We’re one week in, a third of the fringe has gone and 15 shows to go! And Yes! My liver hates me, I’m pretty sure I have renal failure and all I wear is kagool but I’m alive and I am nailing it!
Here I am!!!!
Now it hasn’t all been #livingthedream. Don’t get me wrong I’m having a blast but this is my first Edinburgh and it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m an unknown comic among a sea of legends and pros who’ve been doing this for years. I’m thoroughly enjoying making my little mark, though, which can only get bigger as I return each year. I’m not discouraged by the brutality of this festival and the industry. It takes more to get me down! I feel too like I found where I belong and see my future. I’m one of lifes great optimists and am seeing my skill and performance develop and already planning next year’s shows! Yes, legends and pros you will have a little one eyed Morrell nipping at your heel for a long time yet I’m afraid. This last week alone I have appeared on BBC Ouch, RNIB’s Connect Radio, had interviews published and released the first episode of my podcast Queen of the Jungle with the brilliant Sarah Bradders! Link below! BBC Ouch, in fact, had me on the BBC New home web page which is amazing, but really I was just relieved I made the news for my comedy career and not because someone found those bodies under my patio!
I am also never lonely!
That all sounds terribly glam and successful I bet, but the reality is much different. I write this from my digs, which is a student hall of residence. Everything I was told about Edinburgh Fringe life is true. My digs, as I was warned, are a far stretch from my London flat-share and not without their quirks. It’s clean, which I am very grateful for, as a friend of mine has mice and an earwig that lives in her bath mat. However, as it’s a modern block and must be energy efficient the lights are on a sensory timer. So often I have I found myself sat on the toilet and the lights go out. Have you ever shat in the dark? It’s surprisingly liberating actually. Equally, the laundry service nearly broke me and is the most complex of all washing processes I have ever encountered. I’m impressed I found time to wash as it just never stops here! In between my show I’ve been doing stand-up gigs at various variety nights! 50 Minute Fringe and Cluster F**k to name two excellent nights of trying new material. I am also doing the Titter Truck, which is a van, which audiences come into and we do ten minutes of comedy It’s different. Very different but an excellent.
I’m also absorbing myself in every show possible. I have been very lucky to see some great stuff so far which I will list below! These shows are amazing. Not only because they are unbelievably entertaining but also this place is food to my comedy soul and has inspired so many ideas and jokes and even an idea for next year’s show! I know I’m on it like sonic! There have also been some excellent nights out. My favourite was the Soho Theatre industry party, which had a free bar. A free bar people! I’m only human! Yes, I drank everything, danced like a nutter in front of its artistic director and some famous comics before rolling in at 5am! A few nights later the Pleasance half way party held at Liquid Rooms nightclub with dance music and glow sticks, which me Bradders and Alyssa broke and leaked all over us and looked like… well, Sperm under a UV light basically.
My show is getting there and more exciting every time I do it and would love as many people to see it a possible. I’m thrilled about the charity work with RNIB, RLSB and Glaucoma Association it has lead onto, as that was always part of the game plan. Please see my twitter and FB for updates and my recent RNIB #howisee video. I have already had responses from young people all over the country with their thanks. It makes it worthwhile when you hear that. But all eyes are on my show constantly! Yes, that was an Eye pun. More to come! I’m on Just the Tonic, The Caves on Cowgate. Cowgate is a very busy road with narrow pavements that is practically under this city. Yes, Edinburgh, you like cobbles, hills and a bridge, don’t you! My arse muscles don’t know what’s happened to them! It’s not a constant electric atmosphere though as you might think. It comes in peak and troughs this place. Some days it’s insane with tourists, comics, festival-goers and drama students crowded together in the city centre. The other days it’s tumbleweed. It’s these ever-changing audiences and atmosphere that makes the show and myself better as I’m constantly on my toes. I have had audience members howl with laughter, be very chatty when I interact and some who sit there blank face totally unresponsive. I thought one lady had died she was so blank! Any room that can fit a mic stand and a few chairs becomes a venue so expect noise bleed in your show, the sounds of kegs being transported and the delightful DIY man who started drilling into next door’s wall the other day. Thanks, pal!! But it’s a constant source of material and we must embrace it and who knows I might even get funnier!!!
