Monday, 16 August 2010

Back To Bedlamburgh

So I got up to Edinburgh about 8pm last night. I would have been earlier but I spent most of the morning looking for reasons not to pack. A fairly disastrous time up there doing a show in the 90s (Which I think led to a minor nervous breakdown) was bringing back awful memories and I just couldn't motivate myself to go.

Anyway - I did, eventually, and had a painless journey through some of Britain's most beautiful countryside and then hit the town of no parking as the sun began to set. I lobbed the car on single yellow by my hostel, checked in (into a seemingly empty six-berth room) and jogged across the road to pick up my flyers.

They weren't there.

They weren't next door either.

They weren't anywhere.

I was the only show of the Free Fringe with no way of advertising itself. There are about 300 shows on the Free Fringe. There is a rival Free Fringe with about 150 shows. Then there is a "Five Pound" fringe with about a hundred shows. Then there is the fringe itself with about a thousand all in, I suppose. All of them had flyers - except mine.

Distraught, I headed for Canon's Gait to see Peter Buckley Hill, the man behind the Free Fringe. He gave me the printer's number. The printer said he had delivered the flyers to the venue next door. Somebody was lying because they weren't there. I decided the best thing to do was scoff a bottle of Rose wine with a comedian called Caroline Mabey, who was already pissed. I left her at her (well attended) gig. Apparently it had flyers. Next I bumped into Jools Constant and another comedian from Germany called Christian something. We had bavarian smokie hotdogs and the German won a free crepe. We talked about Henning Wehn. Then we went up to the Loft Bar (Comedians hang out) where we bumped into Henning Wehn and also:

Jim Jefferies (Who cupped my balls).
Verity Welch (Who didn't, but did pretend she was working at a school where they got the teenage pupils to suck off the male teachers in the lunch breaks).
Josh Howie and Ed Akzel (Who I talked to about Star Trek)
Andy Smart (Who invited me to a Poker game on Tuesday night).
Toby Hadoake (Who exchanged Sci Fi Pleasantries - he's all about Doctor Who)

And the wonderful Andy Linden.

Andy was on the circuit when I first started but has made his career in acting. He is often seen as a monster, troll or baddie in fantasy feature films and apparently was a pimp in "Rome". He's quite old now and shortly after re-glueing his dentures and putting them back in his mouth, he put his hand over one ear, leant forward and said

"The thing is, Young Paul (I know - young!) - I'm mutton in one ear, I've lost my railings, my haystack's gone and I've got sciatica - I'm just waiting for the darkness, really". I had little idea what he was talking about - the guiness was flowing and his own particular brand of rhyming slang was a bit much for me.

Much of the night is a daze but I returned to the hostel just about 4am, waking up the three old women I discovered I was sharing a dorm with in the process.

I slept until 10am then walked to the car (I'd left it in a car park about a hundred miles away the night before) and had a chat with the attendants who said I could leave it there for two days for twenty quid. I then bought an extension lead for my amp (the venue didn't have one, of course) and some concealer because I had grown a pus-filled extra head on the end of my nose that made me look like a pervy Rudolph. I got to the venue about mid day only to find that my flyers hadn't. Neither did one of my flyer people. The other one did though so we hit the streets for a couple of hours with Free Fringe brochures that at least had my listing in.

The result? My first show had 25 people in, including two people I knew. It went all right. I was rubbish at the start but have to thank a lovely comic called Alex Marion for effectively warming them up for me. I embarked on Hung Parliament - The Musical and it was relatively well received. At the end of the indoor busking the audience had left £17 in the bucket. Twenty Five per cent of that was for Amnesty International ( |I decided to be a bloody do-gooder this year). That equates to £4.25, so you know. I don't think it's enough to free political prisoners, but it might be enough for one of them to have the rope loosened. I am currently sat in my car writing this as I can't be bothered to take the laptop to the hostel. One more night with the oldies and then I move to the university. Apparently my flyers arrive tomorrow, I have two people flyering tomorrow and I have already turned down one extra show today because I wanted to write this. Tonight I am going to "Shaggers", a show where comedians get up and tell their disastrous sex stories.

I'm booked for Friday. It might have to be an extended set.

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