The Edinburgh Fringe venues in August are already guaranteed to be a mess with the Cowgatehead debacle (subject of already too many earlier blogs) meaning many ‘free’ shows will be in the wrong venues and/or at the wrong times or will not exist at all.
Now I have discovered even some ‘pay’ venues will be slightly confusing.
I met Juliette Burton at King’s Cross station to talk about her updated Look at Me show which is being previewed at the Leicester Square Theatre tomorrow night and Thursday night.
“I’ve been adding extra bits to it because of recent newsworthy events,” she told me.
“All that hoo-hah about the ‘beach ready’ ads?” I asked.
“I’m impressed,” I told Juliette, “that you are not mentioning the product name. The yellow thing we don’t name so they don’t get unnecessary publicity. You wrote about it in Standard Issue and the Huffington Post.
“Yes,” said Juliette. “And it highlights the issues that are brought up in Look at Me. I’ve also been adding in jokes and making it more about me.”
“And,” I said, “you’re taking it back to the Gilded Balloon venue at the Edinburgh Fringe in August.”
“Yes. I’m doing it at the Gilded Balloon for six days, but the Pleasance Dome is housing me and a couple of other people.”
“What?” I said. “You are not actually in the Gilded Balloon building itself?”
“I’m not exactly sure. It’s called The Gilded Balloon Study, but it’s housed in the Pleasance Dome.”
The Gilded Balloon and the Pleasance are two competing venues at the Edinburgh Fringe. As far as I understand it, the Gilded Balloon’s old press office was going to be turned into a venue this year, but there were problems and the Pleasance venue next door helped out by providing space.
“I’m just happy it’s all so amicable,” Juliette told me. “It’s nice when people work together to overcome obstacles.”
“Yes it is,” I said. “Is that all you’re doing in Edinburgh this year, apart from competing in the annual Russian Egg Roulette Championships at the increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show on 28th August?”
(The Edinburgh Fringe is all about blatant promotion.)
“Well, I’m also doing Juliette Burton’s Happy Hour at the Jekyll & Hyde pub for one week and some shows with Abnormally Funny People.”
“Why are you appearing with Abnormally Funny People?” I asked. “You’re not disabled.”
“Because I’ve got mental health problems.”
“Surely that doesn’t count?’
“It’s a disability,” said Juliette. “There are lots of disabilities that are invisible. I always used to feel quite nervous about classing it as a disability.
“I’ve also been nominated for the National Diversity Awards 2015. I’ve been nominated by somebody else, but I have to put together evidence that I am, in fact, a role model for diversity.”
“Diversity” I asked, “is what?”
“It’s about breaking down barriers and encouraging people to embrace everybody, no matter what they look like or what they’ve been through.”
“If you want to embrace everybody, you should team up with Patrick Monahan,” I suggested. “So why are you diverse?”
“Because I’m a nutter. But I’m keen to be less of a campaigner and more of a comedy person now. I’m nominated for the Funny Women Awards on 23rd June. And my videos from MCM ComicCon are coming out soon.”
“You were dressed as your short film character SuperMum, weren’t you?” I asked
“The SuperMum screening was at MCM ComicCon,” said Juliette, “but I was running round dressed as lots of different characters – Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, a cow…”
“A cow?” I asked.
“I was running round ComicCon interviewing people for VidFest UK.”
“A cow?” I repeated.
“A cow,” confirmed Juliette.
“A cow normally requires two people,“ I pointed out to her.
“I am two people,” she said. “I give you two for the price of one. I was the whole cow. Actually, weirdly, that was the costume I felt most at home in.”
“Your udder-worldly character?” I asked.
“Very good,” said Juliette, unconvincingly. “My milk shake brought all the boys to the yard… I’m recording another audio book for the RNIB in July.”
“Another Mills & Boon?” I asked.
“No. It’s a dark thriller with murder in it.”
“You should be a PR,” I suggested. “But you are so busy you probably don’t have the time.”
“Do you want me to tell you about my dental appointment and/or my lump?” Juliette asked.
“Probably not,” I said.