I like the familiarity of it. Not many roads do I walk down and see a pal or fellow comic to chat to. It feels like home very quickly but I doubt I will be saying that next week when I’m skint, have scurvy and miss my bed. I do miss the London tube system, having a Pret on every corner and less rain but I like the lad who sings from his phone alone outside George Square. He‘s shit but he doesn’t care and I have to admire that. I’m even getting used to the flyering. Ah yes, flyering… The least green form of publicity but it’s part of Edfringe laws apparently so we must obey! I, however, can’t think of anything worse and I’m terrible at it! For someone who loves talking about herself, I’m crap at selling myself. In the non-prostitute sense of course. Have thrown money at the problem and would like to welcome the brilliant James who is doing a great job and even happy to hand out badges with a half naked David Gandy on them! It’s a tough job and I tip my hat to the flyerers stomping the pavements. Especially one girl who when she asked a rather gruff Scot, ‘If he wanted to see Hamlet set in a concentration camp’, got the reply-‘Fuck no!’ I actually saw her soul break! I’m using badges and false quotes from famous men but some are really going for it! Lying on the Royal Mile, pretending to be dead and surrounded by flyers is standard. One guy’s eating fire, or a pal of mine wears a board stating ‘The End is nigh!’ Not for me. I’d rather be a smart arse and hand out cheeky badges like some David Gandy obsessed nutcase!
I cannot begin to applaud the shows I’ve seen deservedly enough. I’ve listed them below but here’s the long and short of them. I’ve seen pal Brennan simulate oral sex in Quarter-life Crisis, the women sorting the boys out in Dracula, seeing more nakedness from Beasts in Mr Edinburgh, having my heart warmed by Max and Ivan, the heel outfits of the Kitten Killers, Martin Murphy’s Villain, sketch group Best Boys, the scathing Andrew Doyle, shitting myself at Criminology, listening to MP Tim Laughton being interviewed by Matt Forde (who said Tory MP’s could be little rascals), and getting to actually be in the audience of the Guilty Feminist ladies. These are to name some and [please see the list below if you need recommendations]. This place is huge and you need an idea of what to see or you will drown in talent.
Few top tips I have learnt since being here and would like to point out at this stage, I do not take my own advice but hopefully, you will.
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint so pace yourselves people.
- Buy a Kagool. There ugly and crime to fashion but it’s got to be done. It doesn’t just rain here, it RAINS! I’m such a southern softie!
- Friday and Saturday nights are carnage here! Avoid the stag parties!!!
- Get used to the cobbles. There annoying but just accept them.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t see everything!
- You don’t have to go up Arthur’s seat but do at least one touristy thing!
- Respect the Scots. They take us over their city so show it the respect it deserves.
- Go to every party and make all the finds you can.
- If you are up here on a show, keep developing it. Keep trying new things. You have a great opportunity. Have fun with it.
Queens of the Jungle-Episode 1–http://www.queensofthehungle.com/#!episodes/h7w9u
BBC Ouch Podcast featuring me and the brilliant Jamie Macdonald-http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0456d13#play
Shows thus far–
Katie Brennan- Quarter-life Crisis @Underbelly
Matt Forde Political Party @ Pleasance
Beasts- Mr Edinburgh @ Pleasance
Max and Ivan @ Pleasance
Dracula @ Pleasance
Kitten Killers @ Underbelly
Criminology @ Venue 13
Andrew Doyle @ Stand Comedy club.
Victoria Jeffrey’s Dancing with Jack @ the Space.
Villain @ Underbelly
Labels @ Pleasance Courtyard
Anything by SOHO Theatre Young Company! Look out for their logo! There taking over!