Troublesome People at the Edinburgh Fringe

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01 Sep 2015 in News

Author : sdraper

Well, Troublesome People did it’s full run at the Edinburgh Fringe – from 10th-29th August – 3 weeks – Phew! loved every minute. Great audiences & feedback, lovely reviews and lots of fun taking in loads of other shows…worked hard, played hard!… Here are some highlights of my festival diary:

Sat Aug 8th – “Here we are at last! exciting stuff – got to Edinburgh in the early hours yesterday 1.45ish I think and finally got to bed at 3am! managed a few hours sleep, then ‘up and at ’em’ for a full cast meet up at Rowan & Franks apartment at 11am. Everyone was in good spirits and excited, and the kids were as good as gold, so we managed to have a good look at all the line cuts in the script. We also did some ‘impro-practice-flyering’ on each other – hilarious! good to see each others techniques and maybe use some good ‘lines’ or tactics ourselves. Quick run-through of the updated script in the kitchen, then back to our beautiful flat and a good rest and huge sleep.”

Tue Aug 11th – “Last night was first night – and was fabulous! almost a full house, and a really responsive audience. Still not quite 100% sure of all the cuts we made on Friday (I think we all managed to put lines back in!) but, in a way, this didn’t matter, as the pacing was probably spot on and we came in at 1 hour 23 mins. It’s hard to gague exactly from backstage, but I guess the 2nd curtain call gave us some indication of how much the audience liked it. We also had permission to go to the green rm at 7.30pm and get changed, so this allowed for an extremely smooth get in & time for short warm-ups before the show.”

Tue Aug 18th – “Paddys mum & dad arrived on Friday so we had some help with the boys – they’ve seen lots of shows and had a lovely time with their grandparents. Troublesome People went well on Friday and Saturday – no more tech issues, although we were competing with the very loud Tattoo celebrations on Saturday – extra challenge! Paddys parents really enjoyed TP and we had the added bonus of babysitters afterwards, so Paddy was able to come out with us to celebrate the end of the first week. Bobs Blunderbuss was first, followed by a jazz club & lots of rum! home by 3.30am and hangovers the next day! and all this after Friday nights shows – Franks and Skinner (brilliant) and Funz & Gamez Tooz Midnight Show (mayhem)… On Sunday we attended a fantastic event organised by the local Jewish group – The Edinburgh Hebrew Congregations Festival Open Day. It’s an annual event showcasing performers & theatre companies presenting works at the festival with a Jewish cultural element or theme. The organiser interviews the participants & the participants then show a short extract. There was also bagels, cake, tea and coffee! It was great to meet & perform to another huge receptive audience, socialise, eat, drink and also have a chance to see snippets of other shows that we may otherwise have not noticed.”

Sat Aug 22nd – “Lack of diary entries? that’s due to reaching a point at which exhaustion is setting in! Wednesday evenings show was low on audience numbers, and fatigue may be effecting us, but last night was much better – a really big audience. We were also really enjoying the positive responses and were all buzzing. Pub after and lots of laughs & giggles. Home at 1.30am (not so late!). Yesterday was also my first time flyering with the board. I only managed to whack 2 people over the head with it in the wind – One very cross gentleman and one happy american chap who took a flyer off me. Another lady actually came up to me to take a flyer as she was intrigued by the pics on the board – a handy addittion to our flyering armour.”

Sun Aug 23rd – “Good show last night although I was bloody shattered! and had to muster up all my strength to get through each scene! Doctor Theatre to the rescue. When we left the theatre the heavens opened and the rain was horizontal! – cut to this morning and it’s beautiful sunshine, clear blue skies and warmth. As one scottish lady remarked to me; “You’ll get all four seasons in one day up here!” ”

Tue Aug 27th – “…one thing I’ve learnt over the weeks, especially with a larger cast, is that even though we do need our own space as individuals, the most important thing on tour is actually being able to work well as part of a team. I personally think this means always thinking of the others in the team. Supporting those who are maybe not feeling up to it, ‘diving in’ to pick up any slack (both in terms of on-stage eg lost lines, mishaps, etc and off-stage, eg with props/set that still needs sorting, etc) and absolute focus backstage. Most importantly, if everyone in the team thinks this way we know then that we all ‘have each others’ back’. We’re not all going to work in exactly the same way and we individually have different needs, and strengths & weaknesses, but it is about being aware of that and being able to use all our powers of motivation, positivity, sense of fairness, emotional support and honest objective criticism (along with the ability to take criticism with a great deal of humility and self-awareness). Being able to be part of a team is being self-aware enough to understand how you individually effect the team.”

Mon Aug 31st – “Bank Holiday Monday, back home. Dreamt of flyering last night! …They’re often very different, but one similarity between theatre and film has occured to me – many takes in a film is akin to the many times performing in a substantial run night after night. Using Stanislavsky techniques should result in the delivery being very slightly different to rehearsals, as the emotion behind the words may have a slightly different intensity when delivered. This can organically start to change a scene, sometimes beautifully and effectively, allowing for an even more authentically truthful performance. This is what happens in film, but in very quick bursts of “again” or  “next take” and of course the director and editor can then pick the best take to create a fantastic film. With theatre, your ‘best take’ has to be on the night, so I would say that getting the emotions right before each scene is key. This is what rehearsals are for of course, experimenting with and adjusting emotional intensity, finding the ‘best take’ and committing it to memory… but sometimes during a run of this length, if you’re truly ‘in the moment’, additional discoveries are made and it’s wonderful to see/hear/feel. Finally, having a tight responsive team will always help with this process and the team (actors and directors) can discuss, shift and grow together. I loved our pub discussions about various events that had occured in the play – great to keep thrashing through the issues of how the characters are feeling and portrayed at various points in the piece – but also great to laugh about all the tiny little things that happened that the audience wouldn’t have noticed, but that – for us – were hilarious. It’s good to take a good look at ourselves and laugh, so we’re not taking ourselves too seriously – and learn that we can and will recover from anything that may occur during a performance (therefore nerves are dispelled a little). But, most importantly, a chance for us to be self-aware, self-critical and therefore able to learn, grow and become fantastic actors, able to ‘knock it out of the ballpark’ at every opportunity.”

 

 

 

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