On The Fringes

Yes I am a terrible person and I’ve let far too long of a time elapse between the last blog post and this blog post. I’m sorry. It turns out that the fringe is actually a fairly busy time. Who saw that one coming?

So, here it goes, a DOUBLE BILL of updates on what we’ve been up to. Strap yourselves in kids, it’s going to be an exciting ride.

Tour-tured souls

When we last updated you, we had just left Balloch, our second to last location on tour, and headed out to Dollar, our sixteenth location, and our final stop before the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The rain continued to pour down, and everything in the van was damp. We were sick and tired of living in a house with wheels, and honestly, if I had to shower in another public bathroom I would have stabbed someone in the face.

Fortunately, I didn’t!

Everyone has worked so hard with this project, and I am constantly blown away by the intensity and quality of the work that everyone has been doing. Plus they’re all great people, who probably don’t deserve being made to live in a van for two months in the name of theatre.

So it was time for a little treat. It wasn’t much, and it certainly wasn’t designed for 6 people, but Thrum’s Cottage in Dollar was absolutely perfect to us. To start with, it had four walls and it didn’t have wheels. There wasn’t black mould and broken ceramic in the shower. And, most importantly, we had an oven.

Seriously though cooking for 6 people for this long, you have no idea how much I’ve missed using an oven.

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Even Vanny was feeling a little tired to be honest…

OH ALSO A TV.

I’d spent the last few days telling everyone that I’d found some really nice public showers for Dollar (lol pranked) so they were sufficiently surprised when we pulled up outside the cottage and unlocked the door.

We spent our first day as always, handing out flyers and putting up posters. And our second day was very much the same – we were very much excited for our final performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Now look okay, I’m not going to complain about this too much. To be honest, when talking about the weather that we’ve had this summer, I don’t think that we could have been luckier – this had to be one of the driest summers in recorded history. Still though, it’s tough when it starts raining, and it’s even tougher when that meant we needed to cancel our show.

And it’s even harder when we sit by our performance location and see about fifteen people turn up, willing to brave the pouring rain to see our show, and we have to tell them that it’s been cancelled.

We went home and WATCHED A MOVIE ON OUR TV (luxury) and subtly waited for midnight – that made it the 31st of July, the last day of tour, and our lovely Rowan’s birthday. Of course, we made a massive fuss then, as well as in the morning when we brought her breakfast in bed (did I mention that this cottage had like…different rooms and everything) that included a cake and candles. The rest of the morning was very slow, and unfortunately we had to cancel the show again due to the weather.

Not to worry though, we made a fairly elaborate dinner, and then went to the movies to celebrate everything that we had achieved thus far, as well as Rowan’s birthday. We intended to see The Incredibles 2, but it was sold out, so we just went to see Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again instead.

What a terrible film. Nuff said.

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And just like that, it was all over…

Then, we came home, went to bed, and that was it – it was time to drive back to St Andrews for us to go our separate ways. We had about a week until we needed to be up in Edinburgh, and a recharge was desperately needed.

Tour part 2 – BoxedIn returns

Our time in Edinburgh so far has been incredibly hectic, truth be told. As everyone began arriving in drips and drabs, we were all still a little tired and worn out – we needed to bounce back a little bit to be ready.

We did a boozey line-run of both the shows on the 7th (a real fun time – you forget your line, you take a drink. Simple, and not at all effective), and then scrambled to set up the tent on the 8th, as well as doing a run of both of the shows. And then, it was time to begin.

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Work hard, play hard, as always.

Our first show was at 15:20 on the 9th – we had an awards assessor for the Scottish Arts Club and a reviewer coming to that show. Not nervous at all.

Honestly, I’d managed the time a little poorly here – I arrived at 14:20 because we were having an issue with some of the ivy, and by the time we had it fixed it was already 3 o’clock. So, after not having performed for over a week, we were left with a twenty minute warm-up. Great work Oli.

It showed in the show – we were going in cold and we definitely weren’t as prepared as we should have been.

Bounce back time – we assembled again at 18:15 for our 18:45 show and managed to sneak in a slightly longer warm up. That combined with the fact that we had already performed that day, and the fact we knew that it wasn’t exactly our best performance, to create a strange, excited energy in the tent just before the audience came in. We had another assessor from the Scottish Arts Club coming to this show, and I’ll be damned if we weren’t going to blow their socks off.

Evidently we did, because we’ve since been short-listed for the Scottish Arts Club Theatre Awards (WHOOP WHOOP LITERALLY WHAT THAT IS SO EXCITING). That was actually one of our best runs of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I was so incredibly proud of everyone for their work that day.

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And we’ve managed to squeeze some flyering in too!

Since then, we’ve been doing well with the shows – we’re selling really well for A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the moment, which is super exciting. Less well for To The Ocean, but I think that’s to be expected as its new writing. The 10th and 11th went well, and I think we’re really starting to get in to the swing of things. And of course, seeing some fantastic shows in every spare moment.

Highlights include The Archive of Educated Hearts, an intimiate storytelling experience by Lion House Theatre, a group that inspired our show To The Ocean, and Police Cops in Space because those guys are just amazing.

Today has been interesting too – but I’m sure Grace will let you know all about it in our next blog post. Which I promise, will come much sooner this time.

Last thing – if anyone is up at the fringe with shows or anything, let us know! We’d love to come see it!

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