’Tis the season for jolly comedy performers to be previewing and thinking of ways to promote their Edinburgh Fringe shows next month.
In his very funny show about depression – Sunshine and Lollipops (and a Creeping Sense of Existential Terror) – the very English Oli is seemingly making a fair bid for the loudest show on the Fringe. I cannot see his voice lasting out beyond the first week.
The very Sicilian Giada – with Live in the Staff Room! (Sex, Fairy Tales, Serial Killers & other Stuff) – is making a strong bid for the most autobiographically sexual show on the Fringe – the sex even permeates the fairy tale section which dumps Disney for Edgar Allan Poe.
“How much did you appeal for?” I asked.
“£397 – and I made it in six hours. So, I have decided to take it bigger and better.
“I did start off wanting camels, because I thought it would be a great way to launch my show(s) at the Fringe – to actually parade through a pedestrian area, flyering on camels.”
“And…?” I asked.
“Just try and get a fucking camel to Edinburgh,” said Miss Behave. “So then I thought: Donkeys.”
“You bet your ass,” I said.
Miss Behave ignored me.
“Or cows,” she continued. “But apparently cows have a tendency to charge at crowds of people, so that felt too dangerous. So then I was riffing with this person who is an animal wrangler. A Scottish animal wrangler.”
“For films?” I asked.
“Yeah. So I said: What about 50 chihuahuas? She thought about it overnight, called me back the next day and said: Right. I’ve sorted it. I’ve got a guy, who is also an animal wrangler, who has 20 chihuahua Jack Russell puppy mixes, so they’ll get on. If I just got 50 random dogs, there would be a dog fight.”
“These are,” I checked, “an interbreeding of chihuahuas and Jack Russells?”
“Yeah. Pretty cute. Chihuahuas are a bit too scary but, if you throw a bit of Jack Russell into the mix, that’s cute-tastic. It’s got a special name – a Jahuahua or JackChi or Jackhuahua or something.”
“Jacksie?” I asked.
“JackChi,” said Miss Behave.
“You know,” I told her, “that there are dogs which are a cross between shih tzus and poodles?’
“What are they called?”
“Not what you’d think,” I said. “Which is a pity.”
“Anyway,” said Miss Behave, “the animal wrangler also found me a Newfoundland dog. The idea was that the Newfoundland would pull a cart with me sitting on it and all the chihuahua Jack Russell puppies would be around it and we would do a parade – again, flyering. Which was fine. But then the dude just went silent. Just dropped off the face of the earth. disappeared. I thought What am I going to do? I am not known for the ‘cute’ area, but I wanted it to be cute and silly.”
“Cute?” I asked. “You started with a herd of camels!”
“Yeah, but then I’d got into puppies. So I thought: Never work with children or animals. Well, alright, how about kids? I could get a lot of kid dancers. I could have six different children’s dance companies, all with the same music, but each doing different routines. Kids are cute. I am not – and I don’t really like children. So that’s funny.
“I thought: I can co-ordinate it all but, with the cost of actually doing Edinburgh this year, I can’t also afford £300 worth of helium balloons and all the other stuff for the kids. So I costed it all up and I had been wanting to try a Kickstarter for a while. £397 is not a massive amount of money to ask for. Give it a go!
“And it’s been real fun. It took me six hours to raise £397 and now, at the point I’m talking to you, it’s been just over 24 hours. I have 25 days left and I’ve got £708 already pledged. I thought: If I get more, let’s see how large a production number we can give ‘em. That could potentially mean more helium balloons, confetti cannons.”
“It could,” I suggested, “mean the return of the camels and the chihuahuas.”
“Or a drone camera,” mused Miss Behave. “With £708, I’ve got enough to buy a cheap little remote controlled helicopter, strap a GoPro camera onto it and that could be a drone. I think it’s going to be a laugh and there’s no ‘wrong’ in it. If the worst thing that happens is a bunch of kids show up dressed in cardboard boxes with a load of helium balloons, that’s fine. At the moment, I have four different dance schools and one majorette school.”
“What,” I asked, “are they actually promoting?”
“I’m taking my gameshow up to the Fringe – the large version I did in a Spiegeltent in London.”
“Are you appearing in any major Edinburgh comedy awards shows?” I asked.
“Well, I’m going to run in late and make a spectacular entrance into the increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show, but don’t tell the organiser, because he thinks I’m actually hosting it with Janey Godley.”
“Chaos is always welcome,” I said. “It is good to live in interesting times.”