Normally I try for a witty blog title, but I've just discovered I've bloody left my power converter in Glasgow, and my laptop battery will run out of power in about 10 minutes. So I will have to describe my first day-and-a-half at the Edinburgh Fringe briefly....
It's just amazing. So many people, so many shows... I'm just going by the brochure containing acts on at the "big four" venues (Pleasance, Gilded Balloon, Underbelly and Assembly Rooms), but there's so much more out there. The vibe is pumping, the beer is flowing, the comedy is flowing (again, heaps of "proper" theatre too, but I can't even get my head around that yet!)
I'm staying in a marvellous flat just near The Meadows with the stunning and brilliant improviser/stand-up Deborah Frances White, the just mind-bogglingly clever mind-reader and all-round witch Phillip Escoffey, and the regal Phillip York, who's a proper actor and with the most commanding voice since the Duke of Wellington. I've seen both Deborah and Phillip Escoffey's shows, and hope to see Phillip York's (a one-man show about dodgy publishing guru Robert Maxwell) later this week.
Apart from discovering there was no hot water in the flat this morning when I tried to shower, and the fact that it bizarrely has no communal living area (just a hallway), it really is wonderful. Deborah and the Phillips are so erudite and funny - it's like being on school camp only I actually want to be here.
In return for this accommodation, I'm working at the fringe handing out flyers for their shows. Now let me tell you, flyering is hard work. I've been advised to engage with people - not just shove the flyer into their hands and say "Great show, on here, this much". I was up on the Royal Mile today, and no kidding, every second person was a "flyerer", and it was hard to find the actual punters! Then many would say "no thanks", and I felt like I barely made a dent in my big stack of flyers.
However, flyering around the venues (in my case, the Pleasance Courtyard and Pleasance Dome) is a lot better, as people are generally there to see shows, and they're more responsive to suggestions. The best part was Saturday night, when I was handing out flyers for a late night multi-act/new material show called "Old Rope" - I ended up just chatting to heaps of people. It was really fun - telling them about the show, but then just asking them about Edinburgh and their festival experiences, and why I was over from Australia, etc etc.
It's just a blast so far. This evening I also saw Mark Watson, who was very good, so fast and so energetic. I'm hoping to get to a lot more over the coming days - I'll keep you posted!