Each evening during the Fringe we have shared a #diaryoftheday: brief personal accounts of the daily adventures in Edinburgh. It started as a marketing tool for our show “Diary of an Expat” and ended up being a precious moment to review our experience.
Some are hopeful some less so, some are trivial, some existential. All instinctive and a collection of memories of our first Fringe.
We started today right with some Italian coffee from Cafe Bellina near Leith Walk. After having devoured a falafel wrap we sneaked into “All Star Brexit Cabaret”… I mean… there’s some incredibly funny songs. We can’t say more to spoil the fun! Then we went on to see “Le Gateau Chocolat:Icons” at Assembly. MAGIC. The most important part of the day and potential highlight is yet to come… Dinner. Still pondering on where to go and what to eat.
The past two shows have been great, roll on tomorrow!
After an easier flyering morning and the show going well, we saw some great and very different shows. We finished the Untapped Underbelly programme and all we can say is: WOW. Cecilia then tried a macaroni and cheese pie for the first time… No wow here.
Tonight we’re getting ready to share a scene of the show with some other fellow Italians at Ciao Roma, followed by a night of dancing and singing thanks to the wonderful Massaoke.
We probably had our best show so far which makes us happy. We’ve had a day full of theatre and new friends. After having seen “European Ciziten Popsong” at Summerhall we’re seriously considering applying for Eurovision 2019.
How will this first Fringe go? How will our show be received? How can we enjoy flyering? Will we ever enjoy flyering? How can we get more audiences in? Will we manage to see all the shows we want? Will we stop drinking every day? Never has #intotheunknown felt like a better hashtag for this year’s edition of the Fringe.
Can we say today has been the best day so far? Yes we can. It started with a free coffee at our usual morning spot in Cowgate. It then continued with a good show and a lovely Japanese audience member who would like to translate our script; it had its touch of Britishness with a classic fish and chips but a sending off with lots of gin because we got our first review which had 4 beautiful stars!
We woke up to our images on The Scotsman… next to Jonny Woo!!! Dreams do come true… We’ve had friends visiting our show, pigeons pooing on our bags (it’s good for luck right?), then we went to see two great cabaret performances by Melinda Hughes and Monica Salvi. Go check out “Margo: Half Woman, Half Beast” and “Mad Women in my Attic”!!
Finally, we’re currently polishing off the day drinking (soft drinks) at Underbelly’s Abattoir. Just to feel posh…
It’s already been a week at the Fringe and it’s only been a week at the Fringe…
After spending hours frantically stapling our 4 stars on posters and flyers, we told box office that whoever said “sausage roll” would get 2 for 1 tickets, we posted a moo photo coz that’s what you do when your show is on at Underbelly, enjoyed this sunny Thursday around Edimbra and ended it with crazy funny moving outragious incredible cabaret/circus by the Little Death Club. But most importantly we’ve made new friends.
Today’s #diaryoftheday arrives slightly later due to a much needed dinner with Italian friends far from the Fringe madness.
It started as one of those rainy days when all you’d like to do is stay in bed but instead you have to go and flyer to people who despise you and whose main objective at 1pm is food. As a famous hit preached “things can only get better” and they did. The day brightened up, we saw 2 beautiful shows (“Funerals Flowers” & “Lucille and Cecilia”) & it ended in the best possible way: eating fish with italian friends.
There’s hope… there’s hope… almost half way…
How bad can it be? How hard can it get? The amount of performers having a breakdown, drowning in self doubt and feeling utterly broken during this Fringe is frankly scary. We’re not even half way through. Today even an audience member freaked out (massively) for not having gotten a refund. What does this event do to people? Where has the fun gone? The joy of sharing stories with other people? Shouldn’t it be exciting?
Let’s try & celebrate being here, let’s try and be supportive and maybe slightly more relaxed. Let’s all try and get the best out of it.
We got our biggest crowd today and a French meal. It’s ok, it will be ok…
Today something quite extraordinary happened: a lady asked to have our flyer (we hadn’t even shoved it in her hand) as we were standing under the rain. AND she came to see the show. A miracle, the dream of every flyerer. Happiness is in the small things.
Why did we come to the Fringe?? Why?? A question that creeps in frequently but the answers are many and all valuable. It’s certainly a rollercoaster but also an incredible experience. Inspiring and nurturing in its own way. Goodnight. And good luck.
