year
1 hour into the journey from Edinburgh fringe seems like 9 days. A regional youth theatre, drunk on a discontinued liqueur once manufactured by one of their dads, sing songs by Madonna forever. Staring out of the window the scenery moves so slowly you can see the particles it is made of. You will never do the Edinburgh fringe again.
You have an idea for a fringe show; it will be about all the objects you bought at fetes when you were a child. It will be a touching, nostalgic view of childhood and the pain of leaving it.
You decide to call it My Fete In Your Hands after previously considering After Fete Mint, Fete O Clock and Fete accompli.
You go back to your parents house and dig through all the things you bought at those fetes. There’s a Star Trek fotonovel, a toy garage, a Greek fisherman’s hat and a T shirt with a picture of Corfe Castle on it. You start fashioning your show – you’ll imagine yourself as a Greek fisherman with a satire on their economy involving a talking cod.
the Fringe brochure deadline is upon you. You say you are “star of BBC3’s Embarrassing Bodies” even though most of the bit about you having a large elbow was cut out in the final edit.
Wonder if you should have done a show about what it’s like having a quite large elbow.
The fete idea is a disaster, you decide that you’ll cobble a load of old stand up together and just start the show saying “I always think life is like a village fete isn’t it? My love life has certainly been a tombola…”
Go to Ramsgate for a preview at a club where the microphone activates the coloured tiles on the disco floor. Fortunately a man in the front row is alone. You make everyone laugh by talking about how his jumper must be the reason he is alone. When pace slackens you return to his loneliness. You never find out that he will attempt suicide later that night.
Spend £3000 on a PR person. Her eyes are threatening & wide so she must be worth it. She’s got you on 3 Counties radio & an interview with a new magazine called The Hot. Young journalist from The Hot says your PR promised you’d pay for his coffee. He has 3, & a muffin.
You find out The Hot won’t be coming out until 16th September. Your PR tells you hindsight publicity is very powerful in Edinburgh.
Come up with a brilliant ending for your show, a moving story about your Dad crying at his allotment over some disappointing vegetables. You will stop, look at the audience, then pull out a big cauliflower and say, “this is the first vegetable I grew with my dad. It never won a competition but it is a winner”
you decide you will be teetotal for the whole run and eat healthily.
Realise you are shouting alone in a tunnel. That alcoholic ginger beer is stronger than you think.
First night, 12 in but they are the perfect 12. You riff about the empty chairs, doing voices and imagining who didn’t come. Later on a man called Mike comes up and says he thought that was the best ‘chair bit’ he has seen. He has mate in telly and he is going to tell him all about it.
PR tells you there are press in. someone has stolen the cauliflower. You throw a hissy fit and catch your trousers on a nail. Later you are shouting alone in a tunnel, you do not realize this.
You blame poor sales on lack of posters. You have been around the venue counting all posters and see you have two less than Alan Carr.
Student Accomodation magazine gives you 3 stars. Spend day carefully replicating the design of the stars. Manage to turn it into a 4 star review. Change the title from Student Accomodation magazine to The Guardian.
You find yourself crying for no reason.
an audience member after tells you after the show that it wasn’t nearly as bad as he had been led to believe. You ask if he could tweet the sentiment so you can RT it.
You find yourself saying “but it read like a 4 star review” for the 54th time that day.
Realise you haven’t eaten for 18 days and buy some Coco Pops.
PR is furious. Says she spent a week wining and dining The Guardian reviewer but he has seen a flyer and says they never review shows twice.
it is 3am and you spend the night trying to staple ham to all other comedian’s posters.
You work out you have lost approximately £5000 (later this figure will be trebled). You hate all other comedians apart from the ones that look lonelier than you.
Like every other comedian you wander around saying that you’ve been reliably informed that you were only one off being on the bae systems comedy award shortlist (the most prestigious prize on the fringe). Drunkenly return to your flat and somehow knock the radiator off the wall and bleed all over the living room (you will lose your deposit)
will this train ever reach London. A sketch trio loudly mimic anything that has ever been on telly. Never again. You bump into Tony Hadley at Kings Cross, that doesn’t improve anything.
you have an idea for a show, Sweet Spandau Ballet High, about how you once bumped into Tony Hadley.