Tales From... The Archive

The Edinburgh Aftermath

I think the Edinburgh Festival is like child birth and here’s why… There is always an element of excitement and anticipation before arriving, possibly an air of optimism.

 (ha ha optimism…ha ha…oh dear)  For the first few days the sun is shining,  you’re eating healthy, you’re not drinking this year, this is a fresh new Festival and you’re going to enjoy every day. You enthusiastically start saying yes to performing several other gigs a day other than the shows you’re already in. The first week goes by and you start to tire a bit, hang on there’s 3 more weeks to go! You decide it’s ok to start drinking now, just a couple for heaven’s sake! You have one too many conversations in the bar with people you barely know, you wake up paranoid, did you really tell that woman you had no idea that she’d lost her personality as a child and never rediscovered it. You’re hungover, the shows don’t go so well over the next few days. You start the day with a berocca, a fried egg sandwich and a gallon of coffee, sod being healthy you’re hungover after all. On the way to your show you bump into another comic, “heard about your show last night”  “Really?”     ” Yeah…never mind mate…”  “What…?”  “Got a Four star review in the Times, have a good show!”  Who was that? You’ve agreed to do another 4 gigs on top of the two shows you’re already doing, why did you do that? It’s 2am you’ve finished your last show of the day, just a cheeky pint before bed, you wake up with a kebab on your chest and a half chewed berocca foaming in your mouth. Two weeks to go, for the love of God why did you agree to do a live ‘chat show’ at 12pm, no one knows who you are, you look hungover. You’re asked not to swear, you swear three time in the first two minutes, people groan, you have no peripheral vision, you just get through it and stagger back home. It starts raining and you get soaked through to the skin, someone bumps into you they tell you how much they loved your show you feel good for a second till you realise they think your someone else. You feel a cold sore forming on your top lip and you find yourself wanting to punch the chugger in the face just for smiling at you, twenty five people try to flyer you down Nicolson Street, you pretend to be on your mobile, they’re all feigning energy and optimism, everyone looks cloudy behind the eyes but that could be your hangover. Numbers have dropped and audiences  have gone from 150 to 30, you can feel the tumbleweed as you walk on stage, why is that man looking at you like he wants to hurt you? One more week to go, you’ve stopped replying to friends text messages telling you they can’t wait to hear about Edinburgh, you haven’t cooked for yourself in over a week. You buy yourself a Dominos pizza and eat it in bed in your underwear whilst watching Battlestar Galactica on your laptop. Shouldn’t this Festival have finished a week ago and there’s still a week to go, you’re out every night to keep sane you tell yourself, you really have nothing to say to approximately 80% of the people in this bar, you keep drinking and avoid anyone that is more upbeat than you, why are you still here? The last few days are painful, the nominations are out and everyone has lost the will to live, the countdown begins, you’re onstage but your care factor about the audiences enjoyment has dropped to below zero, so what if they don’t like me,  I don’t like them! Ha! Seriously though…please love me…the last Monday arrives, the Festival feels like it finished last Wednesday and has just dragged on, everyone you know had their final show on Sunday, you’re the only one with a show at 10.45pm on Monday night, dear Lord… the show is surprisingly fun, you enjoy it, that wasn’t so bad, you get to the bar and start drinking, you’re going home tomorrow and you can’t wait, you chat to your friends who are equally exhausted, equally elated. Will I be back next year? Hell yeah! it wasn’t that painful was it?

Posted on 9th September 2009


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