Friday, August 08, 2014
A night in two halves
Last night started in a Leith Walk pub.
A small side room packed to bursting. I was performing on a tiny stage that felt as if it was only six inches away from the bar. I was just a curtain away from it, and it was noisy, and I had to get very energetic to make sure I was heard.
I had fifteen minutes to sell the show, and everything got amazing applause.
So amazing, in fact, that I had to stop the blessing at the frigid and the impotent and exit to rapturous applause. Feeling like a diva.
And then off to the venue to practice the tablecloth.
We’d had such a lovely review that morning and I think we had some unrealistic expectations. But when I got down from the place where I hide on the stairs there was a tiny house.
I had a vision of twenty pound notes being flushed down a drain. My twenty pound notes.
Quite exceptionally unhelpful and inaccurate, even as such visions go.
I firmly put it out of my mind and started the show.
When I got to the front I saw there were, in fact, 7 of them. Two familiar faces, a judge from an award, two old friends, and two miserable looking strangers.
Reaching out to new audiences does not seem to be going well.
The two miserable looking strangers just kept looking more and more miserable, poor things, had a little confer and then left.
When I used to go to theatre a lot I found myself leaving plays a lot, too. So I understood. And if you’re hating something, it really is the best thing to leave.
So I could bless them and say I hoped their evening got better in all sincerity.
Even though they left when I was wrestling with the tablecloth. Which didn’t help much.
It’s horrid when you’re in a tiny audience in a show on the Fringe. You feel so sorry for the performers. But I really didn’t mind at the time. The few survivors were just so lovely.
And they all so sincerely wanted to hold hands at the end...
[Photos by Scott Carroll for BARK; the pub was Woodland Creatures 260 Leith Walk; my hostess was the lovely Miss Annabel Sings.
And you can read the lovely things the audience in St Marks said here:
I've just seen the show, and it's lovely - thoughtful, beautifully performed, brimming with humanity. Do go if you're in the vicinity.
I didn't know what to expect from this show - I had a half-baked idea that it was going to be a satirical comedy, taking a swipe at the homophobic elements of some forms of Christianity. I couldn't have been more wrong. It's a touching, life-affirming and ultimately joyous theological exploration of what it means to be a human being. I left looking at the world through new eyes, and I've been recommending it unreservedly to friends and colleagues since. It's a thing of rare beauty.
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