Monday, August 20, 2007

Week Two at the Fringe

Seven more shows to go! It’s been a great week. RASH was shortlisted for the Amnesty International and the Big Issue Freedom of Expression Award alongside four other companies. The award ceremony is on August 23rd. I got another two great 4 star reviews from Three Weeks and the Fringe Review. I was featured in the Scotsman in Brief Encounters where Leslie Lewis Sword and I chatted about our one woman solo shows set in Rwanda. Ewan Spence interviewed me for the Edinburgh Fringe Show of The Podcast Network so check that out if you want to hear about the show. And I spoke about RASH on a panel at the Edinburgh Synagogue Open Day with Linda Marlowe and Iris Bahr who are both performing one woman shows too,. The best show I saw this week was Nina Conti doing a fantastic ventriloquist and character show – she is funny and talented. And I can’t thank Gordon, Deborah and Jessica enough for helping me flyer this week for the show. It’s hard work but rewarding. We meet some nice people along the way, and some of them do come to see the show as a result. Onto Week 3.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Week One at the Fringe

Well I’m half-way through the Fringe today and on my way to a midnight Pleasance party to celebrate that! It’s been a great week. Wonderful audiences, lots more reviews (a 4 star from the Edinburgh Evening News), lots of waiting for reviews to come out (it can take over a week!) and a great double page spread in the Glasgow Evening Times. I also performed an extract of the show and was interviewed on Mervyn Stutter’s Pick of the Fringe at the Guilded Balloon. It’s always great to perform alongside others which is a rare occasion. There are quite a few audience members that come from Glasgow from my childhood days. My parents friends have some funny reactions. Sometimes I come on stage and I hear them whisper, “look there’s Jenni”. Who else were they expecting to see? ☺ A lot of people come out of the show and ask me if any of it was true and who the story is about. Some folks seem to walk in and don’t realize it’s my own true story. It’s been so lovely reconnecting with family and friends that I haven’t seen in so long. And this week I started to see lots more shows and meets lots of performers which is definitely one of the most enjoyable things about being part of the Fringe. The best thing I’ve seen so far is Traces, a French Canadian dance troupe who fly through the air and make you stop breathing. Onto Week 2.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Week Zero at the Fringe

Well I’ve just survived Week 0 at the Fringe! I arrived here a day or two before my first preview on 1st August and watched the Fringe being built. Overnight parking lots were turned into courtyards, student unions becoming theatres, and plaza spaces transformed into massive party venues. Last night was the opening party of the Fringe – it had all the elements of a good Scottish party – great energy, lots of performances, alcohol, kilts and rain. I really felt like I had landed. I’ve been quite lucky getting a decent audience during week 0 and it’s great to bump into people who saw the show and tell me how much they loved it. My biggest find has been Kieran McLoughlin who has now become the
Associate Director of RASH. The director of RASH, Jen Nails is pregnant and so unfortunately couldn’t travel with me here. I can’t imagine what I would have done without Kieran who has performed and directed at the Fringe before and is showing me the ropes and making RASH more solid. We’ve spent the last few days in tech rehearsals with our tech crew (Mick and Cara), finding wonderful interns to flyer RASH (Gordon and Rebecca) and contacting the press. I spoke on BBC Radio Scotland live on Sunday morning, got a 4 star review from Broadway Baby and last week RASH was on the entire front cover of Sunday Times Ecosse. And an anonymous person left a donation for us at the Fringe Office – thank you! The hardest thing about Week 0 is waiting for the reviews to come about. RASH has been reviewed by 4 different press and all during previews!!! so it’s nerve wracking waiting for the verdict. Onto Week 1.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fringe fiasco - opening show lasts 8 minutes!

Loud and unexpected noises are key features of RASH, a solo play about my experiences working in Rwanda after the genocide. So when fire alarm bells rang loud today throughout the Pleasance Dome Theatre 8 minutes into my opening show, the audience stayed put thinking it was part of the play. The stage manager had to put on all the lights and convince people to leave. Twenty members of my family, and family friends, who had hired a bus from Glasgow to Edinburgh to support my first preview, stood outside for an hour until they were told the show was cancelled. Thank goodness it wasn't raining. They have ensured me that they are sufficiently enticed by the opening act and claim they will return!