Edinburgh: dress rehearsal and preview night

Tickets here for A Glass of Nothing – a show where dreams come true

Friday 4th open dress rehearsal. At our team breakfast we decided that whatever happens in Edinburgh, we are already winners by being part of it.

For a winner, however, I felt twitchy. Doing things helped. Flyering and dropping posters of at various venues, and collecting stuff from printers, takes your mind off the existential horror of it all. The rain fell greasily on us and the luvvie legions running around town. I noticed one or two had Sandwich boards. A new game:  match the rain-bedraggled figure with their photos on the board.

Our performance in the Surgeons’ Hall was excellent. Matt, our new boy, killed it. Beth and Kitty at their best. We came in at 50 minutes on the nose too, and managed to dress and undress the stage in the five minutes either end. Amy did all the tech faultlessly, and Lorraine ran front of house perfectly.

As it was unadvertised, we weren’t really expecting an audience, luckily a large cast of Swiss actors attended, who chuckled a lot. Confirmation that the play’s three wish format works well, even if everyone didn’t understand the wordplay. All of us on a high afterwards.

Saturday 5th — Preview night. Beth and I off to the meet the press session at one o’clock. It was advertised as a chance to pitch your piece to the press. Naively I had seen this as a few minutes to a room full of journos etc. The reality was an enormous queue snaking out of a university building down the length of a street. After an hour or so, you made it inside, and then each publication had a desk, at which there were fifty deep queues like an airport when all the flights are cancelled. After hours of standing about, we managed to get to speak to people from a few publications. Beth and I split up after the first one, to double our effectiveness. Fascinating to see who else was there and chat to a few people.  Talking to two young women from Ireland, talking about ticket sales. Last night they had two people in their audience. The reality is that with hundreds of shows going on at any time, you’re lucky to get any kind of audience. Gender and identity seemed to be on the majority of performer’s minds. Lots of student age folks doing Edinburgh, apparently with enviable bullet proof confidence.

While Beth and I were doing this, Kitty and Matt were flyering their hearts out.  So it began again. To the Surgeons’ Hall. I didn’t feel quite as nervous as last night, but still, as a card-carrying  nervous. Heartened by seeing a few friends and relatives.

The performance itself was nervier than last night, but I was very proud of Beth, Kitty and Matt. It’s easy when the audience is fully behind you and you’re coasting along. This was one of the nights when the tough got going, and we learned lots from it.

Afterwards a really cheery night. We went to a bit party for theSpace performers, which started at 11:30, and heard the band Blueswater, performing. Huge amounts of fun, and a late, late night for all.

Sunday 6th — this was a day off before the run next week. Gradual recovery from the party the night before. Into town to actually see a show, Nasty Women on the Fringe, which was a cabaret of women stand up comedians. Really funny stuff.

Below the foyer of theSpace Surgeons’ Hall, and then a couple of snaps in those twitchy seconds before the audience to comes in, Amy Freeman, doing our tech, in the corner.

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About Peter Kenny

I lead a double life. Identity #1. A writer of poems, plays, libretti, prose, journalism and so on. Identity #2: A marketing outlier, working with London creative agencies and my own clients as a copywriter and creative consultant.
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