EDINBURGH 2017: A Day At The Fringe- Rhys Nicholson
Rhys Nicholson blogs for BWW to give us an insight into the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from a comedian.
Ah, the Fringe. One of the only months of the year where the theatre performing elite mix with the hatchet faces of stand up comedy while every street performer in Europe play their copy of the Amelie soundtrack and slowly move around a glass ball with their hands. It's a magical time.
For all intents and purposes, I am a professional comedian. I spend my year talking in front of strangers in lieu of talking to a trained mental health professional. It's a plan and I'm sticking to it.
This is my fifth Fringe and I'm often asked why I keep coming back. As if it's some noble act. I like to bring a bit of mystery into my life so I usually respond "Revenge" and stare them down until the subject is changed. In truth I have absolutely no idea. I've had some of my most horrifying moments in this country. Harsh moments of true embarrassment have been burnt into my brain. However on the other side of the coin once Jimmy Carr said I have nice cheeks bones, so you know, swings and roundabouts. But who knows why I come back? I guess there's a chance I've gone full Patty Hearst and this a fun case of Stockholm syndrome? I'm just going with it.
Comedians take themselves very seriously this time of year. We stand in bars and backstage talking about our jokes as if we're surgeons regaling each other with stories of saving lives. In truth, most shows are about our genitals and how they relate to others.
Audience members will say to a comic "I don't know how you do it? Stand up there in front of all those people." This is bullshit. First of all, I think they may be vastly over estimating the size of the average Edinburgh Fringe audience. Secondly, I don't know how THEY do it. Sit there with all of those people in the dark watching someone tell their life story through song parodies. Yuck.
There should be some sort of foreign aid program for Fringe audiences. Or at least a support line. The shit they deal with. Herded from the cold wet of Edinburgh's passive aggressive weather into the hot wet of this festival's venues. And who knows, the show might be shit? You trusted an 18 year old flyerer who told you it was good. She hasn't seen it. She just knows as soon as the flyers in her hand have gone she can sit down.
Look I love comedy, but recently a lady told me she'd seen six shows that day and purely out of reflex I said I'd rather eat my own eyes with a plastic spork. That's six hours that are gone forever. Why do they do it? They must have been hugged enough as a child so they don't feel the need for attention. I know my place.
So Edinburgh Fringe audiences, I salute you. You are the REAL stars. (Not really, the real stars tend to be millionaires playing the big rooms, but it seems like the right thing to say).
Rhys Nicholson - I'm Fine
Underbelly Med Quad -Buttercup
Until 27 August