As we enter the last week I’m still getting very full houses, selling out over the weekend. I’m not sure why I keep getting such a strong attendance. Perhaps word of mouth, good reviews, the excellent publicity (yes, Laura, it’s the publicity!) or the fact that my bare backside on the bike is acting like some kind of Star Wars Death Star, sucking the unweary in, caught in a tractor beam of curiosity and plunged into the smelly darkness of the Balcony room.
Every audience is different. It’s something you can never second-guess. Some nights you can feel blankets of laughter coming from middle rows; behind them, heads bob with the fatigue from the stuffy heat of the room while somewhere to the left there are quiet gasps of delight.
But what’s really off-putting are the people you can see in the front row, particularly, like on Saturday night, it happened to be a group of young Australian men, hair ‘producted’ into exclamation marks, surly slouches a congenital defect and glaring at me as if they’d would rather be watching Jim Jefferies. Continue reading
With a decent run into the Edinburgh Festival, it’s come to that time when performers will or will not read their reviews.
For many performers, a review is like having boils on your neck – you know they’re there, people have told you about them “You’ve got five stars right there!”, you want to squeeze each one so you feel the satisfaction of a clean pop that makes you sigh with joy and relief.
I’ve been soooo depressed!Not because I’m not getting any audiences. I am. Roughly 30-40 a night (though a handful have actually paid!). It’s not that the show isn’t good. It is. I’ve slowed my performance (there’s a special perineum for actors you push – it’s between the cheeks of their ego), I’m playing it more truthfully, realising the script and the characters but…the audience aren’t laughing. Not once. Not even the famous ‘bring down the house’ scene where my arse blasts me like a space shuttle across the stage. Continue reading
‘She could lip-sync ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ with her vagina,’ said Cal, referring to the ABBA song, ‘The really good bit was when she got to ‘a-haaaaa…’ Cal had gone to the trouble of filming it only to have his camera stolen at Los Angeles airport. ‘I’ve been trawling You Tube ever since, see if it’s up there.’
We don’t know each other but intimacies are quickly divulged around a small table in a flat with the help of a bottle of wine. Though, as I’ve experienced, those in the arts are a filthy lot and will drop a skirt raiser with a handshake. As it’s the Fringe…I await an apocalyptic gross off. Continue reading
‘You need to get fit,’ said David Woods, my director. ‘You’re too puffy on stage. It’s affecting all the characters.’
So today I went to the Leith Victoria Baths for a heart starter and almost had a heart stopper when I’m told that a pair of goggles will set me back seven pounds.
Being of tight-arse Scottish stock, I left and went on the hunt for a cheaper pair of goggles. Woolworths was first but I was soon detoured.
‘Try Pound Stretcher’.
Russell McGilton performs Bombay to Beijing by Bicycle at the Gilded Balloon.
‘You’re baggage will be on the next flight but as it’s after nine we’ll send it to you tomorrow,’ the British Airways luggage lass informed me in her sing-song Scottish lilt. Attractive as her accent is she has to explain this to me a few more times and it is only with the aid of hand puppets I finally get what she’s barking on about.
I splutter that the 36 hours of travel has impaired my ability to understand anything at all in another time zone and that yes, okay, I admit it, I’m from Australia, where our vowels and diphthongs are as broad as the land itself. Continue reading