Posts Tagged ‘Edinburgh Fringe Festival’
Edinburgh 2012 is over for another year but we asked Gary Lynch who went over this year for the first time as comedian to write an article for us about the festival and his experiences.
It was the best of times it was the worst of times….
When I started doing comedy three years ago, people used to talk about the Kilkenny Festival; who they were going to see, who they were going with, who they thought they would be riding, but mostly about putting on a show in the Kilkenny Fringe (if such a thing ever existed). Among the people I hung out with, mostly other newbies, Edinburgh featured only as an idea, with no active talk about actually doing it.
The idea of putting on any sort of show at Kilkenny as a non-booked performer seems to have died out, as the nature of comedy in Ireland precluded any real respect or interest in a ‘Fringe’ at that ancient city (is it a city?). With no progression, or possibility of reviews, the best you could hope for was a bloody good pissup.
Reports coming back from those we did know at Edinburgh suggested a different picture. The Free Fringe, where the punter gets in free but pays to get out, seemed to offer the best chance of playing to decent sized audiences. In fact, you seemed more likely to get good numbers in a pub than many of the more established acts who charge in. And if you put on a good show, the voluntary contributions into the famous bucket could keep you in beer, kebabs and morning after pills quite comfortably.
Armed with high (for me) optimism, and the determination and organisation of my partner-in-crime, Michael Porter, of Derry slash Londonderry slash Maiden City, I found myself committed to three compilation shows across two venues. The Jeckyll & Hyde, a Goth pub in the new town, slightly away from the epicentre of the Fringe, but with a great and loyal clientele, and Finnegan’s Wake, just off the Royal Mile and at the heart of the action.
This seemed like a great idea at the time, and does looking back on it, but sometimes during it, when there was no respite, it felt like I had committed to rolling a boulder up a hill and letting it roll down so I could start all over again. Just like the Greek guy, Demis Roussos.
At times, when all you wanted to do was stay in bed late, or go home early, or just lie down in some grass, you had to get out flyering, or travel to the next gig.
The flyering, Jesus the flyering! I’ve done flyering for gigs in Dublin, and nobody wanted to know, so it was the thing I dreaded most. BUT!! in Edinburgh, there are thousands of people walking around who are actively LOOKING for shows to go to, so it actually works!
It was a lovely surprise to see it was so effective, and we learned quickly that the harder you flyer, the bigger the audience, and importantly, the bucket take. But it was also disappointing because if it works you have no excuse not to do it, which I would have loved.
Robbie Bonham travelled to Edinburgh this year for the first time with his own solo show. I caught up with him recently for a very quick chat among the craziness of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!
So Robbie, what’s the weather like?
Much the same as anywhere in Ireland. ‘Changeable’. Ya might as well be stepping out of a spaceship onto a different planet each time you go out the front door!
Haha! So how did the shows go for you?
Going good. Have had some hiccups en route, but some nice shows coming together.
That’s to be expected I expect. What’s been the best thing about the festival?
My mate’s couch and food.
Sleeping on a couch is a good thing? What about the worst thing?
Nothing new there then? What’s been the biggest surprise of the festival?
That I’m still operating within ‘normal’ mental parameters (well, as normal as usual)
So…..got any gossip??
Alan Carr is gay.
Ground breaking news there then….Now Robbie we can’t let our random question tradition slide, so… how many comics have you bought since you went to Edinburgh?
Just bought the one. My host here has a plentiful supply to read
So there you go Robbie is poor but sane it seems! Catch him when he gets back to hear all about his adventures!
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is full of performers of every kind. Up to now we have spoken to comedians, so we thought it was about time we got chatting to some other random performers so today we chat to Shane Robinson who appeared in the production “Les Impossibles” for a week at the start of the Fringe.
Hi Shane, firstly can you tell us a bit about the production?
The production I was in was titled “Les Impossibles” is a surrealist comedy borne from the abstract mind of its director and writer Grainne Curristan. Les impossibles follows the lives of Actor 1 and Actor 2 as they embark upon devising and creating a play, highlighting the highs and lows of attempting such a task whilst asking a number of questions along the way.
Sounds like a fun play! So we have to ask…..what was the weather like?
The first day we arrived on the beautiful soil of Edinburgh we had with us our finest ponchos in hand as we’d clearly decided to bring a few of our fiercely mild Irish rain clouds along for the journey. But luckily after the first day or two some kind spirited Mediterranean goddess felt pity and behold it was like we were on a paradise island for the rest of the week. I even managed to get a streaky tan. Perfect weather for wearing all blacks, running around like a lunatic trying to flyer and causing a ruckus.
Streaky tan…nice! You did a couple of shows during your week over there, how did they go?
