Skip to main content

Awake: Part 2 - The North and the South


Awake: Part 2
Edinburgh and Sydney

If it hasn’t rained within 24 hours of arriving in Edinburgh, you must be in the wrong place.  I love the city, but boy does it rain.

My show is being put on as part of the Free Fringe and as such my first full day in Edinburgh is spent helping put posters up in other Free Fringe venues.  This is actually really fun, meeting lots of the comedians and performers and checking out the other venues.  I also attend a session for people doing solo shows organised by EdFringe and meet some lovely fellow performers.  Over the month, many of us manage to support each other’s shows which was really wonderful.

The venue for my show is new to the roster this year, I pop in to say hi and see the space and then all too soon it’s August the 3rd and I’m out flyering for Awake.  It’s a mildly terrifying experience which does get easy as the month draws on.  Flyering can be draining, demoralising, humiliating and also engaging, hilarious and uplifting.  It’s all of these things for 25 days.  Working out where to flyer is an initial challenge – during the month I mainly ignore The Royal Mile (too many people, just one little me) and I stick to Grassmarket (near the venue) and The Half Price Ticket booth (“Half price? My show is FREEEEEEE”)  I think it kind of works, who knows?

The performances happen.  They are frequently interrupted due to the toilets being at the back of the room behind a curtain but audiences come and even drop the odd note into my collection hat at the end.  My amazing friends and family come to support me and the #EdFringe community is on Twitter for a bit of support.  I make best friends with the owner in the L’Etoiles Salon du Tea on West Port as I pop in every day en route to the venue for a herbal tea.

Getting reviews is always nerve wracking, but when you’ve written, directed, produced and acted in it then it is terrifying.  Awake is about insomnia which I’ve suffered with for most of my life and while awake one night, around 3am, I thought I’d Google the show to see if there was anything new.  And there it was.  A review in the Scotsman.  I nearly vommed on my phone.  I opened the link, trembling, read it, cried.  Read it again and cried again.  It was good.  That moment is one I’ll never forget.

Once in the swing of things, I manage to see some great theatre, comedy and circus, climb Carlton Hill, still don’t make it up Arthur’s Seat, watch the Military Tattoo, walk miles and miles and only see two shows that make me want to pull my face off.

25 shows later and it’s time to go home.  The train back to London is a fiasco as it’s wildly overbooked but did get to chat with the legendary Lee Nelson who’s show was brilliant, so that made up for it.  Discover that it's apparently still summer as London is 10°c warmer than Edinburgh #justsayin

A day and a half later, after packing and re-packing, I head off to Gatwick with Mummy Colmans to fly to Sydney.

Arriving in Sydney was fun – posters for the Sydney Fringe greet us at arrivals!

The Sydney Fringe festival is an infant compared to Edinburgh which celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2017.  In Edinburgh, you’d be hard pressed not to know that the festival was happening with around 3,300 shows.  Sydney had a total of 300 over the month so the scale is wildly different.  I meet my technician Nathan at The Blood Moon Theatre and we tech.  Five performances follow at the venue and I even get a review.  Going to Sydney was a great experience – my friends and family there got to see me perform and I made some small in-roads into the theatre world in Australia.  It wasn’t without its challenges however – not knowing the festival or anyone on the ground to help me out, the time and currency differences when organising things (see Part 1) made it all a lot trickier.  However, I got there in the end and I’m so glad I did.

Back in the UK and I’ve performed the play for several community groups and hope to do a London run at some point.

Writing and performing my own work was something I long wanted to do and I’m so glad I finally made it happen.  It was incredibly rewarding as a writer and actress and I think I’ve grown as a performer.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely, just not this year…


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"God I hope I get it"

Auditions, castings, workshops – they’re never the same and they are all a bit odd.
Auditions are a necessary evil of the acting profession.I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who really enjoys auditions but we all rejoice when we get them and despair when we don’t.
For the uninitiated, I’ll describe the different types
A fairly standard audition You have the script in advance, you read it, you prepare your part.At the audition, you perform the scenes you were asked to practice in advance and possibly read from another part of the script, which because you are well prepared, you are already familiar with.
“Bring a monologue” auditions Variety of reasons for these.If it’s a Shakespeare play, they may want to see your grasp of the Bard as many people are not strong sight readers, especially with Shakespeare.For other works, a monologue is seen alongside a script reading and can provide a bit of variety for the director.Sometimes the script isn’t finished.Sometimes, they don’t know what the hell…

Awake: Part 1 - The Road to Edinburgh

Awake:Part 1 The Road to Edinburgh By Miranda Colmans January 2017 The January blues hit. Hard.So much so that my colleagues at my permanent-temp job think that there is something seriously wrong with me.I’m in a terrible mood a lot of the time.Something has to change.
February 2017 By chance, I see that The Space Theatre are doing a writing challenge “28 Plays in 28 Days”.It starts the next day.I sign up without really thinking about it and then wonder what on earth I’ve got myself into.I’m not a hugely competitive person, however I am a bit OCD which means that once I start something, I like to finish it.During the month, I write a play each day, in a myriad of styles and genres.It is stretching and enriching.
Taking part gives me the confidence boost I need to take the plunge and apply for a slot at the Edinburgh festival.So, mid-Feb, mid writing challenge, I apply with little more than a summary and a snazzy tag line – and get a place.
Next task – quit the day job.
Tick!Well, sort of.I app…

Dive in, lose yourself

“Hi everyone, just to let you know, I’ve been cast in an immersive show and I’m heading off to Edinburgh in August”
“Brilliant!”“Congratulations!”“Well done!”“Exciting!”
“What is an immersive show?”
Ah.Yes.Exactly.What is an immersive show?After two weeks of R&D I think I can now answer that question.
Immersive theatre is thething at the moment.With the huge success of companies such as Secret Cinema, dining opportunities like The Fawlty Towers Dining Experience and the current birthday party phenomenon that is escape rooms – the audience for immersive work is huge.Audiences are looking for a thrill.An up-close experience.Something a little different.
My go-to for definitions is usually Google/Wikipedia.In this case “immersive” is lumped in with “interactive theatre” with Wikipedia saying “...immersive theatre, which brings the audience into the same playing space as the performers, obliterating any walls that separate the audience from the performers”
I’m working with the fabulous Flab…