Monday, 29 August 2016

Coming Up For Air.


As far as I'm concerned, that’s this year’s Fringe done with.

What a month it's been. I emerge, twenty-six days from when I first stepped off the train, exhausted, emotionless, brain-dead, but proud of what I've achieved. To do my first solo run in Edinburgh was always going to be a big step; one I would never have dreamed of taking when I first brought a show here with Glyn eight years ago.

Not everything was a success – it was never going to be – but on the whole, I’m satisfied with how things panned out. I’ve been far less happy with how things have transpired in the past. Perhaps the biggest frustration was only getting two reviews (a favourable one from Broadway Baby, and a slating from a Twitter reviewer who missed the first ten minutes of the show and consequently didn’t give it a fair hearing), but this was two more than many comics I know who truly deserved them. I would have liked more of an industry presence too, but this was always going to be difficult when I was up against so much competition; at least I can invite people to see me post-Fringe, now I’m presumably match-fit.

One thing I’m for the most part happy with is how my show was received by those who did see it, and by how much I’ve come on since my tentative steps as a solo performer with my Brighton Fringe show ‘…and Ephgrave’ last year. I came out of that frustrated, and with a sense that I perhaps wasn’t capable of doing stand-up on my own, primarily due to a venomous review so early into my solo career. A year on, I’m still plagued with regular self-doubt, but on the whole, I have a firmer sense of my own ability. I’m proud of my second show, 'Mostly David Ephgrave'; there are still plenty of things I’d change if I were to do it again, but there are also things I'm very pleased with.

The most fruitful investment of the run was the flyering team I employed to promote it. I was very lucky that the three people I took on were so nice and so good at the job. They were a picture of keenness and conscientiousness, and I couldn’t have done it without them. One of them was at the venue every day before me, which is pretty astounding when you consider they only had one day off. Thank you Ewan, Alex and Calum; the three of you were bloody fantastic.

(My techie - the brilliant character comic Fraser Millward - was a perfect companion for the run too, who helped me keep hold of at least a vestige of my sanity.) 

The big question is ‘what happens next?’. I'd like to get a few London dates in the diary quickly, so I can invite industry people while the iron is hot. I’m also pretty sure I'll be back next year. I’ve no idea what my next show will contain yet, but let’s be honest, it’s far too early to consider things like that. First things first, I need to get home and rest. I also need to ship all my gear back to Hitchin, which is no mean feat. If only I were a white van man I could drive it all back myself, but I’m not, so I can’t. Now, forgive me while I pack my luggage and tidy my digs. See you next year, Edinburgh, you vicious beat.

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