Monday, 4 June 2018

Thoughts on the Brighton Fringe

Last weekend we performed the final of our four shows at The Temple Bar in Brighton as part of the fringe. A sunny day awaited us, as did two guest spots sandwiching the main event.

1pm saw Anna and I literally out on the street on a pavement stage in the Fringe City area of town. A magician ripped up and reassembled a newspaper to thirty polite onlookers and then dispersed as we set up for our turn. Drawing on my limited knowledge of street performance I turned on a backing track and called out at people wandering by until we had a young family, an older man with a camera and a smattering of students willing to stand and watch us. A clean-edit version of Selfie Stick later and we'd amassed something of a crowd and One Shot got some brave souls (and wonderfully non-self conscious under eights) shouting along. Would anyone come because of this foray into a world usually occupied by fire jugglers and human statues? Probably not but it was one more to chalk up on the experience wall. 

It was a hot day. Too hot. The Temple was empty. For a few minutes it looked like we'd have to give the couple who had turned up the option of sending us home early but at the last second we'd swelled to six. Which, as anyone who's ever heard anything about Edinburgh tell you, is the average turn out at a free fringe show. So we did it and it went surprisingly well. When numbers are this low the audience do have to fully commit and, to give them their due, they did just that. One member even performed her trademark house party dance move for all of us. Somewhere between 1992 and 2018 the swan dive has been rebranded the worm. Not a profitable show but enjoyable and slightly educational.

A few hours later we were back in the venue for a busy-ish final Laughing Horse best-of show and found a reasonable response to what had gone down a storm the previous time we did it at the same time in the same place. Proof, if needed, no two shows are ever the same.

With total outgoings for Brighton Fringe sitting close to £400 including train fares and total income at approximately £140 you don't have to be an accountant to see this wasn't a money spinner. However, we hadn't expected to make any money as we'd have needed to make £100+ per show. Optimistic by anyone's standards. 

So what did we gain? Well, the new set is tighter than ever and we've even added a few new touches - including a very emotional narrated musical interlude from Anna J. There's also the bonus of spending sunny weekends by the sea rather than grim old way-out east London.

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