Monday morning. 8am. I’m on the train out of Kings Cross. I resisted the urge to get on a platform 9 & 3/4 and instead took the normal train to Edinburgh rather than the Hogwarts Express. As I look out the window I can see London looming into life, I’ve just chugged past the closest station to my house, annoying me in the process and now for the next 4 hours or so I have my macbook pro to keep me company, a copy of a book I’ve been trying to finish for the last few months and the Fringe programme to continue to memorise. So it begins once more.
The last time I took a show to Edinburgh was two years ago, it was Mind Over Patter. The show was wonderfully received and it was a show I was really happy with and proud of. I got two years worth of tours out of it, took it to New Zealand and will still perform it now and again. The worry with returning to Edinburgh for this my fifth year is simple… am I still any good? Do people want to see me? Will people like my show. It’s the tough side of being a performer. One must hope that by continuing to do what I think audiences will like, they will continue to just that. Like them.
Edinburgh is a tough, hard, stressful month, but when everything goes right and people like the show it’s a joy, when the show is half full on a rainy Tuesday, it’s less fun. As usual I’ll be attempting to not read reviews, they do no good for your ego be they good or bad. I’ll get stuff fed back to me, and I’ll simply concentrate on making the show as good as it can be. Of course one of the biggest frustrations comes out of knowing that towards the end of the month the show will be on fine, sexy form, having been changed, bedded in and performed nightly. Reviewers come near the beginning of the run, when the show is taking it’s first childlike steps hoping it can stay up and trying it’s best not to fall down.
Flick, my lovely PR lady asked me if I wanted reviewers in during the previews. it’s a tough question. Part of you wants people to come in as early as possible, the quicker the review is out the more people know about your show, part of you only wants them when the show is good. With a magic show it takes a lot of changes in each venue to make sure it works perfectly.. so I’m holding back on letting reviewers in for a bit. The best reviews though are those based on word of mouth. So if I see a show I love I tell people about it, and I hope if the audience love my show, they’ll tell a few friends who’ll buy some tickets.
So all my props are already in Edinburgh, the lovely Giles took a van full of my stuff up on Friday, and now I look out across the countryside, marvelling and how quickly London vanishes into the smog and how the green and pleasant land we call home appears in it’s lush splendour. I sip on my complimentary cup of tea (gotta love first class, especially when it cost less than standard), I pull out my fringe programme and I continue to memorise. See you in Edinburgh friends.