Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Going Up.


Today’s been a long, yet productive day.

It started with me rushing to get ready in time to be given a lift to Hitchin Station by my mum this morning to meet the 8:19 train to Peterborough (like 'The 8:15 from Manchester', only less of a Nineties kids’ TV affair).

Glyn and I have always said we’d one day like to travel to the festival by train, rather than making our way up in a van or people-carrier that’s stocked up to the brim with props, luggage and the rest. So it was today for the first time for me, though I still had a large suitcase, a satchel and a couple of plastic bags to contend with. Even this was only possible after sending a suitcase full of electrical equipment, a projector screen and a stand in three separate packages couriered by two different companies; at time of going to press, the projector stand has arrived, with the other two parcels set to come tomorrow, all being well.

(…and by “all being well” I mean, “Without them, there's no show.”)

I decided to get an earlier train to Peterborough than was suggested by National Rail Enquiries, to allow for what would have been a tight connection. Consequently, I had enough time to make a quick phone call to a circus supplier to rearrange delivery of a single white juggling ring that I’ve ordered for a visual gag in the show; it won’t be with me until a few days into the run, but once it’s here, it’ll take the proverbial roof off.

My only setback of the journey was a brief argument with a guy who’d decided to sit in my reserved seat from Peterborough, and initially wouldn’t accept that it was mine not his. In many ways I was a largely mute participant, as he seemed to be content to provide both sides of the conversation himself, eventually resorting to a burst of irate Italian when all other quasi-schizophrenic avenues were exhausted. He finally swapped for a seat across the aisle, from which he spent the rest of the journey scowling at me and sucking his teeth.

It felt strange to be travelling to the Fringe on my own. My emotions on the way up flitted from serenity to low-level panic. I have such vivid memories of my various stints up here with Glyn that the thought of facing the onslaught on my own would be overwhelming, if it weren’t for the work I’ve done in the lead up to it. As long as I remember I have form as a performer (no pun intended), it shouldn’t be such a daunting prospect. It will only overtake me if I forget that I don’t need to take things that seriously. It’s just a show, for fuck’s sake.

I stepped off the train at Edinburgh Waverley and into a taxi, which took me to the letting agents' on one side of the town, so I could pick up my keys, and then back to near the Royal Mile, where my digs are based. A quick trip to Sainbury’s followed, where I picked up a few emergency supplies to do me until I get the chance for a proper shop. After that, I went to get my flyers from the venue – nearly doing myself an injury in the process – before coming home to do a run of the show and have something to eat. Now bed awaits; I hope my parcels arrive tomorrow, as without them, my show will be a cosy five minutes' long.

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