Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The Best and Ten Better

Home of the Wriggler is up and running in Underbelly’s Belly Button space. The venue is very friendly and has a great atmosphere, the space is good for the show, small and intimate with the feel of a nuclear bunker. It comes with the added advantage of being so buried in stone and hillside that, “please turn off your mobile phones” is a redundant request; no one gets any kind of signal inside that venue.

We’re three shows in now. The first bounced along happily with an enthusiastic crowd. The second was fine but little more with a more reserved clientele. Today’s was very nice indeed. With a little time to get in and less time to get out significant re-rehearsal is ruled out, but we’ve been snipping, tweaking and polishing, the results are good, the show is the best it ever has been and I’m looking forward to more people coming.

If I have one remaining horror of the Fringe it is the whole promotional nightmare. Next time I must arrange it so we are on TV every week in front of hundreds of thousands of people and in so doing absolve myself of the guilt brought on by being spiritually incapable of handing out fliers. Things have been made a bit worse by the fact that our posters got lost somewhere in the venue over the two festival weeks before we arrived. Nick Sweeting had to be sent in like a terrier to flush them out.

With one show in full flow attention has turned to 49 Steps, which we are making for Dance Base, to open on Tuesday. Even in a venue familiar with free expression of the body our antics have drawn quizzical looks, possibly due to Craig and my un-dancer like inelegance as we plot out the actions of a dashing adventure story.

For those who believe in signs – and when it comes to theatre I often do – the first sign is good for this show. It was named 49 Steps as a statement of intent, “it will be like John Buchan’s book but 10 better”. Travelling up it was my intention to pace 49 steps up Dance Base’s main staircase and see where that got us. It turns out the very top step, the one which allows a view down through the glass roof into the main studio space, is the 49th step from the street. Perfect.


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