We had a nice little run for our show. We went through the highs and lows from the first show we had the pleasure of debuting in Edinburgh to two people. Our venues marketing director and err a reviewer. Fun times. But we managed to dramatically increase the numbers as the week went on by getting out onto the royal mile and various other locations and being as vocal and physical as legally allowed to, catching people’s attention doing abstract still images to improvising scene’s from the play garnering attention. At night we’d banter with other acts and try doing a swaps’y with them a show for a show. There was something like 2000 odd shows which is mental and trying ranch up the audience for a 12 o clock show can be a daunting challenge especially to get your targeted audience range. You start off wanting your show to be creditable by not selling it as “free” but midweek you’ll do anything to get bums on seats as we strongly believed we’d a show worth seeing and we’d very positive feedback from audience members. We’ll be doing a homecoming show in November so watch out for that.
Monday morning has hit us again! Ugh! On a lighter note, we are here again with the final Edinburgh round-up So what’s been happening during the week in Edinburgh? Read on to find out!
First up Mr Trevor Browne got a 4 star review from The Skinny for his Edinburgh show “I think…I am”
You can see it here
Some comedians wish for a longer festival…
The edinburgh fringe festival is good but it would be better if it was a bit longer
- Eleanor Tiernan
There are some random pictures floating around Facebook from the festival. This one of Aidan Killian comes to us thanks to Robert Coyle!
Resident MC of the Comedy Crunch, Danny O’Brien received a 4 star review from examiner.com for his show “All his f(r)iends. You can see that review here
We all know that Edinburgh is one whole month-long comedy fest but who what is the funniest joke?? Well according to BBC News Stewart Francis has taken that crown! Want to know what that joke was? Take a look here! You can also see the rest of entries!
So there you have it…. the final round-up! Though I have a sneaky suspicion that we have not heard the last of the festival here at the Comedy Scoop! Keep and eye out for some more randomness!
Robert Coyle is a relative newbie to the comedy circuit (18 months as of August 18th!) and this is his first year at the Edinburgh Fringe festival so we thought what better person to have a natter with than someone who is bright-eyed and bushy tailed…..so we did! Here ye go. Enjoy!
So Rob, as we have not witnessed it for ourselves and we hear so much about it raining all the time….tell us how is the weather?
The weather has been amazing only 2 days of rain so far. At the moment I have spent more time in my shorts than rain coat.
Nice, so it’s actually like a proper Summer holiday! I think people do be lying about the weather ye know! So you have done a few shows at this stage, how’s it going for you?
Going brilliantly I got two positive reviews; one of which was I think a bit generous given that I watched the performance back myself and thought I had done okay. I have learned so much and the material has matured and hardened. The main show with Andrew has been difficult to get people into because of its location but we are redoubling our efforts this week to give it one last push
Fairly positive all round I would say? What’s the best thing so far about Edinburgh?
The best thing so far is a tie between 3 gigs I did which simply could not have gone better the buzz was amazing.
Delighted to hear good stuff coming out it all! Now for the bad stuff….what’s the worst??
The worst thing so far is gargling Cayenne Pepper and Salt Water 3 times a day to keep my voice in working order
Bleugh! That does not sound like a nice combination alright! What’s been the biggest surprise for you so far?
Biggest surprise has been how quickly I adapted to the lifestyle. I have never had 4 weeks off since 1996 and I am not looking forward to going back to work. As well as that I am surprised at how much of a difference the audience makes to a performance. There have been nights where they help and other nights where they simply do not want to laugh. This makes me realise I need stronger material but also that there are some rooms that do not want to laugh.
Hmm some thoughts to mull over there for you it seems…. So…..any gossip?
I have no gossip, I steer clear of such things…. However I can confirm that Christian Talbot is a great house guest.
Haha! Good to know….. If there was one show you could recommend to see, (obviously not your own!), to go to who would it be
I haven’t caught any other shows. I do not want to go to a show by Stewart Lee or Jim Jeffries and feel the gulf between where they are and where I am and then have to go on stage. I need to protect my sense of confidence while I am performing.
As you know Robert, we always ask random questions…..your one is Edinburgh related as you are a first timer! Name one thing that everyone should bring with them to Edinburgh?
I can give you 2 answers. one is knee supports as everywhere in Edinburgh is uphill from where you are, no matter where you are. two is enough money to eat at Oink – just ask Christian Talbot.
So there ye go…..Robert seems to be having a ball of a time over in Edinburgh! If you see a knee padded man gargling Cayenne Pepper and Salt Water on the street pop on over and say hi! Tell him we sent you…. or alternatively check out his Facebook Page for details of his various gigs!