Hello! Welcome to our very first Huff Post blog post! Over the next five weeks we'll be keeping a weekly account of our 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival experience - bringing you ringside insight into the biggest arts festival IN THE WORLD (insert evil laugh). Forget the Jubilee, forget the Olympics, forget the Jubilympics, forget London, Boris, Cameron, Clegg and the Queen and allow us to roll you around in the cultural quagmire of what promises to be the wettest, windiest, wickedest Edinburgh Fringe ever.
So, as way of introduction we should probably start at the beginning. Three years ago two ex-Riverdancers (Suzanne and Peter) and a recently graduated video artist (Mr. Jonny Reed) decided to shake up the diddly-iddle Irish dance fraternity and took an hour long, quirky, electro-pop fuelled dance show to the Fringe. Them there people would be us, Up & Over It, now writing as one sentient being having spent every waking hour together since.
When we first made the decision to take a show to the Fringe, we vaguely remembered that we might have overheard someone somewhere who may have mentioned at some point that performing for the full month in Edinburgh could possibly be challenging at times. But we thought "hogwash", we're seasoned professionals who've spent years touring Sportshalles in Mittel-Germany living only on Gemuse Macs and KnoblauchBrötchen. We'll be grand! How wrong we were.
After our last show of that first year at the Fringe we dumped our set in a skip, piled the costumes and left over catering size cans of tuna in the back of a hired Renault Espace and didn't talk to each other until we reached the comforting nebular like glow of London town. We took an oath there and then that we'd never go back; our fragile bodies wouldn't cope, our bank accounts wouldn't cope. Lloyds TSB's had to be bailed out by the government just to pay our rental fee for God's sake. Edinburgh Fringe? Tick. Done that, bought the battered Mars Bar, never again.
But here we are! Just a week away from our second Edinburgh outing. So what went wrong right? Well firstly, everything you've heard about dancers is true (dim, forgetful, shallow, bad feet) and we've simply forgotten how difficult it was. All we remember is the lovely people that came to see our show (including those handsome boys from Out of the Blue and their mums), the lovely reviews, the lovely architecture, the lovely chips-cheese-beans and coleslaw suppers from Zara on Blackfriars Street. If forced to remember what went wrong for the good of this blog post, a few things spring to mind; 12-4am tech time when the lighting desk didn't work - AT ALL, no hot water for the first week in a £3000 a month two bed flat (no WIFI or TV either but we'll pretend these things aren't important), five hour leafleting jaunts, being called a faggot in the Pleasance Courtyard and of course the rain, oh and the rain, there was also some rain, then it rained rain forever.
But this year is starting to look decidedly more rosy. Firstly, it's been the wettest April-July since RECORDS BEGAN (insert another evil laugh), so we are well adjusted to cope with the Scottish horizontal lashings. Even the actual Apocalypse couldn't uproot us from our Hunter boots. Secondly we're sharing a fabulous flat with Bourgeois & Maurice (he sings, she steals) and Jonny Woo (legs that go all the way up), which has all the trappings of a luxury apartment; running water, working toilet, pantry-cum-larder etc. We've also got a new venue; The Bosco at Assembly George Square. The folks at Assembly couldn't be sweeter and more professional. Plus, our old La Soiree mucker, Bianca is managing the Gardens; she's fun, feisty, knows her stuff and takes no crap.
However, the biggest difference this year will be us. We hate to admit it but maybe we were just a tiny bit precious last time round. Since that baptism by fire we've travelled the world doing what we do and sure, sometimes you get a plush dressing room and a fruit medley for a rider, but mainly we've been changing in disabled toilets, performing with no sound check but hopefully leaving a few people entertained along the way. We know what to expect this year, our cherry's been popped, we're going to muck in, get the job done and try and have some fun along the way. It's going to be hard, long and wet, but as they say, if you don't suck it up, it'll just turn round and hit you in the eye.
See you up there suckers...