Friday, 1 May 2009

On the Fringe

Alright, alright. No excuses, it’s a month today since I last posted a blog (And that one wasn’t exactly great.) and for that I’m sorry. Let’s face it, that’s pretty poor on my part. Unfortunately I’m still in “insane and mass amounts of work from uni” mode and won’t be free much until my last substantial piece of work is handed on the 14th of this month.

But once I hand it in I promise I will post loads to make up for the gap. I might even start posting on Twitter and Facebook frequently again as well! Who knows!

Anywho, on with the topic at hand…

Two years ago I harassed a short conversation out of comedian David Mitchell after a live show in Bournemouth. During which I asked him for some advice on breaking into the world of comedy writing. He told me that the best thing to do is to take a show to the Edinburgh “Fringe” festival. He explained that a festival like that attracts the kind of people that matter, and in turn can be very beneficial to anyone’s career. So for the last two years the idea of playing the Fringe festival has been festering at the back of my mind until I just have to give in and accept that it was something I would have to actively pursue. But if my honest, at this stage of my career, actually performing at the Fringe festival seems a little unrealistic.

Even as recently as November (When I met some new and very talented people as I entered the second year of my screenwriting course) the idea was discussed, but being the stereotypical lazy and procrastinating students that we are, nothing came to fruition. This type of opportunity, no matter how great was unlikely to happen while university and money were a factor. Not to say it wasn’t ever going to happen, but not for a couple of years… or at least so I thought.

This year my university has been trying to get me to arrange a work placement for the summer. This is a mandatory requirement without which I will not obtain my degree. These six week placements are one of the many daft things my uni does to justify us paying £3000 a year for the course. I had something lined up at my old college, but it fell through last term and since then I have been living in denial and pretending that placements weren’t mandatory and did very little to actually pursue another one. Mainly because of that terrible habit I have of being bone idle. Of course this isn’t a recommended way to approach something as important as a section of my degree.

But Earlier this week, a friend of mine by the name of Sam Fletcher (Casper to those who know him) brought the idea of doing Fringe back into the forefront with the brilliant notion that we could do the Fringe festival to fulfil our placement criteria.

Now, how this all came about is a story in itself, but I feel that that is a story to be told at another time for reasons I will explain when that time arrives. The short version however, is that after an insane dash to meet the Fringe festival’s submission deadline, we managed to find a venue, fill out all necessary paperwork, make some pretty big decisions in regards to the premise and details of the show itself and convince our university to let us count this as our work placement. (Huge credit to Casper for his part in making this happen, what a legend he is!)

So now, myself, Tom Chettoe, Chris Billingham and Sam Fletcher (or tickthebox as we are now collectively known) are taking a show to Fringe!

We four will be writing and staring in the show, which is titled “Placement Crisis”, and will be a sketch show combined with some shot stand up segments. And anyone out there who is interested is more than welcome to come to show us some support during our six day run at “The Hive” in Edinburgh. We start on the 16th of August and perform between 1pm and 2pm every day through till the 21st. Oh, and it’s free.
Email if you have any questions or enquires about the show.

I am so excited.
It all happened so fast it didn’t even feel real at first. It felt like so much of an all or nothing move. We had to make so many decisions so quickly that it felt vaguely like we were walking off the edge of a cliff. None of us entirely sure weather we would land in a large pile of feathers after a short fall or plummet hundreds of feet to our deaths as we are impaled on jagged rocks.
But nothing brings you back to earth and slams the reality of the situation into your face quite as hard as seeing this. The blurb for our show as it will appear in the Fringe festival programme.

Scary huh?
Well I’d like to think that I am a perfect combination of scared and excited. I keep flipping between the two. But in truth, right now, the excitement is winning in a big way.

We intend to film some of our rehearsals and script readings and put them on our youtube page in future. So look out for that! Also, we might be doing a few warm up shows before we go for the festival. Although, admittedly that is all still incredibly theoretical. But for updates on that and the show itself you can either keep your eyes on this blog or add tickthebox on twitter.

I can’t wait, I hope to see you all there!
Thanks for reading.
-- Dan

PS: Shit, it’s only four months away? I’m back to scared now! I had better get writing!

PPS: I have had to stop running the E-mail updates service for this blog. It was becoming more work than it was worth. Sorry to those of you who use it. If you want to know when I post new blogs you can add me on Twitter where I always post when I update.

PPPS: Here is one of our promotional leaflet ideas.
Any thoughts? Send them to

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