We can do this.
Numbers numbers numbers… of tickets sold or unsold, of audience members, days, people, time slots, flyers mistreated and abandoned in the rain, drinks, performances, friends, shows to see, miles walked, working hours, unslept hours, years gone by and… stars…
In the midst of the Fringe one almost forget about Edimbra, its wintery weather, its beauty, its castles & hills, the view of the sea, the delicious fish, the friendly people who chat to you when you grab your coffee in the morning, the everyday life outside of the artistic bubble.
Not only theatre in Edimbra in this windy august. Today we caught up with Elise Valmorbida who wrote “The Madonna of the Mountains”, a beautiful historical novel about one woman’s survival in the Veneto region of Italy and her determination to protect her family throughout the Second World War. Elise is at the Book Festival to present her book. We met other writers, from all over the world, publishers, readers and a very interesting Latin American writer. What a breath of fresh air… A different part of the city, different audiences, different stories and worlds.
Best show, best show so far, great audience, great feeling, fuck yeah. And now we’re off to a Pollyanna night of drinking and debauchery with friends. The ups and downs of the Fringe, what a thrill.
And then you find yourself among a group of activists for the rights of Europeans in the UK and British nationals in the EU after Brexit… you hear their stories, make new friends, set up an area in a popular square trying to grab people’s attention, you realise how political your work has turned out to be or has always been, your thoughts and opinions rush through your mind, and then the pace slows down, accompanied by the beautiful music and words of the show “The Myth of the Singular Moment” and suddenly you feel moved but peaceful, quiet, even if for a short moment.
Thank you Edinburgh, you can be magic.
The feeling of climbing a mountain, every day. The effort of the climb, the orgasm of reaching the top and the drop afterwards. It could seem something else too but hey.
Can you be theatered out? Yes you can. Can what you’re doing now at the Fringe feel old and your brain already be in another space and another story? When is enough enough? Just rambling on tonight (“home, it’s time to go home” whispers a voice).
A late one today coz we were out partying & forgot…
Lovely lovely (in the most genuine sense of the word) audience today, we saw great shows by strong female performers, our vintage 80s mascot jacket has been highly appreciated by all sorts of people while walking around Edimbra (it is very cool indeed), and we had a real delicious Italian pizza. All good from us to you.
Identity, nationality, citizenship and sense of belonging seem to be strong themes at this years festival and we love it. As we love meeting other artists and exchanging experiences on how this theatrical adventure has been. Lucky bastards.
Today is for all the off days, when you feel that something isn’t working, or maybe you focus too much on that one person that looks bored as fuck, who sighs and checks their phone and the time constantly, who you can’t seem to have taken on the journey with you.
This is for you resisting and carrying on and not letting it crash you. For all the performers out there resisting. And for “Hot Brown Honey” who are fucking amazing and we can’t believe the Stage gave it 2 stars… that phone call scene was so powerful… come on…
Thinking of the women who teamed up for this Edimbra adventure and for the theatrical adventures to come. How cool are we?!
Oh, we also had a soup, a warm meal today. We’re so healthy.
When a reviewer (male) writes en passant that you forgot where fascism comes from (your country not his), you realise even more that you show – however small and imperfect – has a reason to be. And that reviews, good or bad, are to be taken seriously and with a pinch of salt at the same time.
It’s all about perspective and context. Thank you Edimbra for the lesson.
A lot of important themes are tackled at this Fringe but the one that stayed with us the most is toxic masculinity. The subtlety and depth that some shows have expressed is important. Scary and horrible frankly but we need to look at it and sometimes feel shame for what we’ve been silently accepting.
But that’s also the beauty of theatre, the belief that it can change the world.
It’s over, finito, kaput. A bundle of feelings go through us: relief for an undeniably intense and tough month, the lightness of the beginning of a new phase, the joy of new friendships, the disappointment with female support (more in the air rather than in action) and the long road ahead.
We leave with mountains of images in the eyes, feelings, thoughts, doubts, ideas, stories and characters in the mind.
It’s time to go back to the real world, wrongly forgotten at times over these past weeks, but always present in fiction or reality.
Now onto the next story and into the unknown (after a much deserved Greggs’ sausage roll).
Follow us on twitter – @paper_smokers
© 2020 Paper Smokers | Powered by Skizzar