I wrote and in the end appeared in this innovative farcical play which employed some ingenious staging methods and got decent reviews. This was a very mixed experience but I am proud of a great deal of what was accomplished and learned hugely from it, much of which I was able to put to better use in further Fringe forays in following years. The play was based on an idea by the Director. For now, here’s the Press Release, a few highlights and some pictures.
Items of particular interest…
- The Director approached me with an idea, which I liked, and agreed to write with her for an Edinburgh Fringe play for the following summer. In the end, the whole of the script was by my hand; it was the first time I’d written a full piece for anyone else, and gave me quite an appetite for what I could achieve as a scriptwriter for others. I certainly didn’t expect to be taking any further part in the production though – and if I knew then what others did at the time, I might have kept my distance. But we did achieve some tremendous stuff.
- We gained some investment from our University English Department to put on our show at Easter, which we largely invested in an expensive and innovative timber set which enabled us to achieve my ideas of unexpected and hidden character entrances and exits through cupboards, windows and even the back of a sofa. The second of our two Easter shows got big laughs throughout from the audience and remained far and away the most successful we put on.
- My role in the piece escalated, not necessarily through my commitment and enthusiasm but particularly due to others quitting and jeopardising the project, for reasons I can well imagine and empathise with in hindsight. I ended up putting quite a lot of money into the play but was never paid back out of the profits, unlike others.
- Because of a shortage of male actors available to go to the Fringe in August, I ended up taking the title part, and earning this memorable description from The Scotsman, which is surely the bullseye if you’re trying to be a spoof action hero: “Haze, meanwhile, looks like the Terminator’s underfed nephew and spouts movie cliches with a knowing grin…”
- We got heartening praise in reviews from both The Scotsman (“quirky, promising”) and Fest (“interesting, thought-provoking”). At times the show was good enough to deserve them, but at other times poor morale among the team deserved far worse, which we were also given by Three Weeks.
- Our arrival at Edinburgh was a traumatically hilarious disaster so good that I’ve had discussions with two other writer/directors who were also witnesses to it, with a view to turning it into a farcical stage play which will – if anything – need to be toned down in order to be believable. Let me put it this way. The Director had already hospitalised me before we’d even set off from Nottingham.