It was great to finally get things going today with my first show at this year’s EdFringe.
The last few days saw two previews with no turnout, mostly due to the weather and the fact the festival hadn’t truly kicked off yet, but this went in my favour as it gave me a chance to run the show twice in the space, which made me feel more solid when approaching today. One thing I hadn’t quite prepared myself for was the energy required to keep it firing apace, or at least to give the show a sense of cohesion while still letting the jokes sit. I don’t help myself by starting at a lick, therefore making it hard to get my breath back; am I really that unfit?
I had fifteen or so in today, which is more than enough to make the show work in the space. What was nice was there was a good range of ages, which reassured me, particularly when some of my references are quite niche. I don't think you need to know the people or things I’m discussing directly as the material isn’t that excluding, but it helps to have a bit of a mix for it to read at different levels. I even had the benefit of a German woman in the audience who gave me some pointers on the pronunciation of a Deutsch phrase I gabble my way through for one of my punchlines; I’ve yet to have a German-speaker pick it up despite having a few people in the audience now for whom it’s their first language; I can’t see me doing an Izzard-style foreign gig just yet.
The biggest gift of the afternoon was spotting a man in the audience frowning as he tried to read my handwriting on one of the slides on-screen. When I questioned him about it he said, “I don’t understand your Es”, beautifully contradicting himself in a single sentence; if only there could be more moments like that, I wouldn’t have to put a show together.