THE BLOG

NewsRevue: Selling, Swelling and Splitting

19/08/2013 18:09 BST | Updated 19/10/2013 10:12 BST

With so many productions vying for attention at the Fringe, a strong promotional strategy is key. There are many avenues to explore here, but the most common by far is flyering. It is unusual to take a stroll anywhere in the city centre without somebody thrusting a small advertisement in your direction. The variety of approaches to this simple act is staggering; I have seen people doing a small dance in front of individuals, groups of semi-naked performers lying on the street and beckoning people toward them (why anyone would approach them is beyond me), a person hiding in a tent and another hiding in a laundry bag. The worst by far was a woman approaching innocent young women and signing them up to audition for her next Hollywood movie, before encouraging them to see the show she's doing here beforehand. I guess people will try just about anything.

I'm a fan of the traditional approach; offering someone a flyer and explaining what the show is. At least that way I might grab someone's attention. It's not the most idiosyncratic of activities but it tends to work and I've met some lovely people on the way. My tagline, "I'm playing Margaret Thatcher as a zombie" often turns heads and has merited some terrific responses, including, "The resemblance is uncanny" and "I hope you bury her again afterwards".

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One tagline we are definitely permitted to employ is, 'trouser-splittingly funny'. Last week, Alex had a slight wardrobe malfunction; his trousers initially split round the back, which was easy to conceal by simply making sure that he didn't turn (à la Maggie). However, as the sweatshop-standard fabric began to buckle under the added pressure, the trousers proceeded to split at the front as well, revealing a fetching set of bright red underpants; a colour I assume he chose on account of him playing both Ed Miliband and a North Korean soldier.

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And whilst on the subject of the colour red, that is the colour of my left elbow at present. It is also twice the size that it should be. It turns out that falling over as a cow has taken its toll on the joint and it has become infected (I bet cows never have that issue). A trip to A&E had me feeling particularly guilty that we have three sketches taunting the failings of the NHS, since I was treated so well and got seen almost immediately (a laughable concept in London). So hats off to you, NHS Lothian; you know how to look after a poorly actor.