I suppose I only have myself to blame. A while ago I’d told a good friend, Francesca, about an idea I’d come up with to stage one of my favorite plays. She decided that this might actually be a Really Good Idea. You know the kind I mean. The kind that smacks you in the windpipe as you simultaneously smack yourself on the forehead and shout, “DUUUUUH!” I should have known that, as every good friend should, she would convince me to join the rest of you brave souls also venturing forth to Edinburgh with Really Good Ideas, in the hope that we can convince a paying audience to agree with us.
Francesca and I have both been to the festival many times before, but always as performers. We’ve also had a pretty easy ride, performing as a part of the EdFringe juggernaut that was the inimitable Belt Up Theatre. We also remember the amount of hours, organisation, gaffer tape, loading, unloading, building, dismantling, smashing, not sleeping, flyers, coffee, hysterics, alcohol, dancing, rigging, vomiting, aching and, lord help us, face-painting that went into said juggernaut. With such things fresh in the memory, doing the Fringe from scratch with a small group, instead of a small army, is incredibly daunting. However, Francesca also reminded me that the Fringe was where we had seen some of the most exciting, boundary-pushing and just plain good theatre that we knew of. Also, I do, in fact, LOVE the Fringe. With capitals.
As we chatted, we decided that being a success at the Fringe is doable. We just needed a Really Good Plan to go alongside our Really Good Idea. Any successful company that says they didn’t have one is fibbing. We also knew we’d had the distinct advantage of having been able to watch and work with a company which had gotten the Fringe very right. Hence, this blog. It drives me mad how hard it is to find out how a company went from two people in a pub to a sell-out success. Therefore, we shall be recording our journey here, at AYT, from the Really Good Idea to hitting the Fringe. We’ll be sharing the soaring highs (we hope) to the terrible lows (we hope to avoid). We’ll be charting each step from venue booking to casting to rehearsals to performance. We won’t give too much away production-wise, firstly because we don’t want to spoil the surprise but also because either a) our ideas are brilliant and so we don’t want them nicked (ha) or b) they are terrible and we should try to keep the amount of money burned to a minimum. However, after consultation I can provide you with the following information:
We are Rush Theatre
We will be performing Patrick Marber’s Closer
I have a Really Good Idea
We are (so far) Chi-San (pronounced Chai-San) Howard – Director/Choreographer; Francesca Murray-Fuentes – Producer; Josh Sneesby – Musical Director
There will be bruises.
Francesca will jump up and down. A lot.
I will have a nervous breakdown resulting in my weeping copiously over a broken prop, writhing in a pile of mis-printed fliers, whilst screaming at my cast “I AM THEATRE!!!”
So, do please follow us as all of this takes shape over the next few months. Ask questions, give advice, form opinions (you may all decide that you’d rather spend a month sawing off your own chin with a plastic spoon than see the show); but I do hope that it will also be informative, interesting and entertaining for you all. ‘Cause that’s me – always one for a Really Good Idea.
Written by Chi-San Howard