Edinburgh Fringe 2018 - how to get a standing ovation
If you don’t know the Edinburgh Fringe, you won’t know that there are more than three thousand shows happening here in upwards of three hundred venues, and there’s a new show starting somewhere every fifteen minutes. This means that eager-beaver Fringe folk, anxious to pack as many shows as they can into their time here, race from one show to the next with only moments to spare.
On Tuesday afternoon (due to problems with the late-running of the shows preceding mine), my show started seventeen minutes late, which meant that it ended seventeen minutes late, which meant that the moment I came on for my curtain call there was a trio of audience members in the middle of the second row who got up at once desperate to leave to catch their next show. From the stage, I could see them hurriedly gathering up their bags frantic to depart – but the other members of the audience simply saw three people in the middle of the centre row standing up and assumed this was a STANDING OVATION – and joined in!
First the people right next to the would-be departees rose, then the people behind them got up, quickly followed by others all around them. Within moments the auditorium was in a happy uproar: my audience all standing and cheering – while the hapless threesome who’d started it all stood bleakly where they were, trapped and, ultimately, poor wretches, obliged to put down their bags and join in.
Happily, yesterday – thanks to the Herculean efforts of the Pleasance One stage crew (led by Ryan) who also double as the auditorium crew – the show started bang on time at 4.30 pm – and that’s the way it’s going to be from now on, I know – which is good news for the audience, of course, but not so good for the lone artiste (me) because I may have had my first – and last – standing ovation.
I’m not complaining. I’m being blessed with FULL HOUSES and LOVELY AUDIENCES and we’ve an extra show on Friday 17 August at 6.00 pm. Please book here: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/gyles-brandreth-break-leg#overview
If you fancy a double-dose of Brandreth while you’re in Edinburgh, my son’s show at the Gilded Balloon is garnering golden reviews – including a 4-star rave from The Scotsman, I think. It’s hilarious heroic story-telling: I’ve seen it twice and will be back soon, if I can get a ticket. It’s on at 11.15 am every day – moving to the afternoon much later in the run. You can get a ticket here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/benet-brandreth-a-hero-for-our-times