Birmingham Stage Company

The Edinburgh Dream

16 August 2012

We have previously staged two shows at the Edinberg Fringe Festival - SPEED-THE-PLOW in 1999 and THE DICE HOUSE in 2003. By sheer good fortune both shows went amazingly well and they remain amongst my favourite theatrical experiences. So I've always been extremely hesitant about attempting a hat-trick - a hesitation that has lasted nine years until we decided to take the plunge with an Edinburgh run of HORRIBLE HISTORIES - BARMY BRITAIN. My naivety knows no bounds, so when the Pleasance put us into the Pleasance Grand I had no idea it was the biggest venue on the fringe. Would I be able to remember how to market shows here? Madolyn from the Pleasance provided wisdom at the launch party and so a plan evolved, into which we printed an excess of leaflets, which still feels to me the most effective way of advertising a show here. Except our leaflet organiser ran off with the money three days into the run having failed to pay his young leafleters. Fortunately the girls he roped into his enterprise were fantastically level-headed and so having paid them what they were owed (again) we simply did it together. We have the brilliant ArthurLeone PR team arranging press and reviews - and here we are, half way through the run, with eight 4 and 5 star reviews and countless articles which have packed the theatre from day one.


Who could ask for more when you've been blessed with a great acting colleague in Alison, a great stage manager in Roshni and a fabulous tech team at the Grand? But the only reason for coming here are the Edinburgh audiences - amongst the very best audiences in the world. Having written some new scenes especially for Edinberg, the response has been tremendous and here you get to meet your audience around every corner as you grab a coffee or rush to a venue. The Edinburgh experience is relentless. Unless you're Daniel Kitson or Nina Conti, you can only hope to sell out day by day, so each morning is a new battle to grab your audience for the show. It never stops. It never, ever, stops There seems to be less and less theatre and more and more comedy but I've managed to find two excellent shows - MAYDAY, MAYDAY - truly sublime - and JUANE IN A MILLION. Both played by a single performer - both showing the art of acting at its best. And so despite seriously injuring my knee and losing my voice in the process, this visit to Edinburgh is proving to be a dream. You really can live a theatrical dream here. No wonder we are all lured back at some time or another.

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