In the immortal words of Max Bialystock: “Flaunt it, flaunt it!”
I am available as a Director or Creative Consultant (or whatever words you want to use) on live comedy shows in 2016 – mostly, I guess, for people who intend to stage a show at the Edinburgh Fringe, although I am open to anything.
This can include structuring a show, giving feedback and show notes on performance and presentation, advice on publicity and marketing; whatever you want short of totally writing and performing the whole bleedin’ thing.
I won’t read scripts, because you are not reading out written scripts on stage. I will only advise people or see their live performances or run-throughs or try-outs – even if it’s in a living room! Me just reading words on paper or on a screen is a waste of your time and mine.
I have been going to the Edinburgh Fringe since around 1985 and been involved in the production of various live Fringe comedy shows including ones by Charlie Chuck, Janey Godley, Malcolm Hardee, Helen Keen and Lewis Schaffer. Since 2005, I have organised the Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards and, since 2006, staged annual variety shows in memory of Malcolm Hardee in London and Edinburgh, running anything from two to five hours. There will be a two-hour Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe.
If I give advice on any show that is later considered for a Malcolm Hardee Comedy Award, I will opt out of the decision-making process and will bend over backwards not to show bias. So, ironically, if I advise you on your show, you are much, much LESS likely to win a Malcolm Hardee Comedy Award.
2008-2010 I was UK creative consultant to New York’s Bleecker Street Theater and Green Room venue.
2010-2015 I was UK creative consultant to New York based Inbrook Entertainment, including the Gene Frankel Theatre.
I worked in British TV for around 25 years – including peaktime entertainment shows and series with performers including Jeremy Beadle, Cilla Black, Jack Dee, Jonathan Ross, Chris Tarrant et al – as well as directing/producing/writing promotion & marketing campaigns and press & sales tapes for TV stations in the UK, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, Norway and Sweden.
In print, I wrote comedian Malcolm Hardee’s autobiography, edited comedienne Janey Godley’s autobiography and edited an anthology of stories by 19 stand-up comics. My blog So It Goes – mostly about comedy – was posted daily 2011-2015 and continues sporadically, with over 1 million hits.
I have also written for Chortle, the Huffington Post, the Independent, Screen International, Three Weeks, What’s On Stage and others. And been a script consultant for TV’s This Morning, Tricia, Turner Movies and ITV News etc as well as a researcher for BBC TV News.
In 2014 and 2015, I chaired live Grouchy Club chat shows about comedy at the Fringe with Scotsman comedy critic Kate Copstick. This will continue at the 2016 Fringe. We also post weekly Grouchy Club podcasts and host monthly live Grouchy Club meetings in London.
Quotes about me include:
“The Boswell of the alternative comedy scene” (Chortle)
“Fleming knows a bit about comedy’s extremities”(Fest magazine)
“One of the most influential figures in British comedy” (The Skinny)
My charges are:
£50 per hour + (if outside the London Travel Zone area) travel costs, including time taken.
£350 for up to 10 hours. For this, I have to be paid 50% up-front and 50% at the end of the consultation.
I know comedians!