Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Comedy Competitions and Furloughed Festivals

As the lockdown continues the festivals continue to fall. Though already a foregone conclusion, the loss of Edinburgh this year was further confirmed by email last week with Edfringe requesting bank details to send refunds to. The chances of a "mini-Edinburgh" also currently look slimmer than the regulation 2 metres social distance that would be required for anything to go ahead.

My own Glossop Festival, scheduled for mid-July, is also now looking very unlikely and I'm looking at alternatives ranging from postponement to the Autumn to re-running the whole thing next July and pretending 2020 simply didn't happen. Fortunately, very little money had been spent on this before the lockdown came in and I'm glad to say I don't have 5,000 festival programmes currently sitting under the stairs.

I did potentially have 5,000+ flyers for our 2019 Edinburgh show destined for that position last summer when I found they'd printed double the amount I'd requested but fortunately they were delivered to the venue and the city has a very good recycling system.

Do we even really need flyers anymore given the use of apps and websites though? Something to think about.

Anyway, one festival that did go ahead (sort of) was the West Didsbury Comedy Festival. This boutique event has been broadcasting panel games and a limited number of full length shows in place of the originally envisaged physical experience. They were also halfway through their new act competition heats when everyone was told to stop going out.

For a while it looked like the competition had been shelved but then it was announced the final heat would go ahead after all - online. And so it was that yesterday I sang about pies into my laptop whilst the public posted comments on a wall and the host and MC provided the laughs in the right places. As a viable alternative to the live experience there were plus points - not least that I could go and get a beer after my set without paying £5 for it - but I'd be lying if I said it had the same atmosphere. Still, a valiant attempt and 10/10 for effort by the organisers. I shall be watching the final on Sunday even if I didn't make it through to the next round, congratulations of course to those who did.

Disco Divorce Party rehearsals continue with Anna taking on scripting to transform the show into a full blown musical rather than our usual knockaround-with-the-audience approach. Meanwhile, Angela's online mini-series now has five songs of its own and filming starting next month. Parodies from the Peak District also has some recording going on for the Morecambe Comedy Festival (online). I may as well paint one of our walls green at this rate.

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