Okay, so the show is ready (I hope), the van is booked (I think), and we're off to Edinburgh (I'm scared). Like most companies at the Fringe we don't have a large set to transport. There are a few reasons for this:
1. It's cheaper
2. It's artistically rewarding to create worlds and images through precise physical theatre
3. It's less expensive
4. You only have 10 minutes after the previous show finishes to get everything set up
5. It doesn't cost as much
This means that transport is not too much of a hassle. We only have three crates in our show, which at various times become the Argo, the Underworld and the Wooden Horse so we'll throwing everything into the back of a rented van and will be making the trip up from Birmingham.
This is the final leg of our UNMYTHABLE Odyssey. We've performed in Manchester, Halifax, Aberystwyth and Birmingham, all with an eye firmly on Edinburgh. We are Odysseus, Edinburgh is our Ithaca and we can't wait for our nostos, our homecoming. If we find a woman called Penny in our flat weaving furiously when we get there, I will think that the analogy has gone a little too far though. Hopefully this final leg of the journey won't be as long and arduous as Odysseus's was. Just when he thought he was nearly home, after waging war against the Trojans and surviving various disasters, he got trapped on the island of Ogygia with the nymph Calypso. I say trapped - they had a lot of consensual sex and he only seemed to complain about it seven years in, which is fairly typical of many long-term relationships, so I'm not sure how trapped he actually was, but he was definitely side-tracked. Our final port of call before Edinburgh is the M6 Carlisle Travelodge. I'm not sure how many nymphs we'll find but I'll let you know.
We're probably more likely to come across one-eyed monsters on our journey up the M6 in the form of angry drivers, but although the traffic on Junction 15 outside Stoke can be a bit of a nightmare I am hopeful it'll be less than 10 years before we make it north of the border. And what awaits us there? This is the calm before the storm. I've foolishly been thinking recently that the hard work is done - after all, we have a show and we've printed flyers, booked a flat, organised transport - what is there left to do? As the trip to Edinburgh has got ever closer there's been a gnawing feeling in my stomach...what is there left to do? Ah yes, that's it - get people to watch it...
With 2000-odd shows in Edinburgh (and probably at least half of them will be odd) there's a lot of competition when out flyering. It would be easy to adapt the phrase 'shooting fish in a barrel' to 'shooting theatre practitioners on the Royal Mile in August' but on reflection it's probably less catchy. Nevertheless, Edinburgh is a lot of hard work, and every day you start from scratch. It's a bit like Sisyphus pushing that rock up a hill - just when you feel that you've achieved something, you've magicked up today's audience through persistent flyering, an eye-catching poster and some nice reviews - you then realise you have to repeat it all over again the next day. And the day after that. For 25 days in a row. Probably in the pouring rain. And Odysseus thought he had a tough time...
3-27 Aug @ 13.45