And so the insanity has begun.
The Edinburgh Fringe has started.
Three-and-a-half weeks when anarchy is the norm.
Yesterday, it turned out that both the Grouchy Club and comedian Paul Kerenza’s show are booked into the same room at the Counting House 3.45-4.45pm on 14th August. So – as it does not affect us as much – and because we are so sweet – Kate Copstick and my Grouchy Club chat shows will now start on the 15th August not the 14th.
Performing at the Fringe is like a needle in a haystack trying to get noticed in the Amazonian Jungle. The haystack may stand out when you see it, but the Amazon is a big place. And, even after you find the haystack, you still have to find the needle.
Paul Ricketts who, in this blog two weeks ago, mentioned he was organising a comedy show in a toilet, tells me he now has several comedians interested but still has no confirmed (or maybe that should be engaged) venue:
“There’s interest in the show,” he says, “and it’s been nominated on the Sell This Gig Out! Facebook page, even though it’s impossible to sell-out a show when no-one knows what day or in which toilet it will be held. But there is already standing room only. And I would also like to reach out to women comics to get involved and break down this last bastion of male oppression. If any ladies want you to do stand-up comedy in a Gents, they can contact me via the event page on Facebook.“
Paul helpfully sent me a link to the YouTube video of his last toilet exploits.
Meanwhile the inexplicable Mr Twonkey sent me an inexplicable photo of what he claims was the final rehearsal for his show Twonkey’s Stinking Bishop.
And the unavoidable Lewis Schaffer, appearing in his first play since his schooldays, sent me a message: “I’m super busy trying to remember my lines so I don’t destroy Giant Leap the play I am in AND also I am thinking about the funny stuff I need to say at my own show Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, £5.”
Lewis Schaffer is never knowingly under-sold.
Which brings us to the core of this blog.
As I – perhaps foolishly – decided this year to come up to Edinburgh on an overnight coach rather than by car, I – perhaps foolishly – left the three increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards with performer Juliette Burton. She promised to deliver them to me later today – she is driving up from London to Edinburgh today. At least, that is what she claimed.
Juliette has always shown an obsessive, possibly unhealthy interest in the Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award.
Now, this morning, I have received an e-mail from her with photos attached and a link to an 8-second online video. The photos are of a letter she has written to me. It says:
As you know you gave me your awards. Thankyou for trusting me/falling prey to my masterplan.
I’ve wanted to get my hands on these awards FOR YEARS! Now I have them I thought about not letting them go. I thought about holding them to ransom (because, let’s face it, that’s the only way anyone performing at EdFringe will make any money, right).
But I’m keen to challenge mental health stigma and misconceptions about people like me, a known nutcase, so I thought the image of “crazed mad person holding awards for ransom; psycho lunatic threatens Fleming” may not help that cause…
So instead I thought I’d permanent-mark my name on all 3. But my own plan was foiled… I awoke today, ready to head to Edinburgh with the awards, with permanent marker in hand… only to find the attached security camera footage. And 3 empty boxes.
Your awards seem to have escaped.
If you want to see your 3 empty boxes again, please send me £1,000,000,000,000 … in Scottish notes.
With that, I might break even this festival.
PS No, I don’t know why I wrote this and then emailed you the picture of it rather than just type it in an email… Artistic? Old fashioned? Crazy?
This is the 8-second video she linked to.
Juliette is fast catching up with Lewis Schaffer in the self-promotion stakes.
She is also appearing in the official Scottish National Russian Egg Roulette Championship at the increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show on 28th August. At least, she thinks she is. She will learn I am not a man to mess with.
But, even if I ban her from that, she is still up at the Fringe performing her Look At Me show (6 performances only) AND her Happy Hour show (9 performances) AND is appearing in the tenth anniversary Abnormally Funny People shows.
Inevitably – this being the Fringe – entirely separate from Juliette, last night I was sent a link to the new Abnormally Funny People video.
And now I have very slight toothache.
Fairly regular – every third year or so – I get toothache in Edinburgh and have to get dental treatment.
Welcome to the Fringe. Share my pain.