This is the second year I haven’t done a one woman show at Edinburgh fringe and am thoroughly enjoying the freedom of it all. I have done 10 years of shows sometimes 3 full hour shows a day and loved it but never dared to go see much as I was always focused on my own work. Performing makes you selfish and needy so not doing a show makes you open and accommodating.
Firstly I must mention the amazing Assembly rooms up in George Street, no longer the musty, dusty austere middle class castle on the fringe previously run by Buren Coutts (the only venue manager who I have never met despite playing his venue) has changed hands into the Stand comedy club owner Tommy Sheppard.
The difference is astounding – for instance when you walk out of the Assembly rooms, you no longer walk out of a show and into a busy street and run away from there (which I always did and headed for upside down cow heaven at Bristo Square). The Stand company who have taken over the Assembly for the fringe have done a great job as outside they have managed to block off George Street which is no mean feat as half of Edinburgh is already blocked off due to tram debacle. It’s lovely walking out of the Assembly and into an amazing street cafe’s and into the Famous Spiegeltent with entertainment.
Down at Underbelly I am loving the new look Abattoir which is their backstage members club and it’s amazing. You never feel like you are in a fringe club and the staff remember you year after year.
Over at the Pleasance Dome they have stripped the walls back and made it a more spacious place and you can actually see the famous dome which the place is called after....just look up!
I saw a few shows and heard some good stuff – Go see Coalition at pleasance dome at 2pm it’s a stunning piece of political funny theatre and made me cheer at the end.
I also saw Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory the musical up at Assembly Rooms at George Street- I can’t say enough about how good this show is but despite cheering on the Assembly Rooms theatre am not chuffed that they left the giant hanging chandeliers that do impose on every room.
The council have done a wonderful job revamping the Assembly Rooms but surely they could have pulled down the chandeliers to make way for the magic of theatre. Go enjoy Molly Wobbly’s and listen to those songs....amazing!
Right...comedy...go see Rick Shapiro at Assembly Rooms down at George Square (not up in George street where it used to be which is very confusing) ok let me explain this before I talk about Rick....Assembly Rooms used to be up in the magnificent building in George Street over beyond Princes Street now they are down behind the Gilded Balloon on George Square at back of Bristo Square.
So Rick Shapiro is an outspoken, fabulous mouthy, tender, infuriatingly funny and sharp US comic- if you want to see someone you haven’t seen on UK TV – go see Rick. If you want a show that makes you cry and laugh and is so tenderly poignant and insane....come see him.
Nick Doody is at the Free Fringe Venue 78: The Canons' Gait
232 Canongate and it’s a free show. I love Nick Doody; he is a stunning stand up and is very under rated, go see this man.
HOW TO ENJOY THE EDINBURGH FRINGE
Pack a sandwich and some fruit in a bag, it helps between shows.
Take a flyer and ask questions from the flyerer about the show.
The biggest posters don’t make it the best show in town (that’s marketing)
Heaps of stars all over the poster don’t make it funnier/better, just means people liked it and they may like it more than you.
Don’t get grumpy if the person you saw on TV isn’t as funny live, TV shows have comedy ready audiences. They may be even better! They may swear a lot live...so be prepared for that as well.
Always go see a big name comic/ theatre play live and then go see someone who you have never heard of.
If you hated a show or loved a show tell people, word of mouth is excellent and social media means you have your own audience to be your own critic.
Always check the half price hut you will be amazed at apparently ‘sold out’ big named comics who use that service, great bargains to be had.
Always check if a venue has air conditioning if you have an issue with that during the ‘hot days’ – it can get unbearable.
Go see the best live theatre close up, there are amazing shows on.
If you see the comic/actor you loved onstage, tell them if you see them on the street – they love positive feed back
So thanks for reading, if you want follow me on twitter @janeygodley for updates.