ABOUT THE BOOK
This book shares fourteen years experience of producing shows at the Fringe for the price of a café latte, without the social awkwardness of having to sit with the author in a coffee shop. This guide is aimed at performers interested in producing their first shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. Highlighting the author’s personal experiences of half-full houses, flat mates gone bad, hostel horror stories, campsite calamities, and general comedy cock-ups.
Although the author’s background is in producing and performing stand-up comedy, the principles of venue hire, promotion and publicity are the same for shows of other genres, such as sketch comedy, cabaret and theatre shows, as are the problems of managing large groups of performers.
The section on how to write shows details the author’s approach to writing his shows as opposed to being a general how to write comedy guide
I produced the book with Ashley Frieze’s help who very kindly edited the book and contributed bits and pieces here and there.
UNOFFICIAL ABOUT THE BOOK
As well as the usual advice on booking venues and ordering flyers, what I’ve tried to do is give my personal experiences of the Fringe, so for most of the pieces of advice there is a story about how I ended up doing stuff that way.
The final section of the book is a collection of first-hand war stories from the Fringe which most of the people who have read them have laughed at. There are a couple of shall we say incidents involving assaults with deadly weapons, mental break downs, general flat mate gone bad stories and heart attacks which don’t generally raise a laugh but they all happened and made the experiences much more interesting. I’ve used pseudonyms in some cases or omitted names entirely because you might well have been gigging with the people involved recently.
I’ve also included my approach to writing two shows I did at the Fringe to give you an idea of working practices and how I put shows together.
It’s also to my knowledge the only book that describes Kirsty Wark as “the thinking man’s crumpet”.
Hopefully the reader will be able to take something away from my experiences. I enjoyed the writing process wasn’t so keen on the proof reading bit which took about three weeks longer than I thought it would. I’d also like to add I think the spell check in Microsoft word is shit. For some reason it thinks that nearly every other word should be hyphenated. I very much doubt that the royalties will come anywhere near matching the time that went in to it, but sometimes it’s more about finishing something than making cash.
The book will hopefully be updated as I go along. If you bought it – and I’m pleased to say that it is off the grid with sales, then do say hello. Both the Kindle and on-demand printed version have an address in them which lists where you can find the updates on-line, It seems a bit unfair you having to pay for small updates.
BRITISH COMEDY GUIDE REVIEW
“The ‘how to’ is never patronising, and each page delivers lots of tips and ideas without overwhelming.”
“I have never had any aspiration to perform at The Fringe, but I found I could hardly put down this book such was the interest it evoked in me, so I guess if I was a person who did want to experience the phenomena then this should be a must read.”