EDINBURGH 2017: A Day At The Fringe- Sian Rowland
Playwright Sian Rowland blogs for BWW to give us an idea of a typical day for her at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
As I step off the train at Waverley station I'm baptised by a deluge of chill Edinburgh rain but despite the damp welcome I immediately fall in love with this city. As a newcomer to the fringe I knew it would be frantic but I never quite envisioned how vast the Festival Fringe is. Every pub, square and tunnel is full to bursting with shows. Laughter rings out of tiny attic venues and music throbs from basement bars and converted lecture theatres.
I'm here to support the Greenwich Theatre production of my play Gazing At A Distant Star which is part of Assembly's line up of shows. On the day I arrive the cast and crew, ably headed up by Greenwich Theatre's artistic director James Haddrell who is also directing my play, have the set up and break down of each show down to a fine art. All I have to do is turn up, watch the play and get stuck into the amazing array of street food in George Square.
My day starts with a wander down to the Square for breakfast in the Assembly Gardens. I smile at the huge poster for Gazing just inside the entrance and sit in the sunshine making a list of shows to see today. It's quiet at this time of day and an Assembly staff member comes over for a chat. The fact that all the staff working here are so cheerful and helpful makes the Fringe experience a pleasure. One day I try to get a ticket for sold out News Revue at The Pleasance (I have a sketch in the show) and a member of the Arts Admin team makes it her mission to get me in despite being rushed off her feet.
After breakfast I usually bump into a few cast members and we do some flyering. People are really receptive and it's great when I later spot people I recognise in the audience. As the cast goes off to get ready for the show I flyer some more and then pop in to see how it's going. I enjoy watching the audience reactions- this is what it's all about.
I've taken the mix and match approach with the rest of the day- I've booked some tickets and if I have some spare moments I wander around Greyfriars Kirkyard or pop into to see something I wouldn't normally see back home. This way I get to watch a variety of plays as well as up and coming comics doing sets in tiny cellars. In between there's time for a beer and a catch up with friends old and new.
I'm incredibly proud of our show and the hard work produced by everyone involved. It's always a risk bringing a show here but the positive audience reactions make it all worthwhile. It's back home to London for me now but I've been bitten by the Edinburgh bug and that means I'll just have to write a new play and come back next year.
Timings and ticket information for Gazing At A Distant Star are available on the edfringe website.