Four shows down and we’ve decided to start a blog. Who could have possibly seen that one coming?
That’s right everyone, welcome to the BoxedIn Theatre blog, where we’re going to be charting the progress of our tour so far, and keeping you up to date with all our antics and adventures along the way! This week, we’ve been in Brighton, performing as part of the Fringe and enjoying everything that the city has to offer – which is a lot by the way. We’ve also learnt that outdoor performances are rather weather dependent. Who knew?
I’m going to post a little bit more regularly than this just to keep everyone up to date – perhaps aiming for 2 every week. That means that this post will be a little bit of a whistle-stop tour. So hold on to your seats people, cos away we go.
Gabriele, Emily and I arrived in sunny old Brighton with a spring in our step and the world at our feet, to meet an exhausted Zoe who had driven down south overnight to make it on time. That’s what dedication looks like people.
We woke up early to make our first train, which was great, except that it made lugging 17 bags (not hyperbole, literally 17 bags) on a South-western train service that was HALF THE SIZE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN a little bit of a pain. The underground wasn’t ideal either. But we were hopeful – we’d got the difficult part out of the way, so all that was left was to grab a taxi to our beautiful Brightonian house.
We were met by a cabbie who took one look at this sorry, sweaty bunch of students and pelted off as fast as his teeny tiny car would carry him. Like we were the fucking Babadook or something. At this point, there were 4 of us with 19 bags, so I guess that made sense. Eventually, we met a man brave enough (with a cab big enough) to take us to where we needed to go.
And wow. A massive shout out to Kelly Scales at Airhostforyou.com because she found us this stunning house for an incredibly cheap price that we all fit very comfortably in. I have a feeling that the living situation will only go down hill from here. As everyone trickled in, we lapped up the last of the sunshine and enjoyed a welcome drink before getting down to business with some rehearsals. And then, of course, a huge family meal to round it all off.
Audience Attendance: 13
And all of a sudden, here it was, our first show day. 12 months of writing, 6 months of planning, and 3 months of rehearsals all to get to this point. So we started the day like any other day, with a nice solid batch of flyering.
Just a word to the wise for anyone thinking about coming to the Brighton Fringe – it’s a VERY different beast to Edinburgh. Despite having a similar number of shows, the runs are much shorter, and the audience is generally made up of locals who will look through the brochure and pick out what interests them. Which means that flyering is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, it’s always a great way to tell people about why your show is exciting. On the other hand, most people really don’t give a shit. Targeted flyering is a must for Brighton, because that’s the only way to make sure that all the hard-earned cash you spend on your beautiful flyers doesn’t simply go to waste.
Frankly, the day flew by in a bit of a blur – at 2:30, we met up with the lovely Daniel Watson of Brighton Council to pick up the chairs that he would be lending us, and then delivered them to the New Cosmopolitan Hotel. Big shout out to these guys – their hotel is in an amazing location, it’s reasonably priced, and the staff are all so friendly. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Brighton, I’d highly recommend it.
A little bit more flyering and then bam, we’re good to go. For the first time, we’re staring down the barrel of a loaded show, with the set built in the way we’ve been discussing and everyone in their tents ready to start. It’s a special kind of feeling, that first performance – for me it’s like being at the top of a roller coaster just before the first big drop. Because I would do anything in my power to get the fuck off and walk away and not have to face whatever is coming next, but then I’m already strapped in, and before you have the chance to shout ‘stop’, the music’s already started and there’s nothing that you can do but sit back and try not to scream.
Just me? Yeah, maybe.
The show was a roaring success – probably the best first performance of any show I’ve ever been involved in, which gave us all a huge morale boost, of course. So we celebrated like any students would, and went out to get some drinks and see a free show.
James Loveridge has finished his run in Brighton, but I think he’s going up to Edinburgh this summer. He’s really clever and also absolutely hilarious, so if you’re around, I would recommend him to anyone.
Audience attendance: 5
The low cloud that settled overnight was not a good omen – we woke up to an oppressive atmosphere and quiet streets all across Brighton. But the show must go on, as they say. We got our flyering shifts done amid a minor panic over the number of flyers that we’d ordered (possibly a story for another time) and set up the campsite to get prepped for the show.
Despite the low audience turn out, we still put on an amazing show. And the mist really set the mood as well. It’s a shame, because the show looks best in miserable weather, but just that no-one wants to sit outside in the rain.
Also, our hopes and dreams were almost destroyed by a dog called Dolly, who wanted to play with the actors halfway through scene 13. She was so cute but also GET OFF THE STAGE OH GOD PLEASE.
I suppose we probably should have taken dogs in to account when planning the show…
Audience Attendance: 30 PEOPLE I SHIT YOU NOT THAT’S ¾ FULL BABY.
But as you well know, the weather had cleared up as quickly as it soured, and we were treated to a beautiful day in Brighton. At least 2 members of the cast and crew were very excited to get tanned and insisted, despite my reminders, that they ‘never burn’ and ‘don’t need to put on sun cream’ saying ‘leave us alone you’re not our mum oh my god stop following my around with the sun cream don’t you have work to do?’
MY WORK TO DO IS KEEPING YOU HEALTHY DAMMNIT.
So yeah, Zoe and Gab are looking a little bit tomatoey at the moment. But hey. We live, we learn.
We enjoyed a lovely afternoon in the Royal pavilion gardens before heading over for the show once more. WHERE 30 PEOPLE SHOWED UP. That was incredibly exciting. We’ve started plugging that the show is outdoors so people can bring their own alcohol if they want, and honestly that seems to be our most convincing selling point.
Audience Attendance: 17
The day got warmer and clearer as it went on, and this time Zoe and Gab decided that maybe they should start wearing sun cream. Good decisions all round. While I spent most of the day in the library doing some admin, everyone went out to the Constable exhibit in the Royal Pavillion. They said it was stunning, and a must see if you’re looking for something to do during the day in Brighton.
Again, the day flew by – as apparently it tends to do when it’s beautiful and you’re by the sea. When we arrived at the performance space, we pointed out to Emily that you could see France because it was so clear. She got very excited.
When we got home, we had dinner, made a vat of popcorn, and settled down to watch ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ (top film, 10/10, would recommend) before calling it a night.
And that brings us up to today! I’m writing from the kitchen of our house while everyone is out enjoying the sunshine and, most importantly, celebrating Gabriele’s birthday!!
We’re going to have our first big night out as a Cast & Crew – we’ve been told that Funky Fish and Club Revenge are great places to be, but if you have any recommendations of where to go, please feel free to get in touch! And of course, I’ll be letting you know how it all went in the next post – keep an eye out on Monday!
All my love,
The WOOD Cast & Crew